Resolving Challenging Attitudes and Behaviors [CLOs: 1, 4]
While a mutually respectful relationship may be the norm, there are also times when conflicts arise. Begin by reviewing Figure 15-6 on page 425 of your course text. Next, review the following scenario:
You have decided to take the children in your care on a field trip to the local library. You have received the approval of your program’s director and secured funds from your community partners for transportation. You provided the children with several reminders that their permission slips must be signed and returned or they will not be allowed to go on the field trip. You even placed phone calls to the parents who have not returned the permission slips by the due date. Many of the children have submitted their permission slips, with one exception. The morning of the field trip, you place the child in the room of a colleague and attend the field trip with the other children and chaperones. The next morning, the irate mother calls the program director and says that (a) you are unfair; (b) you knew she would let her child attend; (c) she never received the permission slip; (d) she did not listen to the voicemail you left reminding her to return the permission slip; (e) she wants to have a conference with you and the director.
How will you prepare for this parent conference?
Describe how you would apply the five steps, outlined in Figure 15-6, to this scenario.
In a Conflict with a Parent?
Five Steps to Take:
Analyze your own feelings. Why do you feel so strongly about this issue? Are you emotionally involved? Has this become a power struggle? Are factors other than the child’s best interests entering into your thinking about the conflict? If so, what are they?
Imagine a walk in their shoes
2.Put yourself in the parents’ shoes. What are they thinking, and why might they look at the situation the way they do? Assuming that they have their child’s best interests in mind, why are they behaving as they are?
Confer with a colleague
3.Check out your perceptions. Find a friend or colleague whom you respect but who often sees things differently from you.Describe the situation as objectively as you can. Can your colleague give you any insight into why you and the parent are at odds?
4.Arrange to meet with the parent. Make all preconference communications as friendly and unthreatening as possible. Do not get drawn into playing out the dispute before you meet. If you are very angry, have someone else look at your notes before you send them or role-play with a colleague what you will say.
5.Avoid coming to the conference with a prearranged solution. Learn more about the parents’ viewpoint. Try to be nonjudgmental. Negotiate. Try to come up with a solution that meets the child’s needs. Try to agree at least on the next step.
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