Many of those who work in schools, support and secretarial as well as teaching, will have encountered a difficult situation with a parent at least once. Some parents can be very intimidating or even aggressive. Staff find themselves increasingly threatened by seemingly unreasonable parents. Such encounters can escalate to a situation where awkward conversations are avoided, or a there is a complete breakdown in communication. This has never been more prevalent than in Independent Schools, where parents are driven partly by the current concept of ‘consumer care’ embedded in educational culture together with the quite natural desire to see their children thrive, repaying the enormous financial sacrifice that they are making. This course looks at the issues that can lead to parents becoming frustrated or angry. Some of these might need the school to take a look at why these situations might arise. Equally, some parents remain ‘difficult’ despite the school’s best efforts. We shall examine these situations in detail looking at the factors that increase anger and how to defuse it.
During the course anecdotes will be shared with others, including the trainer’s wealth of experience. The emphasis throughout is on useful, practical tips that you can take back to the workplace. Managing difficult parents can only be beneficial for all; increasing school effectiveness and reducing stress levels. When faced with such challenges it becomes even more important that we recognise work place stress and know how to deal with it. The course will culminate in some positive strategies to help PAs respond with confidence to the ever changing educational landscape.
Introduction and housekeeping
Why do parents become frustrated?
Understanding parents’ perspectives
Communication and developing language and listening skills
Why body language matters
What to do when you get ambushed
The unwanted phone call
Dealing with complaints
Stress management and positive outcomes
Developing time management
Identifying skills as education changes
Coping with Change