If you've ever been a verbal punching bag for an unruly parent, you might be surprised to read how common this kind of abuse is becoming. Obviously, if you are forced to face down a violent or aggressive parent, strategies will do very little to help bring a positive resolution. But teachers should be aware of the problem and think through what their school's policy is and what their personal reaction should be.
Like most things, there's a science to the emotion of anger. This author boils down the reasons behind why we get angry to two: violation of expectation and blockage of goals. And while different people have different specific anger triggers, knowing that anger is rooted in those basic causes can help you to put yourself in the shoes of someone whose anger at you seems irrational.
The two-word answer--very carefully--is only partially tongue-in-cheek. The rest of this NEA article details some specific strategies to employ when you find yourself on the receiving end of a parent tantrum.
When we think about dealing with an angry parent, we tend to envision a person whose face is contorted, body language aggressive and voice raised. However, anger sometimes comes in a passive-aggressive package. This article addresses this more subtle--and sometimes more difficult--type of anger, although the tips for dealing with it are much the same as for open anger.
While this resource is not aimed at teachers in particular, but rather social workers and counselors, the principles remain the same. In addition to practical advice on how to deal with the heat, the article suggests a number of phrases to avoid with parents.
It's one thing when a parent becomes angry with us, but quite another when we find ourselves becoming angry with a parent, student or colleague. This article addresses the problem of our own anger and suggests how to channel it in a healthy way.