How to Handle Hard-to-Handle Parents

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How to Handle Hard-to-Handle Parents helps develop specific skills for communicating with all parents, including parents who are difficult, angry, overprotective, or overbearing. Packed with sample forms, letters, scenarios, and vignettes, plus techniques for involving families whose first language is not English, this guide helps educators:

  • Establish relationships with parents of all backgrounds
  • Recognize, and work with, characteristics of difficult people
  • Be proactive in getting parents to cooperate and follow through at home
  • Conduct expert parent conferences
  • Handle all types of parents, including “Know-It-All’s,” “Blamers,” “Helicopter Parents,” and more

Indispensable for teachers, school leaders, counselors, and all educators, this will become a much-referenced resource for building cooperative parent-teacher relationships that positively impact students’ academic success.

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Editorial Reviews

Maryann Marrapodi
“One of the major strengths of this book is the warm and personal tone used to make important information accessible. The anecdotes and examples bring the ideas to life and make them easy to understand. The overall organization is clear and logical, with a sharp focus on the idea that parents and teachers are partners.”
Raynice Jean-Sigur
"Not all parents are 'hard to handle,' but the author does an effective job of providing some crucial skills for working with parents in a classroom setting. She does a very effective job in providing examples and stories that help teachers relate."
Renee Ponce-Nealon
“This book definitely addresses answers for educators who want to commit to reaching their students’ families in different ways.”
Lindsey Pollock
“In my experience as a school administrator and teacher, I have learned that parents are our most valuable asset. This book provides tremendous lessons to help school personnel maximize this priceless asset and thus positively impact the lives of students and families. Thank you, Maryln, for a wealth of ideas and strategies for all parents and teachers across the nation!”
Lauren Levin
"A valuable resource for teachers, with user-friendly checklists, forms, andsuggestions for improving active home-school participation. It provides useful advice for fostering healthy communication across all settings."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412964418
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 8/11/2009
  • Pages: 123
  • Sales rank: 1,270,378
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Maryln Appelbaum is well-known internationally as an outstanding authority on children, education, and families. She has worked as a teacher, an administrator, and a therapist and has been a consultant throughout the United States. She has written more than 30 how-to books geared exclusively for educators and parents. She has been interviewed on television and radio talks shows and has been quoted in newspapers including USA Today. She owns a seminar training company, Appelbaum Training Institute, with her son, Marty Appelbaum, and they and their speakers train educators all over the world. She has master’s degrees in both psychology and education and completed her doctoral studies in both education and psychology.

Appelbaum's influence impacts the entire globe with her thoughts for the day that go out to thousands of educators via e-mail daily. Her strategies have been implemented in schools across the world successfully. There is not a day that goes by that someone does not contact her at Appelbaum Training Institute to tell her “thank you.” Those “thank you’s” come from teachers, administrators, parents, and students whose lives have been impacted by Maryln.

Appelbaum's books and her talks are always packed with strategies for success. She is a positive, motivational, dynamic, caring, one-of-a-kind difference maker for the world.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures Preface Acknowledgments About the Author Introduction
1. How to Reach Parents and Prevent Problems Before They Happen The Changing Face of Families What Parents Want From Teachers Reasons Parents Do Not Come to School Prevent Problems Before They Happen Making Diverse Groups Feel Welcome Opening the Doors to the School for All Families
2. About Hard-to-Handle People What Is a Difficult Person?
Characteristics of Difficult People The Six "Nevers" With Hard-to-Handle Parents Five Ways Parents Can Make You Lose Your Cool and How to Choose Healthier Responses
3. How to Handle the Hard-to-Handle Parent: Strategies for Success The Right Way to Say No The Opposite Response for Parents Who Are Negative and Argumentative Repetition Response Don't Get Sidetracked Agree With the Person Apologize Use the Mirror Response Stand How to Handle Angry Parents The Nine-Step Intervention
4. How to Handle Parents With Bad Attitudes How to Handle the "Know-It-All"
The "Blamer"
The Defensive Parent The "Helicopter" Parent The "Negative Cynical" Parents The "Backstabber"
The Parent Whose Child "Does No Wrong"
Parents Who Think You Are Not Fair Parents Who Are Extremely Angry
5. Listening Skills for Hard-to-Handle Parents The Communication Process Power Listening Once the Door Has Been Opened The Greatest Gift
6. How to Talk so Parents Listen Five Styles to Manage Frustration and Anger Keys to Being Assertive Power Request Power Persuasion Practice Makes Perfect
7. Parent Conferences: An Ounce of Prevention That Prevents a Pound of Problems Set the Scene: The Focus Factor The Conference Key Points to Enhance Conferences The Five-Step Approach to Telling Parents Negative News Checklist
8. Parents as Partners: Enhancing Collaboration and Teamwork Forming the Partnership: A Collaborative Relationship How to Get Parents to Follow Through at Home Conclusion A Parent's Plea to Teachers References Index
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