When I call your house, it's for a reason. In this case, my reason is that your child is misbehaving in class, distracting other students, and not doing his own work.
Parent, I am calling to enlist your support. My goal is to help your child be the best student he can be. I need your help with this. We need to work together.
"Well, I guess I can try to talk to him."
is not really what I'm looking for. When you say things like that, I know that I'm going to have to travel this path alone.
Also, Parent, while I've got you, I'm not so thrilled about this either:
"Next time he acts up, send him to the principal and let them whoop his a--."
While I certainly believe that a well-timed spanking can be effective, a freshman boy no longer respects this form of punishment. It costs him nothing. And, if you want the truth, I think you suggested it because it costs YOU nothing; someone else disciplines your child, and you don't have to do it yourself.
Have you ever thought there might be a connection between your son's misbehavior and your willingness to pass off his discipline to someone else? I have. I've thought it A LOT.
Finally, Parent, when I call you and ask you how I can direct your child's attention away from his social life and toward his education, I'm ACTUALLY ASKING YOU. When you say this:
"Well, I don't know how he got that way."
I can assure you that, at that moment, I am thinking, "BECAUSE YOU LET HIM."
Parent, let me be frank: I know your child is the sweetest, best-behaved, most intelligent student I've ever had in any of my classes, ever. But--and I can't think of any other way to say this--your child is also an a--hole, and I kind of think that he's just a chip off the old block.