Pro tip for your next IEP meeting

I’m not saying I have it all figured out, nor am I claiming I came up with this—it was suggested to me, last year, and I’ve been doing it ever since—but what I AM saying is that if you have a kid on an IEP and you have meetings to attend, the single most important thing you can do in preparation for those meetings is to BAKE SOMETHING.

I’m not the world’s greatest baker. Not by a long shot. You don’t have to be. Just bake something delicious. And then bring it with you while it’s still warm.

Why? It’s very simple:
1) Low blood sugar makes people grumpy,
2) It turns out that it’s pretty hard to say “no” to someone when you’re eating the cookies she baked for you.

(Bonus, but not required: Bake something totally decadent that you yourself can’t even eat due to wheat intolerance! Cheaper and easier than having “SELFLESS” tattooed on your forehead!)

I’m just sayin’.

And hey, TOTALLY UNRELATED: Monkey’s homebound services start this week, and they’re sending… his favorite teacher. Huh.


  1. Momsy

    So happy to hear it!

  2. Otto

    Does this work for family meetings, too? Where we discuss chores, the lack of chores being done and the consequences for not doing chores?

    Because I will learn to bake then …


  3. Kim W.

    Otto — You’re brilliant! I don’t know why I didn’t think of that, but that would keep my middle child still AND QUIET for our family meetings. (Not that I don’t want his input. Just a little bit less.)

  4. Annette

    So glad for you and Monkey, Mir. And Otto, let me know how that works out for you:)
    You know, before I bake something myself!

  5. Leandra

    Yay! This is the result you wanted, yes? If you get a chance tomorrow, can you explain what “homebound” services will mean for Monkey?

  6. liv

    do not doubt the power of the cookie. :)

  7. Jennifer

    As an IEP chairperson, I fully support this idea!

  8. Beth

    Totally unrelated huh? Awesome.

    Otto…it should TOTALLY count for family meetings too. Or you could just say chores are directly related to dessert — chores undone = no dessert.

  9. jodie

    Not claiming credit, but I know this is the advice I give to every parent going in to an IEP. We’re just about to do our second natural labor in a not very supportive hospital. Lesson learned – I’m bringing baked treats for the nurses. Lots of them. :)

  10. My Kids Mom

    Homebound services for how long?

  11. Karen

    Amen for small miracles.

  12. Katie in MA

    I really think you should let *me* be the judge of whether you’re the world best baker or not. Just let me know when and where to show up for the test. :)

    That’s great for Monkey! Hopefully this will really be a turning point and we can get back to the 2011 we hoped for!

  13. Karen R.

    Thank goodness. I hope not having to go to school for a while will reduce Monkey’s stress (it helped a lot when my daughter was in a bad placement), and that his reduction in stress means a stress reduction for all of you.

  14. Heather

    Ah yes, clever and selfless along with pretty and shiny-haired :D

  15. Monique

    Okay, I’m somewhat of a foodie (cooking, not baking, most people prefer one to the other I found), and I have to know. WHAT did you bake? Just so I can get excited, bookmark the recipe, buy the ingredients, make sure I have the necessary tools, and then…not make it.

    But I’ll have the option, that’s the most important part. :)

  16. Kate M

    I’m so glad to hear that totally unrelated tidbit. Thanks for the tip, too. Our IEP meetings have been easy in the past, but I’m bracing myself for our next one in March.

  17. Varda (SquashedMom)

    That is just total awesomeness.

    Our IEPs are currently with a very evil DOE group, and I think even baked goods of the gods could not penetrate their cloud of negativity. We’ll likely be hashing this out in court, and I *think* if you bring baked goods to the Judge that’s called “a bribe” and they toss your ass in jail. Just sayin’.

    But for you? Terrific! Congratulations! His favorite teacher? I’m so happy for Monkey, he deserves for things to break his way right now.

  18. Amy

    As a teacher that has been in many IEP meetings, I second the suggestion to bring baked goods.

  19. Tracy B

    And there is light at the end of the tunnel!!!!! YAY!

  20. Beth R

    Whooo hoooo!!! Happy happy Joy joy!!

  21. elz

    Ah, the almighty powers of chocolate!

  22. laura

    Oh sure, you come up with this brilliant idea when it’s too late for me to use to my advantage. Thanks a lot.

  23. J from Ireland

    His favourite teacher, now that great news. I will definitely used this wise tip Mir, thank you.

  24. Cindy

    Brilliant! Wish I had thought of that years ago. And congrats re: the homebound services. My daughter ended up making great strides forward with one-on-one teaching (after the post-surgical malaise passed, of course).

  25. Lucinda

    So so so glad that some good things are starting to happen. You are on a roll!

  26. Chuck

    I don’t have any meetings coming up or anything, but now I have the urge to bake something. Unfortunately since I can eat wheat, I’d probably end up eating everything myself…hmmm, maybe I’ll bake cookies and take them into work or something.

  27. Momma Chaos

    Ohh man!! I had a meeting today and didn’t read this til after.. I will definitely remember it for when we meet again though :) Yay for Monkey getting his fav. teacher!

