One of the unpleasant realities of running a daycare center is encountering angry parents from time to time. Whether they’re mildly upset or furious, being confronted by these parents can be unnerving. Here are a few reminders that will come in handy when you’re faced with these unpredictable challenges.
Maintain a Calm, Supportive Attitude
Though you may or may not agree with a parent’s initial complaints, try not to react defensively. Instead, do your best to empathize with their perspective. After all, it’s not easy being in a position where you have to drop your child off to be cared for by other people each day when you go to work. Make it clear to the parent that you see yourself as their ally when it comes to looking out for the best interests of their child. Show your support by pointing out any part of their concerns that you can agree with regarding the particular instance at hand. No matter how loud, rude, or unreasonable the parent may seem, do your best to remain pleasant and professional. A gentle demeanor can often work wonders in diffusing a tense situation.
Listen Carefully Before Responding
Sometimes a parent may have a valid point you haven’t considered. Regardless of the parent’s attitude when making their complaint, do your best to afford them the right to be heard without interruption. If a parent comes to you and shows signs of being upset, you could start out the conversation by politely telling them that you genuinely want to know all of their concerns. Parents are more likely to respect you if they can tell that you’re willing to hear them out.
Try to Get the Full Picture
Some parents get angry about situations that turn out to be misunderstandings. Children sometimes get confused by the words or actions of adults or other children. That confusion can cause them to unintentionally give their parents a skewed picture of a certain situation. After hearing the parent’s complaints and taking careful notes, meet with any other individuals the parent described as being involved in the situation so you can get their perspective.
Own Up to Legitimate Shortcomings
If a parent has any sort of valid complaint about policies, procedures, or staff member behavior, offer a sincere apology. Even if, after thoroughly investigating the situation, you don’t agree with their complaint, you can still express that you’re sorry the incident caused them or their child to feel distressed. Assure the parent that you will do whatever needs to be done to ensure that the problem is resolved. Follow through on this commitment with concrete steps. Talk to the parent later to make sure they don’t have any further concerns and to let them know what progress you’ve made in addressing their grievances.
Successful daycare administration isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a profession that requires patience, wisdom, and great people skills. By following these helpful tips you’ll be well on your way to promoting a harmonious relationship with the parents of children entrusted to your care.