Children who love dance will likely make up a large portion of the classes you will be teaching in your studio. That means that you’ll be dealing with the parents of those children on a regular basis. As you probably know, some of them are more difficult than others. One of your objectives should be to form a bond with the parents so that you can work together in an effective way to make sure that each of your students is learning and progressing as they should.
Learn Their Names
One of the most important ways to form a relationship with parents is to learn their names. When you can address each parent by name, they feel welcomed and important and are more likely to form a healthy and positive partnership with you. Make sure you ask parents how they want to be addressed so that you can call them by the surname or nickname that they prefer. This can cement your bond even further.
Make every effort to send out regular emails or phone calls so that parents are up-to-date on what is happening and are aware of changes to the schedule or other information. In addition, take the time to talk to each parent as often as you can when they drop off their dancers. When a parent knows they can get in touch with you and get a response quickly, it is another easy way to build a positive relationship that benefits the child.
Share Good News and Compliments
Most teachers get in touch with parents when there is a problem, but if you really want to build a relationship with your dancer’s parents, make a point of sharing good news, too. Let them know when their child learned a new skill or did something else positive. All parents love hearing how great their child is, so taking time to share compliments is a quick way to form a bond with them.
Listen to Parents
It is easy to get so busy that you brush parents off or do not give them the time they need. This is a surefire way to ruin a relationship. Whenever possible, take a second to focus on the parents and what they have to say. If you simply don’t have time, make an appointment to talk to the parent about concerns or questions at a time that works best for both of you. When parents feel heard, they are much more likely to want to build a relationship with you.
Get Parents Involved
You can consider having parent nights, where children can invite their parents to stay and watch practice, or you can ask experienced parents to help you teach a course or create choreography. You might also ask parents to help you plan events, coordinate snacks for performances, or volunteer to run the front desk at the studio. All of these approaches can help you create a relationship by bonding over your shared interest in dance.
Have a Party
Nothing helps people form a bond faster than celebrating together. Every so often, have a punch and cookies reception or a potluck that allows parents, children and instructors to spend some time getting to know each other outside of the actual studio. You will get to find out more about each other at these events, which is a great way to build a friendship with your dancers’ parents.
It can be difficult to keep track of everything, which is why you should get your dance studio manager on board with your plans. Together, you can create a procedure that keeps your business organized yet allows you more time to spend with parents so you can foster healthy relationships.