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Old 06-09-2015, 11:28 AM
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Default Anyone Here Stress Over Confronting Parents And Been Successful In FCC?

Logged out for privacy... I'm having some issues with a family who also happen be related to me. I'm relatively new in this business and have never had to confront a family about so many issues. I had to talk to the dcf that I'm related to today about another policy they broke and I had so much anxiety about it I could barely get my words out. Now it's an hour later and I'm still shaking! I hate this part of the job! I realize I've been lucky with having relatively easy families until this one. If I have this much problem talking to my own family members, do I have any chance in making it in this business?? I'm just rethinking this whole thing because of them. I consider myself awesome with the children, but I can't stand enforcing policies. Any tips to get over this anxiety and make it easier to just talk to parents when I need to?
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Old 06-09-2015, 11:38 AM
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If it is causing you an extreme amount of stress and anxiety to talk to them in person, you could send an email or a note. If they are breaking policy and know it, though, the awkwardness should be on them, not you, when you bring it up. My dh told me that a few years ago when I didn't want to confront a parent about late payments. He said "They KNOW they owe the money. When you say it, the awkwardness is on them." It's so true!
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Old 06-09-2015, 11:44 AM
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Relatives and friends are really challenging. You'd think they'd be grateful to have someone they trust and know care for their child/ren but they're also the first to take advantage of you because they feel they deserve more than an everyday client.
Yes, I have great difficulty confronting dcps and I don't even have any family parents. IF you want to make this work, you need to speak with them face to face, maybe highlighting the policies they're not following and tell them you need them to follow your business guidelines or you can no longer care for their child. Tell them you understand they are family but you also run a business.
Stand up tall, stick your chin out and tell them this is the way you run your business. Fake it til ya make it. Then after they know you mean business, you can exhale. They'll either stay or they'll go.
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Old 06-09-2015, 11:52 AM
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It is true about friends and relatives. Years ago, I had dh's niece. She was by far the most challenging child I've ever had in my daycare. And we heard through the grapevine that they couldn't believe I didn't take her for FREE, since we were family. When I finally did term due to the child's behavior, the mom (SIL) blew up....I mean BLEW. UP. They enrolled her in a center, and she was termed within two weeks because of her behavior.
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:40 PM
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I've been doing day care for over 18 years and still have trouble confronting parents when they break the rules. At some point, though, I ran across a piece of advice that basically said, "If someone is going to be unhappy in this relationship, it might as well be you and not me." I use that as a mantra when I decide I have to enforce my policies. (I can be unhappy when a parent shows up late at the end of the day or the parent can be unhappy that I charge a late fee and tell him/her not to be late again. I'd rather not be the unhappy one, waiting for a child to be picked up after hours every day.)

I also start the discussion with, "It's really difficult for me to bring this up but....." For some reason, acknowledging my discomfort seems to help me feel more comfortable speaking up.
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
Relatives and friends are really challenging. You'd think they'd be grateful to have someone they trust and know care for their child/ren but they're also the first to take advantage of you because they feel they deserve more than an everyday client.
Yes, I have great difficulty confronting dcps and I don't even have any family parents. IF you want to make this work, you need to speak with them face to face, maybe highlighting the policies they're not following and tell them you need them to follow your business guidelines or you can no longer care for their child. Tell them you understand they are family but you also run a business.
Stand up tall, stick your chin out and tell them this is the way you run your business. Fake it til ya make it. Then after they know you mean business, you can exhale. They'll either stay or they'll go.
This.
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Old 06-09-2015, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by e.j. View Post
I've been doing day care for over 18 years and still have trouble confronting parents when they break the rules. At some point, though, I ran across a piece of advice that basically said, "If someone is going to be unhappy in this relationship, it might as well be you and not me." I use that as a mantra when I decide I have to enforce my policies. (I can be unhappy when a parent shows up late at the end of the day or the parent can be unhappy that I charge a late fee and tell him/her not to be late again. I'd rather not be the unhappy one, waiting for a child to be picked up after hours every day.)

