Have you ever been caught off-guard by an unhappy parent?
Parental concerns can be like dynamite. Unpick a parent’s issue to decide what do or say to resolve the situation.
Depending on the problem a parent has, there are different ways of approaching them:
- A parent with a complaint: Ask them to give you as much information as they can. Make a note of their complaint. Show empathy and explain that you will look into the issue and get back to them by the end of the day.
- A confused parent: Ask them questions to find out what it is they need more information about. If you’re able to, solve their confusion by giving them the information they need. If not, tell them you’ll find out more and let them know.
- A cross parent: Keep calm, listen, clarify and ask questions. Show empathy and paraphrase their concerns. Remember: if a parent becomes angry and you feel uncomfortable, tell them you are unable to talk to them when they are not being respectful. Walk away from the situation and straight towards the senior leaders, who should manage the situation for you.
- A concerned parent: Explain you can see they are concerned and that you understand why. Ask questions to unpick the concern further. Reassure them that you have understood and that you are going to support them in the best way you can as a school.
Why is it a good strategy?
If a parent wants a lengthy conversation, explain that you want to give the issue the time it deserves and so need to meet after school.