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Dealing with Difficult Parents

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Bev Peters

on 28 September 2015

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Transcript of Dealing with Difficult Parents

Dealing with Difficult Parents
We live in a pain-free, risk-averse society that is different than the one we grew up in.
Students have become more insulated from risk, or difficult situations that they may not be successful... including school.
Parents may want to rescue their child quickly.
Parents are under pressure too.... society, friends, media... guilt.
Sometimes teachers face the brunt.
Strategies for Dealing with Difficult Parents
Are you scared yet...still...???
Be Mindful of:
4. Get your message home first.
7. Contact parents often.. difficult ones more often.
1. Remember the child is the parents' life's work.
2. Choose your words carefully... they matter.
3. You are professional... don't allow abusive behavior.
6. Don't lament over what is or isn't happening at home... you can only control what goes on at school.
5. Take notes.
8. Work together... Be open minded... honestly!
9. Involve your administrators.. be honest and early.
Tips that have worked for me
Clarify the problem:
"What exactly do you want?"
Choose your words carefully, they matter
Use dishonest... not liar
Don't be defensive
Parents own history
Very High
If you have made a mistake, say sorry
I can't stress this one enough with difficult parents
10. Offer a compliment. (Suzie is lucky to have a parent like you who cares so much)
11. Be proactive and prepared.
12. Take some deep breaths.
Remember that parents know their child best
Try to see it from their perspective
Be sensitive to parents work hours when calling.
Ask if it is an okay time to talk
Smother Mother
Do it often, it gets easier
Avoid email
Bullying, School Violence and Student Safety
A very prevalent issue for parents now
A great deal of media attention and sensationalism on this.
Bullying suicides
Has created doubt in some minds that schools can do enough... parents feel they need to do more.
What parents say about us!
**I don't find about a problem with my child until it has escalated out of control."
**I contacted my child's teacher and they didn't get back to me for a week."
"It's never easy but with skills/strategies, it does get easier!"
~Bev Peters

**The teacher is always so defensive when I ask questions about my child's progress or lack of it."
**I don't want to attend parent/teacher conferences because all I hear are bad things about my child."
**The teacher would never admit he/she is wrong."
**The teacher simply does not like my child and therefore he/she can only do wrong."
Statement for Angry Parents

1. Why did your child say happened?

2. What would you like for me to do?

3. What can we do together to solve/remedy this issue?
Dad and Mom, eyes wild, barge into your classroom screaming, "How dare you give Ashley an F?"

Ashley smirks, the class cheers and the principal walks in...
...Ok, that's probably not going to happen. But angry parents can do a lot of damage, whether or not there's any basis for their anger!
Success depends on moving from confrontation to problem-solving!
More Tips:
*Document, document, document
*Don't communicate with a parent(s) when you are angry
*Goals for a parent meeting should always be child-centered with a clear plan of action
Parents rarely intend to be the flame-breathing creatures you see in your worst nightmares!
Full transcript