Parents are tough. Some parents are almost impossible. I have worked with some gracious and wonderful parents (mostly) and some who have made it hard to remain a professional. I’ve had parents yell at me (in front of their kids, in front of other parents). I had a dad who raised a hand to me because his car received a ticket for double parking while he was dropping off his child. Somehow, this infraction became my fault. Go figure.
The first word that comes to mind (or should come to mind) when thinking about communicating with families is RESPECT. Time and again, we hear, “Parents are their child’s first teacher”. They are and they should be respected as such.
I also operate under the premise that ALL parents love their children as much as I love mine. With that in mind, I try to be understanding of different parenting styles, ways to rear and guide children and expressions of love and care. Each time I encounter a parent doing something differently than I might do it, I say to myself, “There are many right ways.” This is not always easy, as I worry about children, but most parental (nearly all) actions come out of love and having their child’s best interests at heart.
As we explore ideas of family communication, I would love to hear how you find success in creating a dialogue with the parents and family members of the children in your center.