Dealing with Difficult Parents (346:365)



What do you do when parents are not sending a positive message to the kids or school community?


I was recently reflecting on this after having one of the most mind-blowing conversations I’ve ever had with a parent. Without going into detail, I walked away from the conversation feeling sorry for the kids that have to deal with this everyday! I know I didn’t get through to this person, and I am not sure what else I (or anyone else for that matter) can do.


After the encounter, and preparing for this blog, I got some tips from Todd Whittaker, who wrote the book Dealing With Difficult Parents.


  • Dealing with difficult parents requires that Principals first deal with themselves. You do not have to prove you are in charge because everyone knows you are in charge
  • Effective Principals never argue, scream, use sarcasm or act unprofessionally
  • Principals are the role model for parents, teachers, students and other staff – You have to act like it!
  • If a parent is being rude and belligerent to you, try this, “Please don’t speak to me like that. I will never speak to you like that and I will never speak to your child like that.” If you are really confident in the professionalism of your staff, you can add in – “And no one from this school will ever speak to you or your child like that”
  • Here is the entire article


How do you deal with difficult parents in your district?

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