Encountering difficult attitudes while working as a teacher can be personally annoying and professionally discouraging. Dealing with such attitudes and behaviors primarily includes the identification of the feelings or circumstances and aiming at finding a solution rather than focusing on the accusation. There are three main behaviors that are important to be able to identify and solve: hostility, apparent indifference, and overinvolvement.
Hostility can usually be a mask for other emotions and requires calm responses. While dealing with a hostile parent, it is necessary to separate professional feelings (Gestwicki, 2015). Responding defensively or emotionally can only worsen the situation. Remaining calm, constructive and respectful is the best way to deal with frustrated parents (Gestwicki, 2015). Whether it is a parent, relative, or acquaintance, staying calm can always be applied in any hostile situation.
Apparent indifference usually comes from parents’ socioeconomic or work conditions. The best way to respond to this behavior is to assess the reasons for unavailability (Gestwicki, 2015). Displaying the understanding of the parents’ circumstances and finding other communication methods is crucial (Gestwicki, 2015). This strategy can be used by teachers and in everyday life. Respect and thoughtfulness of other people’s living conditions are necessary for establishing a healthy relationship.
Overinvolvement occurs usually due to the parents’ own needs and definitions of the parenting role. To deal with such behavior, the teacher should always respond in a way that shows their acknowledgment of these needs (Gestwicki, 2015). It is also important to protect children’s independence (Gestwicki, 2015). The problem of overly involved parents can often occur while working with pre-kindergarten children. As such, in this line of work, parents’ needs and children’s independence should always be respected.
Working with children, especially pre-kindergarten, can be quite challenging because of the children and their parents’ troublesome behavior. The most difficult behaviors that a teacher must deal with are hostility, apparent indifference, and overinvolvement. However, there are ways to deal with them that involve remaining calm and respectful, identifying the feelings or circumstances, and focusing on finding the solution for the challenging attitude.
Gestwicki, C. (2015). Home, school, and community relations (9th ed.). Cengage Learning.