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How to Grow an in Person Backbone?

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  • How to Grow an in Person Backbone?

    I need some advice. I never have a hard time sticking to my policies over text or email but I have a hard time confronting people in person. I also have a hard time knowing what to say when people ask me questions I’m not expecting. For example: this morning, PITA DCM came to drop off DCG22 mo and wanted to talk about potty training AGAIN. Well basically I had told her over text I wasn’t budging on my policies so she didn’t ask about PT policy. But she said she is keeping DCG home on Tuesday and Wednesday (I am closed on Monday) and said they are trying to work things out financially at home so she asked if I could waive the absent rate (half regular rate but should be full rate since she’s not giving two weeks notice). I instinctively just said “yeah sure” and I have NO idea why 🤦‍♀️ It’s not a ton of money, BUT since it’s not, why can’t she just pay it? I know some people are in a tight spot but, like, I will be too if I don’t charge anyone! My other problem is, I am setting a precedent now. She’s a teacher so she’s going to expect that she gets all of her breaks and days off waived while everyone else pays and I’m literally so mad at myself. How do I fix this? What do I say?

    also going to add problem #2 I’m currently having lol:
    DCM of DCB14 mo (who just started and is the absolute sweetest and I love him already) had told me she had two resources for backup care (which I require) and then sent him on Tuesday when he was WAY too sick to be here and I texted about pickup and she started saying she can’t take off every time he is sick and she is a preschool teacher so she knows and yada yada and was kinda rude. She kept him home yesterday and sent him back today but he seems worse this afternoon (suspecting a dope and drop). I told her if she doesn’t have the means to keep him home then my program isn’t for her as mean as that sounds. But she got upset and has seemed annoyed at drop off and pick up which I don’t really care about but I’m not sure how to tell her she needs to be available when her kid is sick. I’m still in the trial period with her so I could term anytime but I don’t want to be mean in the way I handle it.

  • #2
    I wish I could remember who gave this advice on here awhile back. When a dc parents catches you off-guard with a question like that, say, “Let me think about that and I’ll get back to you.” Then you’ll have time to word your answer.

    As for the other mom, I would really consider terming. She’s already pushing back on your illness policy….what will be next? When she says she can’t take off every time her child is sick, she’s putting the problem back on you, but SHE is the parent. It’s her problem to figure out. You required backup care, so she should be using that.

    Comment


    • BaileeB
      BaileeB commented
      Editing a comment
      I am not sure what I should say now though. I am considering charging her the half rate and if she says something I will say “oh, I thought you meant not charging you full rate even though you didn’t give me notice”. I feel like it’s really rude to ask me to give up my money for you to be more comfortable. And I mean, not to sound mean but she is a middle school math teacher and her husband works in HVAC or plumbing for some big company and he’s like never home and they only have one daughter. I am not trying to sound rude, but it’s in my policy for a reason. Same thing with the PT. It’s like she wants to get an exception for EVERY policy. Honestly, I think I just said it because I was so excited for her to not be here for most of next week. 😂

      Second DCM I’m trying to figure out a way to tell her that she needs to seriously consider if this is going to work for her. Because I am going to exclude. I have a 30 minute pickup window. I understand that she had a hard time finding anywhere with openings (she had been sending him to what seemed to me to be a super scummy unlicensed place before) and she is so excited to have him enrolled here because I’m licensed and an actual business.

  • #3
    I have this same problem sometimes! I like Rock girl's advice and just tell them you'll have to think about it.

    Comment


    • #4
      I’d get rid of that mom. She’s causing too many issues. She probably knows you’re not quick on your feet either.

      I think time and experience fixes a lot of this. You’ll get better and develop the back bone through a few hard lessons.

      But practice now to pause and then give an answer. Start it tomorrow with all parents. Even silly simple stuff, pause, think, then answer. And practice the “let me think on this and get back to you.” It’s a conscience effort until it becomes habit.
      Last edited by MissCait; 2 weeks ago.

