Chris R. Koehler
County Specialist, Communities, Families and Youth
University of Massachusetts
- how to handle disagreements with parents.
- some possible solutions to common problems.
You may face problems. As a family day care provider, some
problems can be prevented by having a Parent-Provider Agreement.
In the agreement, your rules and policies are clearly stated.
If a parent does not agree with your policies, he or she can choose
another provider. Even if you try hard and are well prepared,
some problems will come up.
Some problems will be just mis-understandings. At other times, you may really disagree with the way a parent thinks you should handle a problem. The better you can handle a disagreement, the better your day care business will run.
A provider who says there is never a problem in his or her
day care program is not being honest with himself or herself.
When you and a parent disagree, you must decide how to handle
it. The first step with any problem is to say, "We have a
Some problems just blow over. For example, it's late in the afternoon and a mother is tired. She snaps about the dirt on her son's pants. The next day she forgets about the dirt. At times people do not listen carefully. For example, a parent thought you said the field trip was next week. Be patient and let the parent know when the field trip is.
Here are some tips for handling complaints from parents.
Here are some tips that might help you.
When a parent confides in you, treat this information as a secret. Even if a parent makes a comment in passing, he or she may not want you to tell anyone else. Remember, your business depends, in part, on word-of-mouth recommendations. The parent does not want you to talk about his or her children or family problems with other people. That is a quick way to hurt your reputation. You can tell parents that you do not wish to hear about their family problems. However, this information may help you understand what is happening in their child's life.
Although things may be going well for you now, it is always
wise to think through some common problems. Talk with other providers
in your neighborhood about any troubles they have had. Think about
what you would do if a problem came up in day care. Being prepared
will help you handle problems calmly.
Here are some things that can help you handle problems.
1. Play out possible problems with a friend. Be yourself, and
have your friend play the parent. Try to be confident and fair
as you handle each problem. Think about where you could go for
help with each problem. Start with the problems listed below.
Then make up other possible problems.
2. Visit your local library. Ask the librarian for children's books that deal with divorce, death, and birth of another child. Also, see what adult books about handling these problems are available.
*When I Say No, I Feel Guilty*. Manual J. Smith, Dial Press,
1975. Available from Bantam Books, Inc., 414 E. Golf Rd., Des
Plaines, IL 60016
FORMAT AVAILABLE:: Available only on the
DOCUMENT REVIEW:: Level 2 - Cooperative Extension Systems: Universities of
Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut
DOCUMENT SIZE:: 14K or 4 pages
ENTRY DATE:: July 1995
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