We've all been there! That one parent in your setting who, no matter what you do and how far you bend to accommodate them, will be rude and disconnected. Or maybe it's a member of staff or an external adviser that is being just plain rude and opinionated.
If you find yourself in the position of having to deal with such people it can be hard to keep your cool so here are my top tips for responding appropriately without blowing your top!
Don't lose your cool - When confronted with rudeness it's easy to become very angry, very quickly. No matter how annoying the person in front of you, keep a lid on your anger.
Try not to take it personally - The reason for their rudeness may not have anything to do with you.
Confrontation - On the whole I'd always advise to refrain where possible. Challenging the person on their behaviour, in my experience, only escalates the problem. The only caveat to this is in a situation where you, or a member of your staff, feels threatened and then it is perfectly acceptable to confront and ask a person to leave your premises.
Don't expect the rude behaviour to change - It's a sad fact of reality that some people are just rude and you'll have to accept that's how he/she is.
Use a selective response system - In much the same way you would with a child's behaviour, acknowledge the person when using positive responses while ignoring any rude comments.
Understand why the person is rude - Is there an obvious reason as to why a person is acting in this way? Often rudeness, especially if unintentional or out of character, can be linked to emotional well-being and is a reaction to a cause.
Address the reasons - And ask if there is anything you can do to help.
Elevate your authority - Don't let the person walk over you! Whilst we've established that confrontation is not the answer to rude people it's important not to let the opposite happen. Find a middle ground and be firm but fair.
Maintain your dignity - The actions of other people should never make you feel lesser about yourself. Remember there is a reason that they chose you and your setting to care for their child.
Connect with people who can help you - whether that's another member of staff, your senior management team or even with me. If the rudeness of an individual is becoming unmanageable and you feel unable to deal with them opt out of the interactions and ask someone to take your place.
If you do need advice on how to deal with a particularly rude individual, whether parent, staff or other, then you are more than welcome to book a free 15 minute consultation with me where we can discuss what you have done so far and see if we can come up with a solution.