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Old 07-03-2017, 07:09 PM
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Default Growing a Backbone?

I am very quick to avoid confrontation. I hate the awkward moments when parents just blatantly "forget" my policies. I am still cultivating the ability to stand firm and speak up. Are there any fellow doormats out there? Veterans, how did you grow your backbone without making for disgruntled families?

Last edited by Michael; 07-04-2017 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by footprintsfamilychildcare View Post
I am very quick to avoid confrontation. I hate the awkward moments when parents just blatantly “forget” my policies. I am still cultivating the ability to stand firm and speak up. Are there any fellow doormats out there? Veterans, how did you grow your backbone without making for disgruntled families?
A very strong contract and handbook and laying it all out in the interview lays the groundwork for "compliant" parents!
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:30 PM
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I explain that I apply all policies evenly, no matter how much I like the family.
The golden ones know that I mean them and they understand.
The others think I mean them ...
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:33 PM
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By reminding myself over and over that when I give extra it means I'm giving less in another area. I also remind myself that being consistent is truly the best way to be fair to all of my families and give the best care to the kids.
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Old 07-04-2017, 12:11 AM
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You should take some time to read through our Backbone threads: http://daycare.com/forum/tags.php?tag=backbone
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Old 07-04-2017, 03:48 AM
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It's hard. It really is. Some providers have a good handle on being a business person, strong, confident, don't give in. I'm not one of those, unfortunately. I'm much better than I used to be but still need to work on it.
I've used 'as per my contract' many times and that helps. I let 1 dcf drop off 15 minutes earlier than their contract said, about 5x until I realized it was going to happen more than 'just this once'. Then I wrote them up a note telling them 'per their contracted hours' they would be charged x amount going forward. Just last Friday, I had a dcf leave for a week's vacation and they hadn't paid me for this week yet. I was going to ask her about it when she picked up her dds but another dcp arrived at the same time so I ended up saying nothing. I did send her an email that night reminding her and said she could just drop it in the mail. Not sure if she's even read it yet or not.

I'm really terrible about confrontation. I've evolved slowly and figure by the time I'm 100 I might have it perfected.
There's a saying 'Fake it til you make it'. Hold your head high and act confident, choose professional words and know you deserve to run your business the way you want.

Also, if you send home newsletters or anything like that, put reminders in there about policies not being followed. For me, writing it down, instead of talking face to face, is easier.
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Old 07-04-2017, 12:35 PM
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I've been running my day care for years but I still struggle with confrontation/speaking up. My backbone is definitely a work in progress.

Some things that help me are:
Keeping in mind why I have the policy in the first place. For example, when I first started out, I had a hard time turning away sick kids. After losing income several times because I caught what they had, I got better at enforcing my illness policy.
Heading off problems before they become one.For example, I posted a notice on my door reminding parents who are going on vacation to pay their tuition before they leave in order to avoid late fees.
Addressing my discomfort For whatever reason, it helps me to start off by saying, "I feel uncomfortable having to say this but....."
Reminding myself that if someone had to feel disgruntled, it might just as well not be me!
Reminding myself that even if it feel uncomfortable while I'm talking to a parent, it feels really good once I've done it. Standing up for yourself feels so much better than being walked all over.
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Old 07-04-2017, 01:35 PM
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Leigh, I've been told not to go over policies at the tour. I always figured that they should know my main policies but my "mindset mentor " Ashley Binns says not to do that. (She owned a home daycare for a few years then owned a center)
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Old 07-04-2017, 02:34 PM
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Leigh, I've been told not to go over policies at the tour. I always figured that they should know my main policies but my "mindset mentor " Ashley Binns says not to do that. (She owned a home daycare for a few years then owned a center)
I ALWAYS go over policies! We have a tour, then sit down to answer questions of each other. After I answer their questions, we sit down and go over contract/handbook (mine is ONE document). This helps so much when I have BOTH parents here to ask for clarification on policies, and lets me know if one or both parents can't abide by them. THIS is the time for them to decide whether my place is the fit for them. I don't do more than one meeting with parents-I want them BOTH to participate in going over this stuff so there is no question that they agree to it.

I'm not one to waste my time on enrollments. I LOATHE recruiting new customers and hate interviews. I want to get it ALL done in one meeting. This also helps avoid a 2 week back and forth of texts/emails/phone calls of parents trying to negotiate because they are no longer looking me in the eye.
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:02 PM
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Short version: I don't make policies I am not willing to enforce consistently.

Long version: If it isn't important enough to me to enforce consistently, I simply don't include it in my policies. I have no grey rules, only black and white. Everything else is workable with compromise, preparation and a little creativity.
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
I ALWAYS go over policies! We have a tour, then sit down to answer questions of each other. After I answer their questions, we sit down and go over contract/handbook (mine is ONE document). This helps so much when I have BOTH parents here to ask for clarification on policies, and lets me know if one or both parents can't abide by them. THIS is the time for them to decide whether my place is the fit for them. I don't do more than one meeting with parents-I want them BOTH to participate in going over this stuff so there is no question that they agree to it.

