SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Now that kids are back in school, it’s almost that time — parent-teacher conferences are coming up. Parenting expert and journalist Donna Tetreault speaks with ABC4’s Emily Clark about the importance of parent-teacher conferences.

What are the ways parents can make the most of these conferences? It’s important to check in with your child before the meeting, first and foremost.

“We want to get their perspective,” says Tetreault. “We want to see how they’re feeling. This is also a time for them to advocate for themselves. Because if they’re not feeling too good in school and they have something they want to talk to the teacher about but don’t really know how to do that, they’ll be able to use you, the parent, to help them through that.”

Tetreault says it’s important to listen to your child without judging. Take into consideration any new passions or activities they may show interest in and encourage them.

Heading into the conference, it’s important to leave all preconceived notions at the door. Make sure to listen to both the teacher and your child, no matter if the information you’re hearing is deemed “positive” or “negative.”

Remember, your child’s teacher is only human. It’s important to remember your child, their teacher, and you as a parent are all working together as a team. A little empathy for your child’s teacher goes a long way. Showing up for both your child and their teacher shows that you’re involved and you care.

To check out the entire conversation, watch the video above.