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Monday, September 07, 2009

THAT'LL teach 'em!

Today, we have a guest post from Adrienne Carlson, who writes for Online Degrees. Her post is called "How to Deal with Difficult Parents," and it may very well offend some people, especially a few people who read Joanne Jacobs...

People who recognize this article as being written sarcastically and totally tongue-in-cheek, however should be just fine. On a personal note, I would never recommend doing what is suggested in this article, but then again, I would never recommend drilling a hole in your head either, so use your own common sense.

How to Deal with Difficult Parents

If you’re a teacher of toddlers or very young children, there are times when you’ve probably felt that it is easier to deal with the most difficult of students than to interact with their pushy parents. You can control the kids with the threat of disciplinary action and a commanding voice, but when it comes to parents who just have to interfere in every tiny aspect of their child’s life and micromanage it to the point where they feel that they have to control you, his or her teacher, you find yourself struggling to hold on to your temper and avoid blurting out words that you’ll definitely regret a while later.

But then, the frustration stays, and you end up stressed out and sapped of all your energy when you have to deal with more than one of this kind, so you need a strategy that you can put to use when confronted by interfering parents who are never going to believe that their precious child is in good hands with you. And to this end, here’s what you can do to improve your mood and look at the lighter side of teaching children:

If you’re interrupted during class, leave the parent in charge of your kids for just five minutes while you hide behind the door and watch them try to control the resultant mayhem. Perhaps this will teach them a lesson or two about managing a whole bunch of kids and also drive home the message that it is definitely not an easy job to control a group of tiny tots.

If you’re cornered after class, grab a screaming kid who’s been giving you trouble all day and ask the parent in question in a sweet voice if they would mind calming him/her for you. Sugarcoat the request with a sycophantic statement as to how you know their excellent parenting skills will come to the fore in helping you out with this crisis.

If you’re ambushed before class, drag the parent with you to the classroom under the pretext that you have no time to spare and ensure that they spend at least an hour on one of those tiny chairs, listening to your kids recite nursery rhymes or engage in some other activity. Only when they feel that that they can no longer feel their butts underneath them should they be allowed to leave. Until then though, hold them there with a smiling face that says you’ll be with them in just a moment to talk about the issue they brought up in the corridor.

Pushy parents are a teacher’s nightmare, but if you know how to deal with them cleverly and without losing your temper, you know you have the job of your dreams.

This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of online degrees . Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address:

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