Do you work with difficult parents? Do your new teachers avoid parents? Do you experience social media issues with parents? Do you need better strategies? If so, read on.

I recently had the honor of speaking at the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA) Summer Conference. My topic was primarily about working with parents more successfully.

I recently revised the workshop content and book, Working with Parents: Building Relationships for Student Success. In this revision, workshop participants and book readers will learn how to recognize and respond to parents’ emotional realities and built-in biases. In addition, participants will learn how to:

  • Understand and work better with parents from both poverty and wealth.
  • Organize approaches to creating communities of support with parents.
  • Plan for and address social media problems and issues like bullying.
  • Successfully deal with under-involved and over-involved parents.
  • Strategize steps for discipline.

I want to share these comments that I heard after the TEPSA workshop:

I loved the training and getting to learn from Dr. Payne. She was knowledgeable with practical tips and tools to understand where parents came from and how to engage them and what pitfalls to avoid. I personally benefited from her conversations regarding social media and how to and not to engage when a parent tags you or another staff member. I would 100% recommend it. I really enjoyed it. —Principal @ Midway ISD

I thought the training was well-organized and scheduled well regarding time. The impromptu cases that participants volunteered for were a fantastic example of what to do when a situation is sprung on you. When dealing with parents, you must consider how they feel (their background) in multiple areas of interactions—for example, talking with them alone before a meeting so they don’t feel ganged up on when walking into the meeting, walking with them to the meeting, and everyone walking out with the parent when the meeting is over so they don’t feel like those remaining are talking about them, etc. It is simple and can easily be implemented! I would absolutely recommend this training for others. —Assistant Principal @ Frankston ISD

Since COVID-19, we’ve seen an explosion of emotional issues in our buildings and classrooms, not only with students, but also with parents. There are strategies that will reduce and eliminate discipline issues, motivation issues, defuse angry parents, and more.

Book a workshop or have a book study through your professional learning community. Go to, call (800) 424-9484, or send an email to