Working with Challenging Parents
Ch. 2 Dealing with Anger
We're a Teacher-Parent Team
We must approach our parents like a teammate. Like any team, we'll have losing and winning seasons. Therefore, it's important to note that a group will process through five stages of behavior. These five stages of group behavior are:
- forming--orientation process
- storming--ariseal of conflict
- norming--development of a bond
- performing--productive phase
- and adjourning--accomplishment of goals
When CONFLICT happens
Things to Remember about Anger
- Anger is a natural response when one feels as if they are being attacked
- Sometimes it's mis-directed
- You can't control how a parent behaves, but you can control how you react
Get un-stuck in the Storm
1. Remain Calm
2. Be Specific
3. AGREE with ONE item
4. Be kind
What do I do?
- When possible, schedule the parent meeting ahead of time. You want to have time to collect your thoughts.
- Create an agenda of the specific areas you'd like to discuss with the parent.
- Greet the parent at the door.
- Sit at the student desks. You do not want to give off an air of superiority.
- Provide a snack of some kind or offer a beverage. You want the parent to feel at ease. Cheetos puts everyone on an equal playing field.
- Let the parent speak first.
- Be sure to have open body language.
- Actively listen.
- Take notes for documentation.
- Do not interrupt.
- If you feel the heat start to rise, remember you are the professional in the room. You must act accordingly.
- "I understand your concern. Here's my concern."
- "Here's the plan" or "I made a mistake".
- Be honest. No one likes to feel like they are being placated or lied to.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.