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By Sue Cowleyeducational author and trainer.

Sue Cowley gives an idea of the diversity of parents you may encounter and suggests ways to forge a positive relationship with different types of families


Parents and carers come in a variety of different ‘types’. Most will be helpful and supportive of the setting, but a minority may be tricky to handle. As anyone who works in a childcare setting knows, parenting approaches in the early years have a strong influence on the way that a child learns, behaves and socialises. Understanding how to support and work with different parents can be very beneficial, both for the setting and the children.

The pushy parent

All parents like to look for what is best in their child, however the pushy parent views their child as a budding genius.

The pushy parent may:

  • demand detailed information about your teaching methods and approaches
  • complain that their child is not being sufficiently stretched
  • expect their child to be given lots of individual attention be abrupt when speaking to staff.

The child of a pushy parent might:

  • be arrogant or disrespectful to children and staff
  • find it hard to cooperate and work in groups
  • have trouble complying with adult instructions
  • feel stressed by parental pressure to succeed.
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