      Comment


      • MissCait
        MissCait commented
        Editing a comment
        BaileeB

        “Not quick on your feet” that came out wrong. I meant she probably knows she would catch you off guard. I didn’t mean that insulting like you’re stupid or anything. Anyway, the pausing helps me and staying on my guard. It’s a habit now. So much though that usually when I pause, the parent fills it in for me. Lmao. “Just get back to me!” And i say “okay.” Lol!!
        Last edited by MissCait; 2 weeks ago.

      • BaileeB
        BaileeB commented
        Editing a comment
        MissCait no, I know what you meant, you’re fine! Haha it’s true though! I’m not good at thinking on my feet sometimes. Especially at 6:30am before I’ve had my coffee and I spent all night dealing with a sick and teething 11mo 🙃 haha
        But yes! I am most definitely going to pause and honestly, if someone asks me something like making a financial exception I want to pause so long they feel uncomfortable and ridiculous for asking 🤣 that’s what I should have done. Like a “are you hearing yourself?” Kinda thing without saying it
        Last edited by BaileeB; 2 weeks ago.

      • MissCait
        MissCait commented
        Editing a comment
        BaileeB

        Aww, that irritates me she did that to you. 6:30 in the freaking morning. I would definitely send what BC told you too. She doesn’t deserve to get away with it.

        I’ve been caught off guard too. I’d let them slide and just over time I got better with it.

    • #5
      I’d ask the second mom about the back up care she put on paperwork and what’s the issue.

      Comment


      • #6
        ALWAYS reply with "Ill get back you" when asked something on the spot. Asking on the spot is rude and somewhat underhanded as most clients know that you will say something you don't mean simply because they put you on the spot.

        I would email that mom back and tell her "After thinking about it, I have decided that I am not willing to waive the fees for DCG's absent days as I previously said. I answered in haste since you kind of put me on the spot and I wasn't really able to think things completely through. While I'd love to waive fees for clients it just isn't possible since this is my source of income and the means in which I pay my bills for my family so I am sure you understand. Thank you and I'll see you XXXX day"

        Saying the above tells her that this is your business/income and tells her you don't like being put on the spot like that. It also SHOWS her you aren't afraid to correct your mistake and stand behind your business policies.

        As for DCM# 2, I personally wouldn't ask about or mention her back up providers and simply tell her that her child is excluded for ANY of the symptoms listed on your illness policy. I would also add that you understand how difficult it is to have to manage a job AND an ill child but millions of parents each year do it and sending a sick child to daycare is unacceptable and inconsiderate as well as something you will NOT tolerate.

        Then type up an illness policy reminder as well as an addendum to the policy and add in the 24/48 hour rule. It will literally eliminate any issues you have with dope/drops and most of all sick kids being dropped at daycare.

        Oh and as far as building a back bone... the two biggest light bulb moments for me was changing my mindset to believe that every single time I waive a policy or accept late payments, less pay or any type of issue with money, I told myself that I was essentially reaching into my kids piggy bank and taking money from them and giving it to the problem DC parent. (made me think twice about letting money issues slide when it benefitted the DCF but not me/my family.)

        The second thing was..... these people (clients) are not my friends. I do not care if they like me or not.

        Comment


        • BaileeB
          BaileeB commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you!!! This is perfect because I feel like she did it intentionally to catch me off guard and again, it’s just rude to put your financial issues on me. I’m running a business to provide for my family and like I said, I feel like she just wants an exception for EVERY policy.

      • #7
        I am the same with things like that. I am getting better. I’ve taken the advice to keep a straight face/smile and say I’ll get back to them or just quickly say “No!”

        The other mom: I’d remind her your policy is that she has two forms of back-up care. Depending on how she responded would depend on the whether or not I’d term.

        Comment


        • #8
          The PT family just started and is already pushing policies. It’s not going to get better, I’d honestly debate terming during the trial period.

          for the other mom, i like BCS text/email to send . She KNEW you wouldn’t charge . Even if you decide to clarify and just charge the 1/2 as a courtesy then I’d make sure she Understands that this is a one time thing and that you won’t offer that again,

          Comment


          • #9
            BCs tip about imagining taking money from MY kids was what helped me. Then I also try to say ‘let me get back to you’. It gives me time when I’m caught off guard and debating caving in to avoid confrontation.

