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  #1  
Old 01-15-2013, 06:30 PM
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Default Backbone / Boundaires ....Etc

When did it get easier ? Does it? I have been doing this almost 2 years and licensed less than1 year and it is a struggle keeping things in check. Even with 5 stars I have a hard time feeling like my program is enough and am feeling bad about putting my foot down and putting myself and my family first. But if I don't I won't last doing this, I am just ready to have it level out. I love being with the kids but being firm with the boundaries is my mission for 2013.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:01 PM
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I think some of it comes down to personality. For some people it is just easier than for others. I think something to help you is to be proactive with policies that are just the way you want them from the beginning, and using reminders in written communication so that you are always laying out the rules so when it comes time to enforce them it's nothing personal. Another tip is to always enforce the rules, don't do anyone any favors. If they have fair warning, it really isn't your fault. If you still feel guilty, send out reminders in a newsletter about common issues that parents may forget about. You can update your policies and send out a new copy. Or some people send out another copy when they do yearly conferences. It's January, the new year, another excuse to update or remind families about policies. So, I guess I'm saying, maybe let the policies be your backbone and create your boundaries so all you have to do is refer to them.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:24 PM
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I totally made exceptions/bent rules and now trying to un-do my own mess.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EAP View Post
I totally made exceptions/bent rules and now trying to un-do my own mess.
Honestly, it took me about three years to start feeling really good about my program. And this was with an AA degree (LA with concentration in EC) and several years preschool teaching experience. Granted I had just had my older child and then found out we were expecting our second shortly after (we were thrilled but overwhelemed) Starting a business is difficult as it is - add to the fact you are doing it in your home in most cases and still parenting and running the household during your work day can really take some getting used to.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:02 AM
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EAP my mission is to also stay firm with my policies/boundaries. I have had a few run-ins and though I felt bad about putting my foot down I gained a lot of respect from SOME of my parents. I have a parent that has the tendency to try and be too chummy and feels like I should bend and fold her way. When I put my foot down her feelings are hurt. Sometimes I care, sometimes I don't.

I need to let go of the guilt in 2013.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:55 AM
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I am super frustrated and I know its totally my fault - but seriously what is the deal with parents and guilt??? Just because this is my home and I am here does not mean I am avaible to you!! I am so over it!! I am done with the attitude that their child and their time is more important than mine (not my attitude - theirs). I need to pick better clients - some folks are just users who want other people to raise their children for them while they do whatever they want. Sorry to vent - I am seriously just done.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:04 AM
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I know it can be hard sometimes and I admit, I do have a hard time understand what it is like for it to be hard as I think I was born with a backbone so for me it comes easy.

Some advice that I would give someone who struggles though is to ask yourself......what is the worst thing that can happen if you said no? Will the family leave? Will they respect you? Will they try to guilt you or give your grief? Will YOU feel guilty (even if they are ok with it)?

Sometimes the fear of saying no is really fear of the unknown. Learn to say "Let me think about it." before EVER answering a request. When you play through all the possible outcomes FIRST before answering, you have a chance to really think about the worst thing that could happen and to see if that is really the worst thing.

Some times a client might be mad or upset or whatever, but is it always YOUR fault that they are angry? Or is it their fault for not planning better or for not figuring out their own family issues etc?

Most times when parents are mad, it is because you won't bend to their requests and their request usually stem from lack of planning or preparation on their part. kwim?

Learn to ask yourself "MY family comes first, so how will this effect MY family?" and then base your decisions on what is best for YOU and YOURS before allowing someone else to be a priority.

As far as policies go, the number one mistake I feel newer providers make is letting families break policies "just this once" and then that sets the stage for the next time and the next time etc....

My view on that is from a different angle....why not make families follow your policies until you have formed a level of trust and respect that you are comfortable with and then and ONLY then if you feel the need to cut them a break or waive a fee, you can without feeling like they don't understand or are taking advantage of you.

Kind of like this ....if a perfect stranger that you don't at all know asks to borrow $100, do you give it to them? How about if you BFF from high school who you know and love and trust 100% asks if she can borrow $100, do you do it? You would be more apt to borrow the money to your BFF because you already know and trust her. You have already built a relationship with her.

