Help! I Get So Anxious About Calling Parents That I Can’t Speak


For many educators, teachers, and coaches, communicating with parents can be a real source of stress, especially when the conversations are over a phone call. Understandably, we all strive to maintain a professional image and positive connection with each child’s family. Overcoming this anxiety and finding ways to communicate more effectively can be life-changing not only for you but also for your relationship with parents.

Identifying the Source of Anxiety:

1. Familiarity: Getting in touch with the parents of your students or athletes can be intimidating since they are typically unfamiliar figures in your educational or coaching career.

2. Fear of judgment: You might be anxious about being criticized or judged based on the information you’re providing or your skills as an educator.

3. Lack of control: The unknown outcomes of a conversation can create anxiety – you can’t always predict how parents will react to issues concerning their child.

4. Previous negative experiences: Past instances of confrontation or unpleasant exchanges with parents might lead to a fear of future interactions.

Strategies to Overcome Anxiety:

1. Be prepared: Prior to making any calls, gather data and information regarding each student’s progress and recent achievements. Note down any specific points you may want to discuss, as this will help prompt your conversation when nerves take over.

2. Practice, practice, practice: With time, communication gets easier. Consider practicing different scenarios with a trusted colleague, friend, or family member so you feel more at ease discussing concerns calmly and professionally.

3. Establish rapport: Begin each call on a positive note by sharing good news about the child before diving into concerns or issues that need addressing. This approach helps establish trust and rapport between you and the parent.

4. Set short-term goals: Instead of focusing on long-term outcomes such as building lasting relationships with all parents, focus on small, achievable goals, like successfully contacting a few families per week.

5. Implement a support network: Talk to your colleagues and supervisors about your communication anxiety. Chances are, they have experienced similar feelings and can share advice, insights, and encouragement.

6. Self-care: Don’t forget to look after yourself, both mentally and physically. Engage in activities that alleviate stress and promote relaxation – this might include exercise, meditation, or finding new hobbies outside of work.


Anxiety surrounding parent-teacher communication is normal and understandable. However, by identifying the source of your anxiety and implementing strategies to overcome it, you can improve not only your personal well-being but ultimately the relationships with the parents of your students or athletes as well. Through practice and preparation, you can confidently tackle each call with newfound ease.

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