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            • #10
              So side note: does anyone have anything in their policies about after-hours phone calls, messages, emails, etc? PITA DCM texts me ALL THE TIME about stupid stuff. She’s been bugging me almost daily about talking about PT. I can’t even explain my policy because she shows up at the last minute and is almost late to work every morning. I told her we can schedule a time to talk on the phone one evening or we can talk at pickup. She texted me at 7:30pm asking to talk on the phone tonight. She said she has another question. LEAVE ME ALONE I AM WITH MY FAMILY. Ugh. I guess I will get to practice the “let me think about it and I’ll get back with you” because she will probably ask tomorrow. Why does it have to be the parent I dislike most wants to text me the most? DH said I need to charge her for every non-urgent message outside of daycare hours. Anyone have something like that in their policy book or do your DCPs have common courtesy to leave you alone when you’re off? 🤦‍♀️

              Comment


              • Blackcat31
                Blackcat31 commented
                Editing a comment
                If a parent texts me after hours I respond with: “Auto Reply: Daycare is currently closed. I am spending time with my family, please text or call again during business hours.”

                If they text again I simply ignore.

                The next day I address it by saying that drop off/pick up does not allow time to talk so any issues a parent has requires them to set up a time that works for both of us to talk/email back and forth.

                So basically your DCM needs to make an appointment with you to discuss this topic and she needs to understand that you will email/reply when you have time NOT when she wants you to… kwim? You work long hours and without a break….anything a parent needs to discuss in regards to policies does not qualify as an emergency so they need to have some patience and understanding in this regard.

            • #11
              Okay I was doing invoicing for tomorrow and remembered that DCM asked me when she started here if I could include specific information in the invoices so that she can submit it to her work or something because she gets reimbursed. I don’t know if it’s one of those dependent care accounts or something but now I am just mad. I know her husband has a good job, she is employed and they live in a brand new house and drive nice cars. But she is trying to play the poor me card and avoid my policies and ask me to make exceptions and take money from me and my family. That makes me MAD. I was talking to DH and I was like I don’t know why I have such a hard time with her. He said “because she’s a manipulator.” And he’s exactly right. I need to figure out how to term. I can not deal with it anymore.

              Comment


              • GirlMomma
                GirlMomma commented
                Editing a comment
                BaileeB I am so proud of you for sending that!! You did a great job. Stand firm today!!!!!

                I’ve found that the more prepared I am to answer their questions, the easier I can say no and state why. Also, someone has suggested in the past to simply repeat yourself. If she questions it, just say the same thing you said in the email. Verbatim. It has worked for me!

              • BaileeB
                BaileeB commented
                Editing a comment
                GirlMomma Thank you! I am proud of myself! She did not even step inside the playroom today or look at me at drop off. She seemed very irritated but she didn’t say anything other than “I’ll be picking up right at 3 today because….. we have…. An appointment.” I am hoping it’s to tour a new daycare 🤣 that would make my life a lot easier!

              • Blackcat31
                Blackcat31 commented
                Editing a comment
                Good for you BaileeB It feels good to stand up for yourself! Also, who cares if she is irritated with you. If she is it's because you didn't cave to her demands. Sounds like childish behavior to me. Let her pout and/or be short with you...it's her problem not yours. If she is truly unhappy with your program she will move along. If she does, it sounds like you won't mind and if she stays, she will now know you aren't going to be giving into her pleas for "special treatment". You did a great job and it's a nice way to end the week!!

            • #12
              Originally posted by BaileeB View Post
              So side note: does anyone have anything in their policies about after-hours phone calls, messages, emails, etc? PITA DCM texts me ALL THE TIME about stupid stuff.
              I don’t have a policy…

              However, my biggest PITA DCM has stopped texting me outside of hours. How? I simply stopped responding after hours and began replying at 7:31 AM the next business day.