  28. Lorraine

    I once joked around with my freshman class at UCDavis that they should bring me a brownie and a latte before our first writing conference. And they pretty much all did. I wound up fat and deeply caffeinated and they all wound up with strange notions about Chaucer having something to do with LSD and Charlie Brown.

  29. Jessica

    This works for anyone in the school, more than likely (although nothing is as wonderful as just being nice and kind for most school staff). I used to do attendance at a school, and sometimes the parents would bring in chocolate or something just as a “thank you” for helping them with all the stuff I do (big tip: most support staff don’t only do one thing at a school, so make sure to thank them for all the many things they do! I got called the “attendance lady” by parents who didn’t know what I did — which was a BUNCH of things completely unrelated to attendance but very important to your student’s graduation hopes — and “that nice lady who helps us so much” by the people who realized how big my job actually was.) Anyway, sorry for the digression there, but I can attest to the fact (having been a teacher as well) that most school employees will take chocolate without complaint. ;) Yum.

    And thank you for mentioning treats! :D

  30. Chris

    I use the baking tactic all the time. It really does work wonders and people start to just think it is cool when you do it, rather than the feeling of this person it totally trying to scam me. Do it enough and they will naturally fall on your side.

    Yep, baking is awesome! It can even help sub-awesome people out…

  31. Debra

    You guys want something totally amazing and easy? Start with a boxed brownie mix, stir in a bag of chocolate chips. Pour the batter in the pan and then sprinkle half a box of brown sugar on top. Bake as directed.

    As my co-worker used to say “so good it’ll make you slap your momma”

  32. PopC

    FYI – the Google ads today all seem to be about drug re-hab programs – in case you were wondering. :{)

  33. ABDPBT

    That is brilliant.

  34. E's Mommy

    I’m so happy for you guys that the homebound services seem like they’re going to work out so well. And that you asked for what Monkey needs and they just gave it to you. Life owes you guys some easy.

  35. Carrie

    IEP meeting tomorrow at 9:30am (unless it is a snow day). Hope I have the ingredients for, well, SOMETHING, on hand.

  36. Megan

    Have you read the book ‘lost at school’ By Ross Greene? You might find it useful. It’s all about how schools can better help kids with ‘behaviour problems’ that is NOT about blaming the child or destroying their self-esteem.

  37. Heide

    We refer to our Homebound teacher as “The Goddess”. She is just that wonderful. She is my daughters biggest advocate. I saw her come out of her chair last year when a thoughtless comment was made during a 504 meeting. I don’t know what we would do without her. Do you have a schoolroom or corner? We discovered pretty quickly that we needed a dedicated space for school when the homebound teacher was here. Mostly because she comes right after regular school hours and that is pretty much the witching hour at our house. Dinner prep, homework, “I sat still and behaved all day and now i must melt down for 30 minutes” time with my other children. I also send her home with dinner at least once a week. She is a single mom. It is the least I can do and she really really appreciates it. I also have a cold Diet coke ready and waiting for her arrival. Anything I can do to alleviate any stress for her. She is a wonderful teacher and person.

    I hope Monkey’s experience is as positive.

  38. Jen

    Great idea Mir. I’m still in the assessment stage with my almost-three year old but I will keep this in mind. I think I’ll bake some cookies for my respite worker this weekend though, she’s a single mom who works and is in school and often doesn’t get home until 7 or 8 at night. Just the idea of ‘paying it forward’ in such a nice, not-expected way makes me feel happy inside. She is so great with my son and even does my dishes if he’s napping while she’s here, she really deserves some yummy goodness. Thanks again and so glad to hear things are looking up a little with the Monkey situation.

  39. s

    score big for you! (and betting you didn’t bring them glasses of milk to wash your baked goods down – thinking your selfless act would lose something if you gagged while they dunked)

    I hope having Monkey’s favorite teacher providing homebound services turns things around for your family!

  40. Deirdre

    I am a firm believer in keeping anyone who works with my kids happy. Regular Panera cards are my method, since our county frowns on (the polite way of saying there is an outright ban) home-made items brought into the classroom. Never even occurred to me that I could still bake for the staff, though. If anyone groans and asks why I am tempting them, I will refer them to you. :)

  41. Aimee

    Well, if those cookies of yours are any measure, I’d say it’s no wonder this method worked. Yum!

  42. Kim

    Absolutely ~ baking works better than logic in an IEP meeting. Period.

    Glad it’s working for you, too. :)

  43. Daisy

    Baking for the IEP; how is it that I never thought of that? Maybe because I was always teaching all day, too. I used to moan that there wasn’t a Starbucks between my school and Amigo’s.

    Amigo used to call it an I Eat Pizza. Whatever works, I always say.

  44. Jen

    Oh… I LIKE this idea! As it turned out the people at the table at my son’s IEP this last fall were SOOO nice. While i didn’t get everything that I thought he should have, (i know, I want the best for him and not the appropriate” services) he did get something which is MORE than the previous school district offered. (Yeah… ask me why we left that school district. ) I would have happily brought them fresh from the oven Krispy Kreme’s if I had thought it would give me some leverage.

    Thank you for the idea. I definitely need to keep this in mind for next August :)

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