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One of the toughest challenges faced by today's teachers involves working with Helicopter Parents. While they do it out of great love, these parents cripple their children by hovering over them and rescuing them from the consequences of their actions. Unwittingly, they also sabotage their children's learning by criticizing teachers for expecting too much out of their kids.
 
We've seen countless Helicopter Parents transformed by skillful, patient teachers. In his CD set Putting Parents at Ease, Jim Fay…my dad…teaches a variety of tips for building relationships with such parents so that everybody wins. Listed below is a sampling of these tips:
  • Remember that parents who look angry and resistant are usually hurting inside.
  • When we remember this, it becomes much easier to avoid becoming defensive or angry ourselves.
  • The most powerful skill involves listening and allowing parents to vent about their frustrations…before sharing our ideas.
  • "Tell me more." "What would you like to see here?" or "How long have you felt this way?" are great responses to show parents how much you care…and to get them talking.
  • Share your ideas only after making sure that the parent is ready. Asking, "Would you like to hear my thoughts on this?" is a good way of showing respect and testing to see if they are ready to listen.
NOTE: These ideas also work great with angry spouses!
 
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
 
Dr. Charles Fay
 
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