Dealing with Angry Parents
Angry parents can be daunting, especially if it’s the first time you’ve had to deal with them. They may be yelling, screaming and verbally attacking you, so it’s important for you, as a teacher, to know how to handle the situation. Parents often tend to get angry because they’re upset about something and they want to protect their child. As a teacher, it’s something you are likely to experience at some point in your career, which is why it’s imperative you know how to deal with confrontation. But what can you do about angry parents? Here are some dos and don’ts on how to deal with conflict from parents.
Do Stay Calm
Unless you stay calm, it’s likely that you’ll end up making the situation worse. One of the worst things you can do when being confronted by an angry parent is to rise and react to their heightened emotions. Even if you’re feeling defensive, you must not start shouting back at them. By talking in a calm manner, there’s more chance that the situation will calm down quicker.
Do Listen to What They’re Saying
It’s important that you fully understand their concerns before you offer a response. By letting them have their say, you’ll find out exactly what it is they are upset and angry about. Provide them with the opportunity to tell you everything they need to tell you, and you’ll be able to get to the bottom of the situation.
Do Address the Situation Professionally
Be cool, calm and collected. That’s one of the most important things you can do. If it’s your professional integrity that’s been questioned, this is the opportunity for you to show the angry parents just how professional you are. This is about showing them that you have the same concerns for the student and that you’re there to help them get the best education possible. If it’s a personal matter, you can try building a rapport with the student to help better your relationship with them.
Do be Proactive About it
Don’t shy away from the issue! If there’s something that you can do to put the parents’ mind at ease, then do it. By being proactive, it’ll show the parents that you’re taking their concerns seriously. Whether their issue is something that’s happened within the classroom or an issue they have with how you’ve previously handled a situation, it’s essential to show them that you care about their child.
REESON Education previously wrote blogs on how to manage conflict in the classroom and how to create a happier classroom. Read these on tips for making a learning environment more enjoyable for everyone if this is what the parents are worried about.
Don’t Panic About it
When parents get angry, don’t worry about it. Your first reaction may be to get defensive or upset, which is only human. However, in these situations, it’s important that you hold your own and don’t run away from it.
Don’t be Afraid to Have Your Say
Once you’ve heard what the parent has to say, it’s fine for you to have your say too. Remember, this is the time to lay everything out on the table. You need to assert yourself as a professional that’s teaching their child and giving them an education that they deserve. Just be respectful, keep calm and let the parents know that anger will not be tolerated. If required, feel free to bring in the head teacher or someone with additional authority.
If it’s found that you’re in the wrong, don’t be afraid to admit it. However, if you still think you handled a situation correctly, let them know that you still stand by your actions.
Don’t Interrupt What They’re Saying
If you don’t let them say what they have to say, the chances are that they’ll get angrier. Simply make a note of everything they are worried about and how you will respond to their concerns when you have your say.
Don’t Try and Reason with Someone Who Can’t be Reasoned with
Sometimes, there’s just no reasoning with someone. Don’t take the issue personally if there’s nothing you can do about it. It could be down to a clash of personalities or it could just be that they were having a bad day. If this is the case, there’s probably not much you can do to try and help, especially if you haven’t done anything wrong.