              I once had another DCM that text me around 10 or so at night on a Thursday about bringing her DCG back on Friday. DCK had been out with an unknown rash since Tuesday that hadn’t gone away/been looked at by a medical professional. I didn’t respond until 7:31 AM on Friday. I told her since it hadn’t been looked at by a doctor and the rash was still present, she couldn’t return. No response. She withdrew her daughter the following Monday because my “policies are a bit much” and she “needed more flexibility” because she “couldn’t take off work for every little thing.” Sound familiar? LOL I wasn’t even mad.

              But anyways, just don’t respond anymore until you’re open again… unless of course it’s a TRUE emergency. If a parent can find it in your handbook, it’s not an emergency.

              Comment


              • GirlMomma
                GirlMomma commented
                Editing a comment
                BaileeB yes, she does believe your life revolves around her and DCG 😂

                Another side to this, is it likely she has a problem with face-to-face confrontation & perhaps that’s why she texts so much?

              • BaileeB
                BaileeB commented
                Editing a comment
                GirlMomma She does not seem to have a problem with face to face confrontation because she asked me to waive my fees in person. She is an overly arrogant type of person. My mother had to come during an emergency a few weeks back and stay with the kids until parents came. When DCM came to pick up my mom said she instantly did not like her and she did not even know who’s mom she was yet. I think she is trying to catch me off guard to talk about it to see if she can get me to make an exception. She is a manipulative person and she’s testing me to see how far she can push. When she started she kept complimenting me and my home and being so nice and she seemed like a totally different person than how she is every day at drop off and pick up. She is not shy at all. The more I think about the more it upsets me actually lol I was tricked 😂

              • GirlMomma
                GirlMomma commented
                Editing a comment
                BaileeB do we have the same DCM?? 😂 My PITA DCM that I quit responding to after hours, questions every policy, etc use to do the same crap. I would get gifts and compliments, even my DD would, too. When I started enforcing my policies on her, she stopped being so “nice” AKA manipulative. Now I get respect! If she doesn’t leave, she’ll treat you like this for quite awhile. Very distant and cold. Until see needs another favor 😂

                My PITA DCM is expecting. I don’t take infants, she knows this. She asked me if I’d take her infant - after being cold and distant towards me for like six months. I said no. A few weeks ago, a provider opened up in the area that enrolls infants. I posted the new providers info on my website for families to share with other parents. PITA DCM asked about the new provider… fingers crossed 😅

            • #13
              I just tell them that drop-off and pick-up times are about their child, not them. Their focus should be on saying good-bye or hello to their child.

              Adult issues require text, email or scheduling a conference. I will not discuss adult matter in front of children. I am at work, and my work is child care.

              Parent: "Oh, I wanted to ask you...."

              Me: Interrupting: "We need to get to the playroom, now. Just shoot me an email. Bye Mom! Have a great day! Come on ____ we are going to ____ this morning before breakfast."

              This about setting the tone for the child's day, and the parent's relationship with them into adulthood.

              The child is the most important person on the porch, not the adults. The child is not invisible or irrelevant, therefore should not be treated that way by their parent. Parents need to see their child as a whole person, not an extension of themselves. This is important, lifelong, stuff. It starts in daycare.
              Last edited by Cat Herder; 2 weeks ago.

              Comment


              • Cat Herder
                Cat Herder commented
                Editing a comment
                This is one of my biggest regrets as a parent. I was so focused on making a good impression and appearing interested in my kids programs that I spent that time talking to the other adults instead of focusing on my kids and how they felt about them. I relegated them to "silence while the grown-ups were talking" at their own events. I am so ashamed of it, now.

              • BaileeB
                BaileeB commented
                Editing a comment
                I totally understand this but at the same time, if I did this, I would have every parent constantly texting, emailing and calling me and setting up appointments to talk about every little thing. It would become ridiculous. I do interrupt parents if I need to speak to the children and I do my best to put the children first when parents are here. If I tried to only talk to parents when children aren’t here then I would really never have any time off because they’d just talk my ear off after hours with no littles to interrupt and id have no excuse to cut them off 🤣 usually after the conversation starts to shift to chit chat I look at my watch and say “oh I think everyone’s probably about ready for breakfast” and I have a couple of kids that sprint for the kitchen as soon as they hear the word breakfast or eat so that usually gets them to leave lol
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