Communicating with parents is one of the most challenging and potentially stressful tasks that teachers face on a daily basis. Whether trying to resolve a heated argument or delivering bad news, it is essential to know how to handle difficult situations and establish positive relationships with your students’ parents. In this updated second edition of the bestselling Dealing with Difficult Parents, award-winning educators Todd Whitaker and Douglas J. Fiore help you develop a repertoire of tools and skills for comfortable and effective interaction with parents.

The book’s features include:

  • Tools to help you understand parents’ motivations and how to work with them rather than against them;
  • Detailed scripts for dealing with even the most stubborn and volatile parents;
  • New strategies for increasing parent involvement to foster student success;
  • An all-new chapter on the role that social media can play in interacting with parents; and
  • A new chapter on initiating contact with parents to build positive credibility.

This must-read book will equip you with the skills you need to expertly navigate even the most challenging encounters with parents, and walk away feeling that you have made a positive and meaningful impact.

About the Authors


Introduction to the 2nd Edition

1. Dealing with Difficult Parents: An Overview

Part I: Today’s Parents

2. Who Are These Guys?: Describing Today’s Parents

3. What’s Wrong with These Parents Anyway?

Part II: Communicating with Parents

4. Building Credibility: Everyone Wants to Associate with a Winner

5. Taking Your Classroom Social

6. Positive Communication with Parents: An Ounce of Prevention

7. Listen, Learn, and Cultivate

Part III: Soothing the Savage Beast

8. Initiating Contact with Parents

9. Never Let ‘Em See You Sweat

10. What If The Parent Is Right?

11. The Best Way to Get In the Last Word…

12. Do You Feel Defensive? If So, Something Is Wrong

Part IV: Dealing with Parents in Difficult Situations

13. Delivering Bad News

14. But I Did Get a Good Deal: Examining the Car Salesman

15. What If They Use the "F" Word – Fair?

16. Focus on the Future

Part V: Increasing Parental Involvement

17. Understanding Parent Involvement

18. Increasing Parental Involvement at School

19. Increasing Parent Involvement at Home

Parting Thoughts