“I know! I need to grow a backbone for dealing with parents.”  I hear this from providers all the time.  Believe me, I have been there too.  As providers, sometimes we find it difficult to effectively enforce our policies with clients.   That’s why today I will show you why growing that proverbial backbone and feeling confident in your client communication is so important for the childcare provider.  So if you think you need to grow a backbone, keep reading!  Providers need to Grow a Backbone

Why Providers Need a Backbone

It’s Hard at First Providers need to Grow a Backbone

The fact is it can be hard for providers to feel confident and be assertive when dealing with their clients.  This can be especially true if you are a new provider.  Feeling intimidated by the role as a new business owner coupled with the need to be firm with a client you probably worked hard to acquire is quite common.

Providers need to Grow a Backbone

We don’t want to rock the boat and lose the client.  So we swallow whatever they dish out, and allow bad habits to begin.  The problem is, those bad habits usually continue.

Why Providers need to be assertive

The thing is the provider is most likely the sole champion for their childcare business.  Plainly put, if you don’t stand up for the business who will?  You are the boss!

Being a provider comes with many hats.  One of the biggest hats being the one marked “Business Owner”.  And as a business owner, the main concern is ensuring that the business continues and grows.  That means having sound business practices that are followed.

If you have key policies, whether they are licensing mandates or specific to your business, enforcing them is just good business.

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Providers need to Grow a Backbone

Why it’s Not Easier to Give In

For many providers, we can get in the habit of compromising or just giving in.  Even though it seems easier, actually it can wind up causing more problems in the end.

This was especially true for me.  I hated confrontation.  So when parents would show up late or not have their tuition on Friday, I would just say “Ok, I understand.”

What I was really saying was “It’s not important to follow my rules.”  Or even worse, “I don’t take my business seriously and neither should you.”  Providers need to Grow a Backbone

What are you really saying about your business?

Giving in to rule breakers is setting the provider up for more violations in the future.  But, if we make exceptions the exception, running our business can be a lot easier.

Avoids the Burn-Out Zone

Being proactively assertive when it comes to our businesses helps to avoid the frustration that could easily turn into burn-out for so many providers.  Feeling like parents are walking all over you and disregarding your policies can suck the passion right out of your profession.

It can be draining to feel like a doormat.

Grows Stronger Over Time

Here’s the good news – your backbone grows stronger over time.   With experience comes knowledge.  And with knowledge comes confidence.

After an uncomfortable experience, I specifically remember saying to myself, “that will never happen again.”  And then I would take steps – amend my contract, policies, my mindset etc. to make sure it didn’t.

No, it probably won’t ever be pleasurable or even comfortable dealing with a parent who seems intent on making their own rules.  But, and there is a big but, your confidence and ability to be more assertive will grow over time.

This confidence will inspire you and give you the “backbone” to stand up for not only your policies and principles but also your business.

Related Reading – 

Provider’s Need a Backbone!

Although at first, it can be hard for childcare providers to feel confident and assertive, our businesses are ours and we are the boss.  Even though giving in may seem easier, it can cause bad habits.  In order to keep from becoming frustrated, losing the passion for our profession and getting burned out we need to gain confidence and become more comfortable standing up for our businesses.

Do you feel intimidated and that parents run over you?  Please leave a comment below and let me know if you feel you need to grow a backbone and why.

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