I also start the discussion with, "It's really difficult for me to bring this up but....." For some reason, acknowledging my discomfort seems to help me feel more comfortable speaking up.
I'm sticking these thoughts inside my brain for later use. Especially how to start the conversation. I have a horrible time with confrontation. With anyone.
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:19 PM
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I agree with what the others said regarding confronting family and friends...
I have had to do my fair share of that, and I will say that it gets a little easier over time. I never enjoy confronting people, but I have gotten used to the fact that it is a necessary part of my job and the more quickly I address issues and more matter-of-fact I am regarding them, the better off things are.
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:29 PM
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Are you worried about the confrontation or worried about the money? Do you think if you enforce rules they may leave?
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:22 PM
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I never think of it in terms of confrontation. More like there's a problem that needs solving, let's get to it. They just don't realize that the only acceptable solution is mine . I think I should be in sales.....
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Old 06-09-2015, 11:48 PM
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My advice would be to come to this forum daily. If you have no backbone, these ladies will help you grow one.
Family is, by far, the hardest clients to deal with. My own sister and nephew were total nightmares. They expect special from the very first day and can't understand why when they don't get it.
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Old 06-10-2015, 07:37 AM
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Are you worried about the confrontation or worried about the money? Do you think if you enforce rules they may leave?
OP here. I think I am honestly worried about the confrontation. I would actually be relieved if they just left on their own terms so I wouldn't have to worry about them anymore. The money isn't the issue. If I term them, my extended family would be frustrated with me...they've already expressed in front of me that they feel I should be offering them care for free or for a reduced rate because we are related and it "isn't right" for me to charge. Well, this is my job, and if I don't charge enough, I can't do it! I've explained this to everyone, but they don't understand or don't care.

I tried starting this out on the right foot. Before they signed with me, I encouraged them to check out other daycares to make sure I'm the right fit (which they didn't do). We had an interview where I explained my policies in depth and they agreed to them. I explained they are my clients during daycare hours and I couldn't offer special privileges for being related - they agreed. When handing me the signed contract, they promised they would respect my rules. Since day one it has been trouble. I feel stuck and so nervous that if I say something wrong and enforce my policies strictly that they will take offense and bad-talk me to my friends and family. I think that is where the anxiety is coming from. But if the anxiety of confronting them is this bad with them, how will it be when I have to talk to a family who isn't related? It seems like it would be worse, but Idk!

Like I said, I DID talk to them yesterday, but I was a mess all day until dcm dropped off and then shaky for a long time afterward, as it did not go well and she did not understand why the policy I was being firm on was a big deal (dropping in to check on baby during nap time). It just makes me feel like I'm not cut out for this. Maybe my policies are too strict, and my prices ARE too high! How do you know when to be firm and when to back down?! I'm just freaking out.
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Old 06-10-2015, 08:13 AM
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Why do the family and friends who believe the children should be cared for for free expect you to do it? Why don't they? It's easy to say words like you should do free instead of doing the work for free.

They need to put their time where their mouth is and take care of these children for free. Don't say... do
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Old 06-10-2015, 08:46 AM
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Please don't think you aren't cut out for childcare because of this one family. Learning to deal with the parents is hard and when they are rude/selfish family its just awful. I have been at this 4 years and am just now getting to where I can consistently enforce policies confidently BUT I still get anxious on the phone explaining to potential families how I will "let them know" if they are being offered a spot. Mostly, that is anxiety about losing money, but my point is - its takes practice and no one likes dealing with obnoxious parents

I would do 3 things:
1. Depending on what the parents do for a living - try to explain how you asking them to provide those services 40 hours a week for you for free would be ridiculous/rude/impossible etc.
2. I would say simply "I want the best for Sally, and for you, I don't think my program is the best fit for your family. You have until ____date to find a better fit for your family. "
3. If you are worried about family/friend backlash I would preempt it with a casual conversation about how you depend on your daycare income, how challenging it is when people don't respect you or business. I would not go into details, but acknowledge the challenges and put out there how stressful it is for you. If they are sympathetic great, if not, then you know these are not people who truly care about YOUR well being.

I am sorry you are dealing with this
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Old 06-10-2015, 09:01 AM
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I'm sorry, I can relate and feel your anxiety just by reading your post.
I find what helps me, is to know my policies like the back of my hand.
Then when something arises, I redirect people to the policies, even to the exact page of concern.
If it's in writing, they have no excuses for breaking policies.
And as hard as it is to speak up, it's better to speak up once a policy is broken, otherwise it tends to snowball. When it snowballs, is when my mind tends to create the horrible "what if's" and stresses me out even more, with all the possible scenarios that could happen. Not to mention I start to feel burnt out and resentful.
Saying it when it happens, brings it to what the outcome will be quicker. Like pp, either they'll do it and stay, or not and go. Either way, it ends the drama.
Good luck
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Old 06-10-2015, 09:11 AM
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Caring for friends and family is one of the hardest potential aspects of this job. It's so hard to say no (initially) because we love them, we want the best for them, and you'd think they'd respect you.
I completely sympathize with your situation and I've been there myself (with my SIL/niece).

Most likely, the issues won't change.

If you aren't willing to let them go for your sanity, then I can suggest (like others have) to read through these posts to help you gain some insight on how to handle difficult situations.

I've been doing this over 8 years and honestly, I only just started being firm with my policies/families in the last year or two. The more you do it, the more comfortable you become with enforcing the rules. If it helps, type up some "offense" sheets if you're not comfortable talking face to face. Ex: late fees, payment reminders, etc. Personally, I have a parent blog where I post things (some people use Facebook groups too). I've aired a lot of annoyances that way (reminders to wear sturdy shoes, reiterating sick policies, etc).

