It seems like every school has them: The coach who blames a championship loss on the kid who missed the last shot. The drama teacher who plays favorites and relegates the rest to the chorus line every time. The guidance counselor who tells students they’ll never get into a good college.

In “Adult Ed,” from Family Circle’s September issue, teen parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman shares her advice on dealing with your kid’s teachers and coaches—and their questionable behavior. She’ll help you figure out when it’s appropriate to interfere and how to do it without losing your temper. First step: Decide on your role in your child’s conflict—is this his responsibility or yours?—while considering the type of adult you’re dealing with. Don’t forget that your child’s perspective may not be 100 percent accurate. (Teens and tweens can be overly sensitive, after all.)

Knowing how to have these confrontations is increasingly important as your kids get older. They’ll spend more time at school and practice with teachers and coaches and less time at home with you. They will find adults who will write them college recommendations and be their mentors. And they need your example now to learn how to navigate conflict with authority figures in the future—without damaging these relationships.

Have you ever had to confront a teacher or coach? Did it go as you’d hoped it would? Or, if you’ve never had these conversations, has this story inspired you to speak up next time? Share in the comments below.

—Corinne Chin