How To Address Embarrassing Issues With Parents

How do you handle head lice in Sunday School?  My husband and I are the SS directors for a small church.  We face this problem every year.  Some of the older teachers freak out when they have a child with head lice.  What is the best course of action with the teachers, child and the parents? Janel

When we’re faced with an issue that is potentially embarrassing issue we are are very honest and clear with the parents. It is always handled by myself, the children’s pastor. I state the facts (in this case head lice), letting the parent know that the child has lice… we give them information on how to clean the lice from their child… including tips on clothing, headwear, bedding, siblings etc. and in some cases offer to purchase the kit or kits.

You may find some information online and create a fact sheet and have it ready to give to parents. The key is to be compassionate, respectful and private.

As far as the response in the classroom. Teachers should be instructed possible issues such as lice. They aren’t the end of the world. They don’t attack with flaming torches and pitchforks. They can’t leap 10’s of feet through the air to infest the entire classroom in a single setting. Have them pull the child aside, explain to them the situation… tell the child to be mindful (if they are old enough) and then contact the parent (or let the child go back to class until service is over).

I have found in every sensitive situation that the best course of action is to be immediate, clear and kind. The more I try to beat around the bush, overly sensitive and mushy, the more it actually makes the family feel embarrassed and trashy.

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