Everything You Need to Know About Difficult Parents!!!

In the course of managing your school, you will come across some difficult parents.

I am sure you are already familiar with what we are talking about. Because, you must have met different types of parents in times of their attitude and support to your school. Including abusive and difficult parents.

Types of Parents

Parents are generally in 3 different categories:

  1. Constructive Parents. Constructive Parents are parents that are constructive in their advice or criticism to your school. At all times.
  •  The Silent Majority. These are parents that are silent in whatever form. They will not contribute even on your school’s social media platforms. They are the silent majority.
  • Difficult Parents. Difficult Parents are parents that are always negative and insulting.

The constructive parents understand that you are in charge of managing your school. With this understanding, they will give you necessary advice for the school to grow. Even when they criticize the school, the criticism is always constructive.

They look for any means to encourage your school to be successful. And hoping that you will take a wise decision.

The silent majority are those that remain silent on virtually all interactions and meetings. Even in WhatsApp and other social media platforms, they will hardly contribute. They are usually the silent majority. They are not difficult parents.

The difficult parents are the vocal minority who will want to monopolize discussions at every given opportunity. They are usually negative and insulting. These are the difficult parents. They have certain characteristics.

Difficult Parents can be disruptive. Be patient!

9 Proven Characteristics of Difficult Parents.

  1. Difficult parents are abusive in nature. They will usually want to take solace with the usually misunderstood parlance that “the customer is king” to make so many abusive statements against the personality of school administrators.
  • They will create imaginary scenarios, sometimes blatant lies, and present as facts. Hearsay is taken as fact. You will hear from them statements like “I heard it from someone who was an eyewitness”.
  • Difficult parents will try to put legitimacy to their lies or mischief. They will even tell you that it was one of your staff that told them. Forgetting that anything they say that they are not eyewitnesses of is pure hearsay. And hearsay is not acceptable or tenable in law.
  • This category of parents will want to impose their suggestions on the school. Where you don’t do their bidding, they will spread dangerous rumors about the school. Mainly lies.
  • Difficult parents normally do not care that they don’t manage the school. No. They will want to insist on what they say. For them, the school is under the parents. So, the school must do their bidding.
  • Difficult parents are most times sentimental. They will want to draw other parents to their side. Most times without success.
  • They will also want to drag the PTA Executives to take sides with them and sometimes insult them. “What are the executives doing” they will say.
  • Difficult parents will also try to magnify little issues that should be settled amicably between the school and some aggrieved parents. They will paint the issue and the school “black” and put it on the platform. So that the school can be given a bad name.
  • They may not pay school fees on time. And anytime you drive their children home to collect school fees, they will attempt to fight the school Administrators.

The joy is that this category of negative and abusive parents is always very few. About 2 to 3 in number. Or a maximum of 5 in every school. They will want to dominate the discussion on every platform.

Because they are negative, they hardly say anything constructive.

How to Manage Difficult Parents.

How should you deal with this type of parents?

At Jofegan International School, we are guided by:

  1. The school objectives as enshrined in the schools strategic, annual and marketing plans.
  • School policies/operational manual
  • The need of the students – you are training the students and not the parents.
  • Best practices

Where you don’t have strategic and tactical (annual) plans; and policies in place, please develop them. It helps you in decision making.

Anything that will take your eyes off your objectives and targets should be discarded.

Where there is constructive advice from the constructive parents then you can use it to enrich your plans.

You also need to understand that you are the one managing the school and not the parents.

Parents’ responsibility is to advice. Yours is to take decision.

This is exactly what we do at Jofegan International School. We listen to advice. But we will not accept being dictated to.

We are guided by our objectives, policies, the need of our students and best practice. That is what management is all about.

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