Dealing with Unpleasant Situations

TALKING TO PARENTS ABOUT DIFFICULT SITUATIONS:
*Always start the conversation on a positive note.
*Describe the behavior or situation in a matter-of-fact way.
*Do not label the child with terms such as: aggressive, bully, rowdy, shy, or selfish. Instead try “Sally hit several children today.”
*Tell the parent how you are handling the problem during the day.
*Ask the parent not to punish the child for incidents that occurred at your home, but try to work on causes, and to respond to problems that occur at home.
*Keep the parent informed.

RESPONDING TO PARENT COMPLAINTS:
*Listen to the entire complaint without interrupting or defending.
*Try not to react defensively or in anger. Try to communicate in a clear, level manner.
*Ask for clarification until you understand exactly what the concern is.
*Rephrase the concern in your own words to be sure you completely understand the problem.
*Express your understanding of the parent’s feelings.
*Explain your policy or position on the complaint.
*Try to reach an agreement.
*Maintain confidentiality.
*If the complaints continue and there seems to be no common ground, consider referring the parent elsewhere.

GOOD COMMUNICATION RULES:
*Always greet the parent and child cheerfully by name.
*Emphasize the positive.
*Never discuss problems with the child in front of the child.
*Know your limits. Be honest about what you can and cannot do.
*Ask open-ended questions.
*Always welcome parental visits.
*Always keep communications absolutely confidential.

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