Remind yourself this is BUSINESS. Only you are in charge of your business.
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Old 06-10-2015, 09:23 AM
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Yes, confrontation stresses me out. Big time.

To cope:
  • I have clear policies. I've written out my expectations. It makes it easier for me to do this so I can refer back to it and (hopefully) leave out the emotion when issues arise.
  • I have my key touch points and highlight those areas during the interview. Mine are illness policy, picking up on time and late fees. I go over this during the interview 2 or 3 times so that it is clear. I also tell them that there is no wiggle room on this.
  • I have late fees. My phone alarms at pick up times. If someone is here, the late fee sheet goes in the bag automatically. I have a sign in/out sheet but find that this way there is a 'reminder' in the bag for fees.
  • Late tuition fees sheet, as well.
  • I tell parents to please communicate any issues they are having. I tell them I will do the same. And I do. I email back and forth as it is easier for my time schedule and easier sometimes to do that rather than face to face. It helps me make sure that everything is said and creates a paper trail that I can refer back to.
  • If things remain testy with a family, I will email concerns first. Then follow up with a verbal communication. "Did you read my email? Are you clear on the policy?" That sort of thing. Helps to take the emotion out of it for me.


I do agree that the longer you leave things, the harder it is to bring it up. But once you clear the air you will feel so much better.

I could never work with my family. And I avoid working with friends for the same reason.

And this aspect of the job does get easier I've learned to speak up for myself and do it in a professional way. I am a pretty easy going person and laid back so it is easy for me to get taken advantage of. I've learned the hard way to put myself first and value my business and services. You will get there. Consider this practice
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Old 06-10-2015, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Controlled Chaos View Post
I would do 3 things:
1. Depending on what the parents do for a living - try to explain how you asking them to provide those services 40 hours a week for you for free would be ridiculous/rude/impossible etc.
Exactly!! Anybody in the family sell insurance or cars or work at the grocery store or just about anything under the sun?? Are they willing to give you free insurance, free groceries, let you fill up a car on their lot and take it away? Of course not. It's small-minded to think we should work for free also. Explain you only have so many slots you can fill and if you don't charge for them, you'll have to go out and work. Then they can bring them to someone else who will charge no matter what.
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Old 06-10-2015, 03:36 PM
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But if the anxiety of confronting them is this bad with them, how will it be when I have to talk to a family who isn't related? It seems like it would be worse, but Idk!
Confrontation is never easy (for me anyway!) but I think it's easier to enforce policies with a dc parent who is not related. There's so much more at risk when you confront a family member. You're not only concerned about your business relationship but with your family/emotional ties as well. When things go bad with a non-relative, you can always term and never see them again. Not as easy with relatives!

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It just makes me feel like I'm not cut out for this. Maybe my policies are too strict, and my prices ARE too high! How do you know when to be firm and when to back down?! I'm just freaking out.
You can't be all things to all people. You set your policies and prices according to your needs. If someone doesn't like them, they can always go elsewhere. You know when to be firm when not upholding your policies makes you unhappy. (Your relative wants to visit during nap time but it disrupts nap time for everyone else. That makes you unhappy so you need to be firm on your policy of no dropping by during nap time. If she doesn't like it, she can check with all those other relatives who think you should be watching the child for free. Maybe one of them will step up and offer free child care instead. )
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Old 06-10-2015, 03:41 PM
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Logged out for privacy... I'm having some issues with a family who also happen be related to me. I'm relatively new in this business and have never had to confront a family about so many issues. I had to talk to the dcf that I'm related to today about another policy they broke and I had so much anxiety about it I could barely get my words out. Now it's an hour later and I'm still shaking! I hate this part of the job! I realize I've been lucky with having relatively easy families until this one. If I have this much problem talking to my own family members, do I have any chance in making it in this business?? I'm just rethinking this whole thing because of them. I consider myself awesome with the children, but I can't stand enforcing policies. Any tips to get over this anxiety and make it easier to just talk to parents when I need to?
1. Family you have to see again, strangers you don't. It's usually easier to confront someone you don't care about. (even if you like the kid)
2. Family and friends are (generally) the worst ones to work with because they will take the most advantage.
"Oh, but we're friends, right?"
"Oh but I'm your cousin...you know I don't make anything"
and the list goes on

I would just say no more working with family and friends.
If you must, use a contract you would use with ANYONE else. When they break it, then have it with you when you get ready to confront, with pages you need referenced highlighted.
You can send a note home too(our kids' teachers do this regularly) It would say "Dear Parents" so that way it doesn't look like you're single-ing anyone out.

It's not easy, but the first rule of thumb is to not let yourself be nervous and allow yourself to be a door mat.

Your daycare isn't a charity case. You do it to profit, and either these parents respect that, or they don't. If they don't, there is the door.
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