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Diffusing an Angry Parent

Found In: parents, parent-teacher communication

To deal with an upset parent, the most important thing you can do is diffuse their anger as soon as possible. This is the strategy that worked for me when I was in the classroom. Once I ascertained that the parent was upset (doesn’t take long), my first statement was, “I wish I had more parents like you.” This stops them in their tracks since they are expecting you to disagree, defend yourself, or even question their motives. I go on to explain that I wish I had more parents who cared enough about their child to come to school (or call) about their concerns. It’s amazing how this simple and true statement works like a charm. You may not agree with their assessment, but it is true that they care about their child. They are then more likely to engage in a calm discussion with you about their child.


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