Working With Challenging Parents: Strategies and Techniques
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Understand the different types of parental behaviors and learn effective responses that will lead to positive, productive outcomes.Working in public and private schools, teachers, specialists and administrators end up interacting with many different kinds of people with different needs from widely varying backgrounds. Being able to manage these interactions in an assertive, sensitive and responsive manner requires skills that many of us were never explicitly taught. It also requires a basic understanding of the feelings and attitudes that underlie much of the behavior exhibited by 'difficult' or challenging parents as well as our own biases and triggers, so that we are able to respond in ways that allow the other person to feel heard and respected. This topic helps you understand the factors that contribute to the behaviors typically observed in challenging parents, explore some of our own biases that can get in the way during these interactions, and learn specific strategies for responding in ways that will help parents feel more at ease and feel less defensive and will lead to productive outcomes and stronger partnerships. This topic is important for all school staff who have to work directly with parents, and presents concrete suggestions for moving past the impediments that can too easily result in entrenched conflicts or even litigation.
Kathy Flores, San Lorenzo Unified School District
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