Talking to Your Childcare Provider about Discipline
- Discuss your need for confidentiality regarding the issues you explore together on your child’s behalf.
- Provide clear information about how you deal with particular behaviors at home.
- Offer to set up routine times for discussing discipline issues with the childcare provider. This may be necessary until behavior is under control.
- Invite the childcare provider to keep you informed about progress or strategies that seem to be affecting behavior, and try not to react defensively.
- Listen with an open mind. It can be difficult to hear information that seems “critical” of your child. It can also be difficult to know your child is having any struggles in childcare. Acknowledge those natural feelings, but don’t let them interfere with your ultimate goal—helping your child learn more appropriate behavior.
- Ask that information be discussed discreetly—not in front of the child. You never want a child to feel that he is “bad.”
- After meeting, summarize what was said and agree on a general plan for the next steps.
- Always follow up your conversations with inquiries about what is working well and what still needs to be accomplished. You and your childcare provider are partners in teaching your child how to get along in the world.
When you share information without judgment, you will positively impact the relationship between you, the childcare provider, and your child. Using a nonjudgmental tone will also make it easier for your childcare provider to support your discipline plan. Always follow up on those conversations. Ask what is working well and what goals all of you should continue to work on. Nurturing this special relationship is important for your child’s development and for your peace of mind.
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