Dealing with Difficult Parents
Natalie Schwartz, author and featured contributor to the teacher resource site The Apple, has written a great article on dealing with parents, specifically those that seem to cause the most stress and problems. She has categorized difficult parents into five groups including the "over-involved parent", the "absent parent", the "demanding parent", the "defensive parent", and the "uncooperative parent". In her article, Schwartz describes characteristics of each groups and gives advice on how to approach and communicate with each type. Parents who are over-involved.
Communication with over-involved parents can feel like a daily task. One voice message or email does not seem to satisfy this personality type so they will continue to attempt contact until they succeed. The matters to be discussed can range from the mundane to honest concerns. Schwartz suggests that, while parents should be encouraged to get involved in their child's education, if you find you're spending too much time focusing on one student, the situation needs to be addressed. Think about creating a communication schedule that will meet both your needs and that of the parent (e.g. a phone call every two weeks to discuss their child's progress and other concerns the parent might have, etc.).
For a description and solution of the other parent groups, be sure to read the rest of Schwartz's article. It is a wonderful resource that provides realistic advice!
Take a look at our great selection of parent-teacher communication resources.