Today we’re going to talk about five tips for how to deal with a difficult parent.
The more a parent loves a child, the more protective they are of them.
While there are parents who’ll email you when there’s a problem and will actively work with you to find a solution in a calm and rational manner, there are others who will jump at everything their child says and forget to ask about other perspectives. Some will listen to you when you outline the issue for them, while other parents won’t. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to understand the situation in its entirety and find a way to appease both of you.
#1. Keep Your Cool
Many times when there’s a problem in school, a small issue might turn into a major one in a child’s mind by the time they get home. As you’re taking care of a child who is close a parent’s heart, many times, their first instinct is to protect them at all costs. This means that the parent may not have all of the facts but there’s a strong desire to care for the child. Remember this when a parent gets flustered and starts talking negatively or yells at you. Take a deep breath and remain calm.
#2. Set Clear Boundaries
At the beginning of the year or when you feel that parents are monopolizing too much of your time, set clear meeting time frames, set your alarms, remind parents of their meeting start and end time and gently walk parents to the door when their time is up.
Ask parents to email you about the problem ahead so that you have time to formulate a plan that’s helpful for them before they arrive to the meeting. This also gives the parent a space to vent and calm down before they see you in person or talk to you over the phone.
#3. Focus on Perspective
Listen to what the parent has to say and put yourself in their shoes. This’ll help you see the problem from their perspective so that you can calmly and confidently address it and come up with a solution that meets their needs as well as your own.
#4. Show You Care
Discuss the relationship you have with their child and follow-up with them after the meeting to show them that you heard what they had to say. Outline what you’ve implemented, how it’s working out and what you plan to do next.
#5. Ask For Help
If you’re unable to address their concerns or if the problem gets too far out of control, don’t be afraid to ask for support from another teacher or administration. If you need them present as a buffer, invite them to attend.
It’s common knowledge that not every parent can be rational when it comes to their loved ones being or feeling hurt. It looks worse when a problem escalates to a point where it’s incredibly difficult to manage than when the problem is just arising.
Let’s recap really quickly. Today, we looked at the following:
- The reasons why some parents may be difficult at times.
- We looked at five actionable steps: keep your cool, set clear boundaries, focus on perspective, show you care, and ask for help.
- How to implement each of the strategies.
In the mean time, if planning so that you’re ahead is not your jam, then check out the following: FREE MASTERCLASS: Systematic Plan to Super Passionate.
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I’ll see you next Friday at 5:30pm PST.
Until I see you next time, remember to create, experience & teach from the heart.