Making the decision to become a teacher is not an easy one. It’s even harder when you have to deal with distressed parents from time to time. When parents get angry with their children’s teachers, it can be a challenging and uncomfortable situation for all involved. However, there are ways to deal with difficult parents in a way that minimizes the stress for everyone.
Here are some dos and don’ts for teachers dealing with parents’ complaints.
How To Deal With Difficult Parents: 10 Dos and Don’ts
The first thing to keep in mind as a teacher dealing with parents’ complaints is to remain calm. However, staying calm while dealing with what some may call difficult or annoying daycare parents is easier said than done. Consider these tips for the next time you find yourself in such a situation.
5 Dos for Dealing With Parents as a Teacher
1. Listen to the parents’ concerns.
Thank them for bringing the matter to your attention, then tell them that you will look into it right away. Follow up with a phone call or email within 24-48 hours letting them know what actions or solutions you will be taking.
2. Treat all parents with respect regardless of how irate they may be.
Even if you are having a difficult time controlling your own emotions while dealing with multiple complaints from upset parents, it’s vital that you remain calm and respectful during high-stress interactions. This will help keep the situation under control and hopefully prevent the angry parent from being incensed further.
3. Be as honest as possible when responding to a parent’s complaints.
If you can, take responsibility for what they are unhappy about and apologize — if the situation warrants it. However, don’t feel pressured to take the blame if the situation is out of your hands. Be honest with parents about the situation, and avoid hiding information that may lead to further complications.
4. Take deep breaths in the face of frustration.
As a teacher dealing with parents’ complaints, it can grow tiring and you may feel growing irritation or frustration. Avoid acting out on this feeling. This will only escalate the situation further and may make things worse than they already are. Instead, take a few deep breaths and allow yourself a moment to calm down and realign.
5. Keep the lines of communication open.
If parents complain directly to teachers, always try your best to respond in a timely manner. This will help keep the situation from escalating further, and should make both teachers and parents happy in the end.
5 Don’ts for Handling Angry Parents
Avoid doing these things when dealing with parents as a teacher for the best results.
1. Don’t try to reason with parents who seem unrelenting in their demand for how teachers should teach their child.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen carefully and try to understand where they’re coming from. But when a parent is being disrespectful or is insulting teachers, don’t respond in a similar way. Instead, remain calm and polite, while letting the parent know that you will do your best to address the matter as swiftly as possible.
2. Don’t ignore the parents during these interactions.
Try to be diplomatic with your responses and focus on how you can come up with a solution that works best for everyone involved, especially the child. It’s important that teachers remember that acting defensively will only make matters worse and take the attention off of the problem at hand.
3. Don’t take out your frustrations on your co-workers and students.
Teachers should always try to maintain professionalism and dignity, even if you have felt mistreated by a parent. Taking your feelings out on the students will not help resolve any concern at all.
4. Don’t give in to parents who are rude or have incessant demands.
It’s important teachers stay true to their own teaching methods and don’t let opinionated parents sway their perspective. This will only leave teachers feeling unappreciated, dissatisfied with the way they are doing their job, and can cause ill feelings all around.
5. Don’t be afraid to tell the administration when parents are disrespectful.
If teachers feel like they aren’t being supported, it can make the situation much harder to deal with. Therefore, teachers should always let their school administrators know what’s going on so they can help resolve any problems that may arise with a parent.
Effective and Happy Teaching Starts With a Supportive Community
Teachers play a crucial role in our society, and they need to be able to perform their duties without feeling like they are constantly under fire or unappreciated for the work that they do. With teachers struggling with these stressful yet inevitable parent interactions, it’s important that you have resources available when handling irate parents to stay motivated and focused.
A supportive faculty and caring community are what teachers should be looking for when seeking an early education position. Cadence Education is one of the best places where teachers can work with both to help resolve any conflicts that may arise with parents. We value diversity, inclusion, respect for all, and kindness, and we make sure that our teaching community is aligned with this belief.
With more than 27 years of educating young minds, we have built a strong foundation to help the next generation succeed — and we begin this by taking care of our team.