In Singapore, there are a lot of several tuition schools and tutors offering to assist students in taking their A-levels or various extra-curricular pursuits through special tuition. Parents would enroll their children in these schools in order to improve on their weak subjects, prepare for their lessons in advance, or pursue their passions outside of school.
For tutors, both those who are unaffiliated with any tuition school and those who work for tuition schools, they would also have to deal with the parents of their students, especially those who may be displeased about their child’s progress or if they want a certain event or action to occur.
Considering these different personalities, how do and should tutors work with these difficult parents? Here are the ways how tutors can work with these 5 difficult types of parents:
The Demanding Parent
These parents are the ones who pressure students to follow in their footsteps and expectations, and not care about anything else but the grade the student receives.
In this case, tutors should be firm and not let the parent’s demands interfere with the child’s progress. Explain to the parent why the child needs to be at their current level and what benefits it can bring to the child.
However, tutors must not express to parents that their child should be in the lower or current study level until they recognize the parent’s possible input in the issue. These parents may be aware as to why the child is holding back and tutors must discuss how the child can be motivated.
Speaking to the parents is also crucial to ensure they understand the needs of their child in terms of how their studies should progress.
The Defensive Parent
This type of parent are the ones who tend to blame their child’s failure to the tutor even if there is a different reason for it.
In order to prevent this response from occurring after contacting the parent about the child’s progress, tutors should remain positive and recognize the child’s potential before tackling the child’s weak subject with the parent.
Tutors should already have an action plan ready before they call the parent and explain how they would help the child with the problem through the action plan. The tutor should also involve the parent with the action plan and give suggestions on how the parents can help while the child is at home.
The Uncooperative Parent
This type of parents are the ones who would be against supporting the tutor’s efforts to help the child or the child’s academic journey.
Parents have the responsibility to ensure their child do their homework and study while at home. If the parent would ask for an exception or excuse for their child to miss class in favor of an extracurricular work, tutors must be strict and follow their policies on homework and exams.
Tutors can include their class policies in their introduction letters or the tuition school’s pamphlets to ensure parents are aware of this rule. Tutors must only give out exceptions if the child missed the class because of an illness or a family emergency.
Tutors must also explain to the parent that their child’s education is important and regular attendance would give them an idea of how well the student is progressing in their subject. If the student is not allowed to do their homework or they miss tests because of a minor reason, like going to a recital or going out, they will no doubt find it difficult to keep up with their peers.
The Over-involved Parent
This type of parents are the ones who would just show up in the tutor’s class without warning or pepper the tutor with calls to speak about their child’s progress. They will hover around you as you try to coach their child during the session.
Parents should be actively involved in a child’s academic journey but too much involvement or interference can be too much. Tutors should always make the parents feel welcome to contact them in any way if they have questions or concerns about their child’s progress. This is a standard when it comes to teaching students.
However, if the parents send inquiries too much, it is ideal that tutors act accordingly. Listen to their concerns and then reassure them that everything is going well if the concern is minor. If the concern is important, tutors must speak to the parent and work together to create a plan that will help the student. Tutors must also give advice on how parents can apply evasive actions at home.
The Absent Parent
This type of parents are the ones who are not actively involved in their child’s progress because of work and other responsibilities. As a result, it is difficult for the tutor to discuss with the parent the situation of their students.
Considering the impact of parental involvement in a child’s academic success, tutors must reach out to the parents by sending them voice messages or e-mails to report their child’s progress.
In these messages, tutors should indicate that they understand why the parent is absent and that their schedules are flexible to accommodate the parent’s free time to discuss the child’s progress. Tutors must also offer to talk about the issue on the phone. When the parent is reached, tutors must reassure that the child can handle the problems they are facing in school with their support.
Every parent wants the best for their children and they will try their best to ensure their children get the best education and support possible. Tutors throughout Singapore and worldwide understand this fact and would do their best to help in whatever way they can. However, parents must also remember that these tutors are trying their best to help the child and too much pressure on them can lead to disaster.
In order to make the tutoring successful, parents and tutors must work hand-in-hand to ensure everything works out well for the child. Without it, everything will be for nothing and the child will lose all the momentum they built.
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