I have a tendency to take things personally. And as an emotional extrovert it’s difficult for me not to get caught up in other people’s emotions. This is great if you are part of a pep rally, but a challenge when dealing with emotional or angry parents.
As a result I would set up a guard and always be on the defensive. In the end all it did was wear me out. Things didn’t begin to change until I learned:
CONFLICT IS INEVITABLE
Parenting is a challenge, which means you are going to deal with an array of emotions and frustration. Sometimes it will be due to your actions and other times it will have nothing to do with you. If you embrace the fact that conflict is a part of the job you can then start tackling the situation.
LISTEN BEFORE YOU ACT
There is usually a story beneath the story. A parent might be voicing a concern or critiquing you because there is:
- A lack of communication
- Something happening that they cannot control
- Pressure in their life they are reacting to
You can best serve parents by listening to the whole story and asking questions. Once a parent knows that they are being heard then they you will know how to best serve them.
KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS
You might want to fight back, but the only way to react effectively is with love. Thank parents for taking the steps to approach you. Show them that you appreciate their trust to share sensitive information.
Smile, let them know they’ve been heard and remember that they are God’s children. When a parent experiences your kindness they’ll discover that you are for them and not against them.
Again, parenting is a challenge. There is no manual and so they are going to come to you for assistance. Do not push them away and embrace the opportunity. You will not only serve them but build an advocate for what you are trying to accomplish.
How do you handle angry and emotional parents?