If you want to know how businesses operate, learn about management or develop your skills in a specialised area such as finance, you may be interested in pursuing studies in management courses Sydney. You tell a parent about a problem that their child is having and they barely give you eye contact, let alone hear what you’re saying. You confront a co-worker about something that is bothering you and they agree to make some changes, but two days later it’s back to the same old behaviors. What can you do?
Yes, you can get frustrated. Yes, you can vent to anyone who is willing to listen. You can develop negative feelings about the parents, your co-workers, and your center. You can carry those negative feelings around with you until your stress and anxiety levels become so unbearable – you’re left feeling drained and unfulfilled.
The good news is – there are some good, constructive things you can do when they won’t listen to you. Things that will help you feel positive and have more energy.
Listed below are two frustrating situations that were recently shared during a workshop I conducted:
“I’m trying to work on specific goals for a child in my care, i.e., holding his own bottle or cup, trying finger foods, playing on his own for 1 minute. I feel the child is ready and – he’s showing us he’s ready. I inform the parents verbally and ask them to do what I do. It’s been two months and so far they haven’t followed through…this is very frustrating. I feel that whatever I do, the family negates at home.”
“Some parents seem to leave with their children so fast I don’t feel they care. I don’t get the opportunity to talk to them about current activities in the classroom or their child’s day. They just get their stuff and leave without saying goodbye or thank you.”
How can these situations be handled in a positive and productive way? Here are some things you can do when you feel that parents and co-workers don’t listen to you.
Do not assume the worst. When I consult with child care professionals they often tell me: “The parents just don’t care!” or “I’m not respected in the profession.” Feelings become negative and actions follow the same path. Most often when we analyze these situations we find that the parents are just busy and they do care and they will listen to you when approached in a constructive way. It’s not that they don’t like you or feel that what you do is not important. So the first step is to hold firmly in your mind positive, motivating thoughts such as: “What I have to say is important for you to know because…” Decide to focus on those thoughts as opposed to the negative ones (They don’t like me…they don’t care…) You’ll be happier and get better results.
Understand things from the other person’s perspective. Once you’re able to master this skill you’ll be able to empathize with the person and focus on solutions. You’ll be able to remove yourself personally from the situation and focus on what works. To empathize with someone, simply put yourself in his or her shoes and stay there for a minute or two. How must he or she be feeling? So the next time you need to spend some quality time with a parent start off by greeting her and then say “I understand you are crazy busy but I would like to spend five minutes with you to discuss your child. I understand you probably have to rush right out but perhaps we can schedule some time for later this week. I can give you a call at home, your office, or send you an email to arrange a time when we can meet. What would be best for you?”
Hold your head high and do the best job you can to convey your message. One of the most frustrating challenges is when you have a solution that you know will work but you can’t get the parent(s) to follow on the solution. For example, after a workshop I conducted a child care professional approached me and stated that one child in her class has a certain condition. She read up on this condition and has a few ideas to share with the parents, however, she can’t get them to listen to her. We brainstormed several things that she can do including: set up a special meeting as described above, confront the parents positively and directly regarding your findings, present the parent with written materials, or hold an open forum for parents who may share the same challenge. Once you’ve exhausted all possible solutions, find peace in the fact that you did the best job you could to help the child whether the parents bought into your ideas or not.
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