5 Signs You are a Problematic Parent

5 Signs You are a Problematic Parent education blog singapore home tutor private tuition

Imagine paying only $3.50 haircut by a barber, but demanding for the expertise of a renowned hairdresser and stylist, with complimentary wash and massage – sounds great?

No. Don’t do this.

Parents who do this when requesting for Tutors are Problematic Parents. These Parents treat agents as “scums of the earth“, due to the negative connotation attached to the word “agent”.

We have dealt with Parents of all kinds (Tutor Blacklist). Here are 5 key signs you are a Problematic Parent:

1. Excessive Demands
2. Abusing Free Consultation via Whatsapp
3. Payment Issues
4. Ignore Agent’s Recommendations
5. When You Say It’s Not About the Money

Using the above signs, we can detect and provide adequate support to ensure misunderstandings can be prevented – preventing from becoming another “horror tuition agency” story.

Here are some signs you are that Problematic Parent (PP for short):

1. Excessive Demands

PPs usually know very well of the tuition market rate for Tutors, but they are only want to pay below market rate. 

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PPs want to pay the lowest possible amount, but request for the best Tutors. They demand the Tutor to have:

1. Exceptional Academic qualifications – A1 for subjects they want to teach
2. At least 2 years of Tutoring Experience
3. Graduated from a top School
4. Specific race & gender (Male or Female Tutor?)

In addition to the above, PPs also demand that the Tutor be able to do below $25-30/h, and also meet their inflexible timeslots.

We are not saying that you will not be able to find a Tutor that is willing to do the above.

More often than not, our capable tutors will just move on to the next assignment – as they have a high demand.

2. “Free Consultation via Whatsapp anytime”

Some PPs even request for the Tutor to provide free consultation anytime at their own convenience for their Child. 

They then proceed to abuse the free consultation by asking even more questions out of lesson time, due to the fact that it is free.

These Problematic Parents (PPs) can be identified by those requesting for multiple core subjects (English, Maths, Science, Humanities), but only for 1 lesson/week

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They seek to reduce their costs on Tutors, but maximise the “free consultation” the Tutor was initially okay with.

We are not saying that asking for consultations outside of lessons time makes you a PP

Asking a few questions to clarify doubts is fine. But if it goes overboard such that the Tutor is not getting paid for the amount of work he does altogether, you are a PP.

3. Delayed Payment and Payment Issues

PPs also have loads of payment issues. 

During sourcing and negotiating tutors, PPs are very proactive in discussing their requests and clarifying & assuring every single doubt. 

However when services are fulfilled and payment is due, PPs will suddenly be uncontactable, providing no response – it’s like they are 2 different people.

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Sometimes, payment is delayed for over a month by PPs. Our tutors also feedback to us regarding the delayed payments for tuition as they feel like they are being taken advantage of.

Skipping Commission

There are also many cases where PPs arrange with the Tutor to skip Commission payment. 

Once both parties agree and are in on it, there is basically no way for the agency to prove that tuition has taken place. 

They can make up any story – such as lessons did not start, hence skipping Commission. (See: Private Tutor, Salary 2019)

4. You throw any Recommendations by Agents out the Door

Problematic Parents also live to throw any suggestions or recommendations that the agent makes out the window. 

Whatever the agent suggests, the problematic parent goes the other way.

This might be because of the negative connotations attached to tuition agencies and agents in general – milking more Commission from you.

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While it might be true for some agencies, it is certainly not true for CocoTutors. Our recommendations are made based on past experiences working with the Tutor, and also a comparison of their Tutor Profile.

You can rest assured they are not trying any sly tactics or schemes. Their entire List of Tutor Profiles are out here. (See: How to Choose from a List of Tutor Profiles)

5. When You Say it is Not About the Money

But it is about the money. 

At the end of the day, you have to remember. You pay for what you get

Is it realistic to expect a $2.50 barber to cut like a renowned hairdresser and stylist? Same analogy for Tutors – a more Qualified and Experienced Tutor would likely not settle for a market/less than average rate. 

Same for you – would you accept a job for less than what you are worth?

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Case study: we have had a Parent requesting for Sec 2NA English, Math and Science male Chinese tutor for $30/h. We found a male Chinese Tutor for her that has the following:

  1. 6 distinctions in O Levels, 7 distinctions in A Levels, perfect 90 rank points
  2. 1 year worth of tutoring experience
  3. Willing to do $30/h and at timeslots she requested

Parent then decide that she would only want to proceed at $25/h, which the Tutor promptly was willing to as well. 

After a few exchanges clarifying her doubts, she then says she will only want to proceed at $35 per lesson, which comes out to $2.50 less per lesson, at $25/h. 

Ended up not closing the assignment. Parent claimed multiple times that money was not the issue, and yet the root of the issue was the money and ego.

Lesson for Problematic Parents:

At the end of the day, you must remember that you pay for what you get.

If you are a problematic parent and would like to try out our Services, please feel free here

Our agents and coordinators will be more than glad to take on the challenge! After all, the satisfaction we get after satisfying a Problematic Parent will be worth so much more.

Considering getting Home Tuition? Start with a Free Tutor Search now!


Miriam is part of the team that operates CocoTutors: #1 Home Tuition Agency in Singapore. We connect Parents and students to Tutors, via our tuition-matching system. You can try out our services at (www.cocotutors.com/) or by calling +65 9177 9055 directly.

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