I'm not one to waste my time on enrollments. I LOATHE recruiting new customers and hate interviews. I want to get it ALL done in one meeting. This also helps avoid a 2 week back and forth of texts/emails/phone calls of parents trying to negotiate because they are no longer looking me in the eye.
Same here. I'd much rather parents know and agree to my policies right from the start. That way we both know if we're a good fit or not and they can't tell me later that they "didn't know".
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:26 PM
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I explain that I apply all policies evenly, no matter how much I like the family.
The golden ones know that I mean them and they understand.
The others think I mean them ...
That is a real key phrase there.

When I write policies, I not only have in mind what's in MY best interest, but what is in the best interest for EVERYONE.
Bending the rules for ONE is unfair to the other families who do abide by the rules.
If you can keep that in mind, it may be easier to stand up for your policies.
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:48 PM
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I do apply policies evenly, even with clients i like. I just have been given conflicting information on when (if at all) to go over policies.

For the clients that i haven't, we have run into numerous issues. So i now have a separate illness agreement and a financial agreement as part of the enrollment packet
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Old 07-05-2017, 04:54 AM
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I don't understand the rationale behind not going over policies? Did your mentor explain why?
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:24 AM
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I don't understand the rationale behind not going over policies? Did your mentor explain why?
I'm curious too. This doesn't sound like a wise idea. I can see so many parents getting mad when you try to enforce a policy they weren't aware of before signing on... I've found putting everything out in the open, explaining what I expect and allow not only helps with my backbone but it helps weed out bad clients. I judge their reaction to my policies (verbal and non) when we go over it.
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:51 AM
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Wow, I only saw some of them before, thank you!
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:58 AM
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When i worked at a center, i was very confrontational and had no problem letting parents know the rules and saying no. But once i started my in home daycare...my backbone disappeared. I realized it was because at the center, the rules were not my own and the parents knew they couldnt "kill the messenger". Now i have nobody above me to say "the owner said..." because i am now the owner lol.
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:01 AM
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She said it's because you don't want to turn parents off to the program before they even know if they want to come or not. (I think she's in a Center mindset versus a "mutual fit" mindset)

From my standpoint, they can agree to policies now or later, but they are still responsible for knowing them. I would figure talking about them would allow them to fully understand what they are signing up for.
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
It's hard. It really is. Some providers have a good handle on being a business person, strong, confident, don't give in. I'm not one of those, unfortunately. I'm much better than I used to be but still need to work on it.
I've used 'as per my contract' many times and that helps. I let 1 dcf drop off 15 minutes earlier than their contract said, about 5x until I realized it was going to happen more than 'just this once'. Then I wrote them up a note telling them 'per their contracted hours' they would be charged x amount going forward. Just last Friday, I had a dcf leave for a week's vacation and they hadn't paid me for this week yet. I was going to ask her about it when she picked up her dds but another dcp arrived at the same time so I ended up saying nothing. I did send her an email that night reminding her and said she could just drop it in the mail. Not sure if she's even read it yet or not.

I'm really terrible about confrontation. I've evolved slowly and figure by the time I'm 100 I might have it perfected.
There's a saying 'Fake it til you make it'. Hold your head high and act confident, choose professional words and know you deserve to run your business the way you want.

Also, if you send home newsletters or anything like that, put reminders in there about policies not being followed. For me, writing it down, instead of talking face to face, is easier.
Thank you! I have experienced much of the same. There never seems to be a good time to address the important stuff. I Like the reminder/newsletters too, it makes me much less anxious! Especially when you have a "strong" personality DCP to deal with. And oh yes, give them even an inch, they will take 10 miles it seems.
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:48 PM
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By getting rid of the mindset that enforcing policies create disgruntled parents. In my experience it does not! Whenever I have upheld a policy, turned a child away at the door, refused care, charged late fees, I have never had any conflict from parents. Most of them apologize profusely and never do it again! It is hard but you have to feel the fear and do it anyway. Each time you do it, it gets easier and the more confident you feel.
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Old 07-13-2017, 02:15 PM
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By getting rid of the mindset that enforcing policies create disgruntled parents. In my experience it does not! Whenever I have upheld a policy, turned a child away at the door, refused care, charged late fees, I have never had any conflict from parents. Most of them apologize profusely and never do it again! It is hard but you have to feel the fear and do it anyway. Each time you do it, it gets easier and the more confident you feel.


I simply cannot wrap my head around the thought that conflict and being paid have anything to do with each other.


I have commented in backbone threads previously but most times I will admit that I simply just keep on scrolling because I just cannot make the connection that expecting payment or enforcing policies has anything to do with conflict.

Conflict to me is a disagreement, a fight or battle.

Being paid for services or having a discussion about following policies is none of those things.

