Some useful tips from Rosalind Wiseman (more at The Seattle Times):
- If you have a problem with a parent, teacher etc, speak one-on-one first because challenging someone's authority in front of others is likely to backfire.
- Avoid inflammatory words. E.g. trade "acknowledge" for "apologize."
- Be wary of "advocates" - however strongly a parent may feel about his/her child's cause it doesn't warrant uncivil behavior.
- Don't promise you won't get involved. It's usually best to give kids a chance to resolve issues on their own, but with adult support.
- Step in if you see a pattern of unfairness or disrespect. But in most cases, let kids work out grades with teachers.
- Gather information first. There are always two sides to a story!
- Don't go above someone's head until you and your child have tried addressing the issue.
- Don't make friendship the goal. If you speak with other parents about the way their child is treating yours, be ...