Top 5 Tips for Developing Positive Relationships with Parents

It’s easy to look at our AfterSchool programs as being for youth, but our relationships with families are just as important as our relationships with youth. While every provider-parent relationship is unique, there are some general rules that – when followed, drive stronger & healthier relationships with families.

Check out the top 5 tips from our pals at Edutopia!

1. Smile When You See Parents

Believe it or not, parents are just as intimidated to meet you as you are to meet them. A genuine smile breaks the tension between both parties and helps ease the conversation toward where it needs to go.

2. Learn Their Names

By demonstrating that you know their names, you’re really demonstrating your dedication to a personalized learning experience. It may not be immediately reciprocated, but it still builds a positive connotation in that parent / guardian’s mind.

3. Declare Your Intention

When parents look at their relationship with staff as a partnership, they’ll be more willing to work with you on key issues. They’re also less likely to push back on your feedback, which gives all parties room to grow.

4. Communicate Often, and in Different Ways

There are many channels that you can use to keep a flow of open communication with families. Even if your program doesn’t offer it, having an email list of parents and guardians will allow you more flexibility and access to reach out when you need to. 

5. Make a Positive Call Home

Sending children off to school can be overwhelming for some families, and having positive reasons to speak with teachers and staff are something that most parents don’t expect. Solidify your relationship by demonstrating that you’re rooting for the student.

Feeling inspired? You can find more ways to connect to families at