Now if you have a new daycare client that wants a break in rates or a late fee waived, it is the equivilent of "borrowing money" from your family or your wallet so why would you do it right?

If providers want to give parents a break in rates or waive fees, I would ONLY do it AFTER the relationship has been formed and proven. Anything you do before that is the same as giving a stranger $100...because you are never going to see it again.

Best way to build a strong backbone in this business is to never answer request right away. Think things through and stop worrying about how saying no will burden your daycare families...they are all big people and they can deal with their own issues.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:39 AM
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For me it got easier when I realised that I didn't want to get up in the mornings for daycare anymore. I got up because I had to and I "survived" through the day. I couldn't wait until 6pm came around. I thought about how I used to love to do daycare and that the reason I didn't want to do DC anymore wasn't because of the kids, it was the parents.

I was tired of being lied to, being taken advantage of, having parents dope-and-drop, being paid late, parents arguing with me when I tried to enforce my policies. I literally cringed when certain parents arrived.

That's when I decided that I couldn't keep doing things like that anymore. I either had to close my DC (and I really didn't want to do that) or I needed to make changes. I rewrote my handbook and handed them out along with new contracts and gave each parent 2-weeks to decide whether or not they wanted to stay. I REQUIRED that the contract be signed by the due date or our original contract expired. The "good" clients signed everything within the week and the other parents .... well they waited until the last possible moment.

THAT is when I stuck to my guns and used my backbone. I reminded the remaining 2 clients mid-week that the contract was due on Friday and on Friday I reminded them that as of that evening their contracts were no longer valid and that I was putting up ads over the weekend. One client signed the contract and returned Friday night. The other client didn't. I put up an ad that evening and I got a call on Saturday from the last client INCREDULOUS that I was advertising for "her" spot. I reminded her that I did not have a contract with her and that I had told her that I would do this. She said she'd "bring it Monday" to which I agreed but simply told her that I had already had a few calls and an interview that evening and that whoever signed and returned the contract first would get the spot. I WAS DONE WITH CLIENTS RUNNING MY BUSINESS.

As soon as I took over again I was much MUCH happier and I began to enjoy my business again. I realised that I would rather lose a client than to have a client dictate how I ran my business. I stopped feeling bad for my clients and stopped feeling guilty for saying no because afterall I was not the cause of their circumstances. It was not my fault that there was traffic and they were late, that the bank was closed and they didn't get to take money out, that they forgot their wallet/purse/checkbook, that they had to work late and they incurred late pick-up fees, that they had no gas, that they didn't budget better and were short on their DC payment, that their child was sick and they had to work, that they had no more sick time, that I notified them of my vacations 6 months in advance and every month afterwards and that THEY did not make arrangements. I was a great weight off my shoulders.
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  #9  
Old 01-16-2013, 11:01 AM
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Thanks for all the great advice - I LOVE the idea of not giving an answer until I have thought about it more - that is a very good idea!! I think a huge obstical has been thinking these families care about this the same way I do - it is just business and they would drop me in a second if that's what they needed to donfor their family. I am going to adopt that attitude - it isn't personal - it is business. The termination I am managing right now is a perfect example of a parent who uses and wants more and more with zero regard for me and my family. Which is fine because it ends with her, I could not be anymore over this crap. She actually sent me a semi-nasty email about the termination then followed it up asking me to do paperwork for her for the new provider??? I am not her assistant ? I am floored.
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  #10  
Old 01-16-2013, 11:08 AM
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I hope you didn't respond to that last e-mail.
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  #11  
Old 01-16-2013, 11:14 AM
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I said I had to think about it - haha no way in hell I'm doing it!!
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  #12  
Old 01-16-2013, 11:14 AM
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I just got rid of user clients! I won't put up with it anymore. When I ran my business I was happy. I let the parents run this and I began to loath my job! Never again. I usually stand up for myself but these guys are pro manipulator s and pulled one over on me!
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