How to Handle Reluctant Parents
As a home tutor, getting a parent involved is a totally different job. When you collaborate, you will encounter several parent types in addition to various student types. Sometimes the sorts are different, but generally speaking, some parents are helpful and collaborate well with you to support their child’s development. A home tutor may also come across helicopter parents, who constantly watch over their kids and become defensive when you bring up concerns or even reports of the child’s poor performance. As a result, you’ll also come across parents who are just uninvolved in their child’s academic development and with whom you can only communicate over the phone or even through a third party.
It takes an entire community to raise a child to be a better person and to help them succeed academically. Such facets of a student’s life should involve more than just their home tutor. Even when they are leading the way, children nonetheless require parental support. However, this could be a challenge for home tutors in the case of uncooperative and disinterested parents.
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Why are some parents reluctant?
This is not to say that the blame solely lies with the parents being uninterested in their children’s academic journey. However, some parents do rely most on home tutors especially if they know their child has a good one. With that though, some parents may come off as reluctant because of many reasons such as being too busy with their work, not knowing much about the subject matter, or other personal reasons.
How to handle reluctant parents?
Dealing with parents such as this might be an inevitable aspect of home tutoring. That’s why we’ve compiled some tips to engage a reluctant parent.
1. Don’t assume they don’t care
Reluctant parents are not necessarily indifferent, despite the fact that it is simple to characterize them as such. Quite distinct from other parents, some parents express their love and devotion for their children in different ways. We don’t have all the details of their parent-child relationships, so be patient and try not to pass judgment too quickly. If you believe that a parent is not giving their kids enough attention, gently approach them and bring up the student’s development. They would listen intently and attentively if they genuinely cared about their child’s development.
2. Find the real reasons why they are reluctant
As mentioned earlier, there are many different reasons why some parents choose not to be involved in their child’s education. It can range from a demanding job to stress related to taking care of other people’s children or domestic tasks. Other parents occasionally neglect to check on their children because they have too much faith in them to be self-sufficient and responsible.
As a home tutor, it’s critical to establish rapport with both your student’s parents and yourself. If you can, have a conversation with the parents about the things that keep them from being more involved in their child’s education. Together, come up with a solution. Recall the first tip when doing this, and try to be as courteous as you can. Speaking with parents about these issues will often make them feel defensive or insulted. Tell them you are not passing judgment on them, but rather that you would like to provide support so they can take a more active and involved role in their child’s education.
3. Be flexible
The freedom that a home tutor offers is one benefit that both parents and children can receive from home tuition. When you work as a home tutor, it’s critical to be accessible to parents and make accommodations for them, particularly if they are facing unique challenges that limit their ability to be as involved in their child’s education.
Since the parents’ hectic schedules will be the main cause of this, why not arrange a meeting with them instead of requesting a conversation after each session? In this manner, you may get ready to provide them with all the facts you desire to share and anything they require to know regarding their child’s academic progress. You wouldn’t be going beyond your bounds or interfering with their work as a result. Make sure the meeting is on a day when they are available so you can take the necessary time to talk with them in further detail. Once a week is an acceptable frequency for this, as decided upon by the home tutor and parent.
4. Share stories about their child’s progress
Parents who appear disinterested also want to know about your plans for working as a home tutor. You have to assume that they are still concerned with the events that occur during the lesson. Advise them of your strategies, timelines, progress updates, and even testimonials about their child’s acquired abilities. Additionally, you might discuss with them some of the techniques you’ve employed on the child that appear to be effective for them.
As you do this, you can also discuss with them the ways they can follow through with home tuition during the times the home tutor wouldn’t be there. There can be many things to discuss with the parents. Sharing stories with them will not only make them feel involved in their child’s studies, but they can also use these topics to discuss or ask questions further about their child’s education.
5. Use different types of communication
If the parent isn’t always present during tutoring sessions, home tutors shouldn’t use this as an excuse to not also reach out to the parents and talk to them about the child. With the technology available now, there are multiple ways for you to communicate with your student’s parents that are not restricted to actually talking in person.
If you are unable to speak with the parents in person, you can communicate with them via emails, texts, messaging applications, or even notes. If the parents are unable to communicate, you can also have a conversation with a trusted family member, such as the student’s relative, about any urgent matters that need to be resolved. If they aren’t speaking with you directly either, you shouldn’t put limits on yourself. You only need to figure out a method and talk to them about it. There are several ways to get in touch with them. Having different options for communication still gives the benefit of letting the parents know about their child’s progress even without directly speaking to them.
6. Be understanding of the situation
It is extremely uncommon to come across a parent who genuinely has no concern about their child’s academic success. They may not be as involved as other parents for the reasons mentioned above but Singaporean parents are concerned about education and seek the greatest education possible for their kids. They therefore have an interest in their child’s development in one way or another.
You should stay positive and show understanding of the situation rather than overwhelming the parents. This will also show your professionalism and compassion for the student. It will show that you are confident in your skills and abilities to offer assistance so that the student can reach their goals and true potential.
7. Offer solutions
Make sure you can provide a solution or an alternative to help ease the circumstance or difficulty when you approach parents who are having issues. Some parents may be unaware of the impact their engagement can have on their child’s development. By bringing this to their attention, they may become more invested in the development and advancement of the student.
Provide them with solutions that will demonstrate their commitment to their child’s education. It might be as easy as advising them to write their child a heartfelt note of encouragement or congrats following their examinations or tests. Even the tiniest token can have a big influence on a parent’s child’s growth and will to succeed in school. In this way, they will come to understand that to help the child achieve better outcomes, they should be more involved and supportive.
It’s inevitable that you’ll encounter a reluctant or uninvolved parent throughout your career. However, before judging too harshly, make sure to know and understand the reasons first and work on the ways how you can help them become more engaged in their child’s academic development.