Perspective IS everything.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:58 PM
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I simply cannot wrap my head around the thought that conflict and being paid have anything to do with each other.


I have commented in backbone threads previously but most times I will admit that I simply just keep on scrolling because I just cannot make the connection that expecting payment or enforcing policies has anything to do with conflict.

Conflict to me is a disagreement, a fight or battle.

Being paid for services or having a discussion about following policies is none of those things.

Perspective IS everything.
For me the reason I avoid all "conflict/confrontation" in general was because I grew up in a super healthy environment where "everything you say can and will be held against you". We were the poster family for a passive aggressive! (I'm talking complete cold shoulder for WEEKS, and in the end you still may not know why.) People pleasing is soooo ingrained in me that I can see it happening and feel powerless to stop it. I'm talking to the point of knowing you should probably see a therapist, but having been taught that you just need to stop whining and pull you're big girl panties up and get over it (because, you know, there are people with actual problems).

In my mind (however unrealistic) this statement: "enforcing policies create disgruntled parents" is reality.

Example:
I had to call for a pick-up yesterday because of fever. During the initial conversation with dcm she asked if I could just give Tylenol and keep her updated (I do provide mild sick care). The entire time (a whole 10 minutes, because mom immediately left work and came straight here) that I waited for her I told myself over and over that I would not apologize to mom for having her pick up. Dcm arrives, we chat, she agrees that pick-up was the right call and has made a doctor appointment for the afternoon. I STILL apologized for having her pick up. I just can't seem to stop it. This mom was in no way upset with me for having her pick up her child... and yet I felt the need to apologize.

I completely understand that my thoughts in this regard are not always realistic or logical, but it's what happens. I'm working on it. This forum has helped a ton in that I can read other's experiences and see in black and white letters that I'm not being a total B*tch for expecting certain things (payment, on time pick ups, etc...). And I use the "B" word, because anytime I stick up for myself I feel that this is how I will be perceived, even though that's not realistic.

...so there's my mini therapy session for the day.

And to answer your initial question OP: Self-aware fellow doormat right here!
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by TheMisplacedMidwestMom View Post
For me the reason I avoid all "conflict/confrontation" in general was because I grew up in a super healthy environment where "everything you say can and will be held against you". We were the poster family for a passive aggressive! (I'm talking complete cold shoulder for WEEKS, and in the end you still may not know why.) People pleasing is soooo ingrained in me that I can see it happening and feel powerless to stop it. I'm talking to the point of knowing you should probably see a therapist, but having been taught that you just need to stop whining and pull you're big girl panties up and get over it (because, you know, there are people with actual problems).

In my mind (however unrealistic) this statement: "enforcing policies create disgruntled parents" is reality.

Example:
I had to call for a pick-up yesterday because of fever. During the initial conversation with dcm she asked if I could just give Tylenol and keep her updated (I do provide mild sick care). The entire time (a whole 10 minutes, because mom immediately left work and came straight here) that I waited for her I told myself over and over that I would not apologize to mom for having her pick up. Dcm arrives, we chat, she agrees that pick-up was the right call and has made a doctor appointment for the afternoon. I STILL apologized for having her pick up. I just can't seem to stop it. This mom was in no way upset with me for having her pick up her child... and yet I felt the need to apologize.

I completely understand that my thoughts in this regard are not always realistic or logical, but it's what happens. I'm working on it. This forum has helped a ton in that I can read other's experiences and see in black and white letters that I'm not being a total B*tch for expecting certain things (payment, on time pick ups, etc...). And I use the "B" word, because anytime I stick up for myself I feel that this is how I will be perceived, even though that's not realistic.

...so there's my mini therapy session for the day.

And to answer your initial question OP: Self-aware fellow doormat right here!
Thank you for this!

It is probably THE most informative and helpful post I have ever read on this forum...
and considering my post count/length of membership here...that's saying alot.

I have a hard time wrapping my head around things for the same reasons and while I may be a blunt and straight forward person I too struggle.... maybe not with the same things some providers struggle with but I have an internal battle waging on inside me just as you do and for similar reasons... my upbringing. I see, do and act based on how I was raised and understanding where others are coming from helps. It helps everyone.

We've all said "Hmm, I never looked at it that way" (whatever it means at the time) so to me, EVERYTHING is perspective and how we view it so seeing, hearing or learning about others' perspectives is awesome.


When we understand better, we know better.
When we know better, we do better.

Thank you again for sharing this....
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:44 PM
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I just wanted to add, as a fellow codependant people pleaser, I completely understand!! BUT the fact that you understand your personal psychology as a result of your upbringing is huge and will greatly benefit you. You are now able to observe your thought process and work to change it! Each time you challenge your thought process and see how flawed it is, the better you get at it and the greater your self esteem becomes. Question question and question those thoughts that tell you that you are not worth as much as they are and question your need to be "liked"

The conflict is really only in our minds!
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