As a home tutor, you will not only be dealing with the students but also their parents. And throughout your career, there will be chances where you will be facing an angry parent. It can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if the parent appears in front of you already blowing stream by the ear and wants answers right now. There are many reasons why parents may show anger directed to the home tutor such as they might not like the way the home tutor corrects their child or they might be frustrated at the progress the child is showing and want more results. Or it could be just the parent was having a bad day.
Whatever the reason may be, the home tutor should arm themselves with a concrete plan in handling a parent like this. Here we have gathered some tips in dealing with a situation involving an angry parent.
There will be no point in also reciprocating anger with anger. When a home tutor is faced with an angry parent, it’s best to always stay calm if you want to defend yourself coherently and explain your side.
Staying calm will not only let you think properly and analyze the concerns raised, it will also help diffuse the situation and not make the situation worse by also being angry with the parent. The situation will not escalate further if the home tutor makes sure to not speak in an equally angry tone. If they are met with calmness instead of the same anger they are aiming at the home tutor, parents will slowly realize that there is something amiss and will also hopefully calm down.
It also helps to be the cool-headed one in this situation and not do or say anything that could jeopardize your job or your relationship with your student and their parents. As stated, there’s no point in being angry with an already angry person. It will only result in a fight and the issue may not be resolved at all.
Once the parents start to talk, let them speak and don’t interrupt them. Even if they are ranting about the things you can easily explain or even just venting out their feelings and frustrations, let them talk and only listen very closely. Sometimes, their rants and venting will give the home tutor the general idea of how they took the home tutor’s actions and if they have misinterpreted or misunderstood it in any sense. Through letting them speak first and letting them rant, the home tutor can find out exactly what and which part has upset them enough to cause such reaction.
While it can be irritating also, home tutors shouldn’t quickly jump into diving in the conversation and immediately defend themselves. If the home tutor chooses to interrupt the parents’ tirade every now and again, this can also irritate the parents more and make them angrier or even make a big issue out of the home tutor constantly interrupting them.
Again, if this happens, the issue will never be resolved and will only turn into more misunderstanding. A home tutor can respond only after they feel like the parents have let it all out and they are ready for a response.
Once the home tutor understands what has upset the parents or caused them to have an angry reaction, they can categorize the cause of the anger. For example, if they are complaining about the tuition fees or the schedule of the tuition session, then you can refer them to discuss the matter with the tuition agency instead of you. If the complaint is about your teaching method, then discuss with the parent and explain to them why you do the things the way you do. Explain to the parents without being defensive or even condescending, especially when referring their anger or questions to other people such as the tuition agency.
It’s also important to make the parents understand that you get where they are coming from and share the same sentiments with them. Validate their feelings but don’t baby them. Even though the issue may be trivial or something easily remedied, these parents think otherwise. By showing sentiments and understanding with their feelings, parents will know that they are not alone in the situation and it can be fixed.
Even if the fault isn’t entirely the home tutor’s or even if they are not at fault at all, they should understand that in the eyes of an angry parent that is irrelevant. Even if it’s not their fault, home tutors should take responsibility anyway, as this might be the only way to calm the parents down and diffuse the situation from being a full-blown fight.
Simply say that you will take responsibility and take care of the complaint. After all, one of the keys in building up a home tutor’s own teaching styles and techniques will be taking responsibility of the entire tuition. By understanding and taking the responsibility in matters such as this, home tutors will not only gain experience dealing with situation such as but all it can be empowering and liberating for them to show courage in these situations.
Once you’ve taken up the responsibility to deal with the situation, it’s only right to follow it up with an apology, even if the home tutor actually doesn’t see things the parents’ way or the home tutor is not at fault. Most often, parents only want an apology more than anything else. However, still remember to be polite and actually mean the apology, else the parents might think you are insincere.
After all the taking up of responsibility and apology, it’s best to actually do what the home tutor has promised to do. By actually taking care of the problem, home tutors will be ensuring that the situation will not happen again. Don’t wait until the situation arises again to deal with it. Fix the problem as soon as possible.
Once the issue is fixed, it’s also time to discuss with the parent the change the home tutor did or that the problem was taken care of and wouldn’t be an issue later on. By keeping the parents in the loop about the fixing of their complaints, they will also feel that the home tutor is actually reliable and proactive in being a home tutor.
An angry parent may sometimes catch the home tutor off guard. As home tutors, you tend to be very open with your emotions as to relate with the students. Because of this, home tutors are also susceptible to emotional stress that can be triggered by situations such as dealing with an angry parent.
Don’t take what the parents are saying personally or think of it as an attack to you as a person. Sometimes, parents can say mean things due to anger but later on regret it. This is why it’s important to stay calm in situations like these.
If you feel like your actions are justified and that you did what you had to do but the parents still think otherwise, don’t be afraid to defend yourself and stand up to your actions. Home tutors can even show evidences to the parents as to why their anger isn’t justifiable.
Just remember to still be calm in defending your actions and explaining to them why they issue had to be resolved this way or that way. If the home tutor counters the parent in an irritated manner, the parents may again take this the wrong way and get even angrier.
Dealing with a situation about handling an angry parent will come more than once throughout the career of a home tutor. It’s unavoidable to meet a parents’ wrath once in a while. If you come across this situation, don’t run away from it or let it get to you. The parents’ anger may be directed towards you, but you have the choice as to how you can act in these situations. You have the power to keep your cool, address the situation, fix it, and find a way for both parties to come to an agreement.
By addressing their concerns calmly, you will be guaranteeing the parents your reliability to deal with situations like these and help them in any way you can. It will also help build the trust and respect home tutors aim for between them, the student, and the parents.
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