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  1. #1

    DCP Has Problems with Our Routine

    I apologize in advance for being all over the place.

    I’ve had the same child for 8 months that I’ve had since I opened. When I first opened I didn’t really have much of a backbone, I was new to the home daycare business & was willing to accommodate whatever just to get things going. About a month in I had to explain to the mom of her then 13 month old that her 1 hour max nap requests weren’t going to work for the daycare. She reluctantly complied, but since then has always made passive aggressive remarks about her “long naps”. Nap time here is from 12:30-3:00 (rarely is it 3:00pm, everyone’s usually up & already playing by 2:30-2:45). This mom is now due in about a month & the only thing preventing me from giving notice at that time was the fact that she was expecting & I didn’t want to be that kind of person. During that time she was working & wanting her girl to go to bed early to make her life easier (her long naps weren’t the issue, they didn’t have much of a consistent routine at home & let her run the show). Now the mom is home & off work & due in a month & is now wanting long naps back to give her a later bedtime, & is shocked that she doesn’t sleep long “it was nice when she was home last week & slept all night for me & wasn’t already tired by 8, lol.” I almost want to tell her that her daughter is not a robot, I can’t turn her naps on & off. Some days she sleeps for 45 minutes, other days she sleeps for 2 hours. Our schedule has always been the same. In the beginning it didn’t work for her because she was napping too long, & now she has a problem that our same routine is “causing” her to not nap long at all.

    A month after I began caring for DCG, I took on 2 other siblings who have since gone. During this time of having the other children she never tried to get me to go back & change my nap policy because I had explained to her that I won’t disrupt the routine to accommodate just one family. It’s been a month since I’ve taken on 2 new children (the previous 2 had been given notice mid February), & she’s trying it again all over again & I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

    I’m so tired of being constantly blamed for their lack of bedtime routine & discipline at home & it’s been 8 months & I'm still encountering the same issue. The routine we’ve had & always had here have always worked for all the children I’ve ever had in my care & it fit in perfectly with their home routines & schedule, except for her, & what she is wanting me to change it to wouldn’t really work. I don’t want to be giving the impression here that our policies, routine, & schedule are negotiable. I haven’t really directly addressed the issue yet as I’m not sure how to properly address it politely. This is where I’m asking for some advice from the pros who’ve been successfully running their home daycares for a long time. How do I word it & how do I properly address this issue? Accommodating her new demands aren’t an option as it just wouldn’t work for my home daycare & the children I care for.

    Edited to add: I really love her little girl & almost feel as if she’s a part of our family now because she’s grown so close with myself, my husband, & our 3 year old daughter. This has been the main reason I just couldn’t find it in me to give notice, that & the fact that she is expecting. Now she is due in less than a month & I’m kind of regretting not doing it in the beginning when I had an inkling that this would be a recurring issue. It’s so dreadful to interact with her at drop-off & pick-up now because she’s always making remarks about her lack of sleep caused by DCG’s “erratic” napping schedule.
    Last edited by wpgmomma0412; 04-02-2019 at 02:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    Tough as it is, you are going to have to sit down and have an honest conversation with Mom.

    You are going to have to be really clear that in a group care environment, the children are expected to conform with the routine, the routine cannot be changed based on one child's needs.

    Ask her outright if your routine suits her or not. If it doesn't then she can hand in her notice but it if does, she must respect that you are not a nanny working exclusively for her family but a group care provider. While of course the individuality of a child is encouraged, her child is just one part of a group and unity in the schedule is paramount. Tell her to let you know within a week if she's in or out.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzie_Homemaker View Post
    Tough as it is, you are going to have to sit down and have an honest conversation with Mom.
    Thank you, Suzie. I think the thing thatís so frustrating about this for me is that Iíve already had this conversation with her in the beginning when I initially implemented our one schedule & one routine for everyone. She never asked me to change it since, until today. When she initially asked the first time (months ago), I had told her I couldnít change the routine around to suit just one because itís not fair to everyone else. & just today she asks me again to change things around.

    I personally think a nanny would be best for them as sheís made it crystal clear plenty of times over the last few months that things arenít working for them, but they donít want the price of a nanny (she used to be a nanny prior to DCG being born so sheís aware of how expensive they can be).

  4. #4
    Euphoric !
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    In that case, she's either not hearing you or choosing not to hear you. You must enforce your policies each and every time. I know some people find that hard especially initially so it's a wise practice to get in the habit of saying "I need to think about that because it's not in line with my business and I'll get back to you in a timely manner." That gives you time to compose your thoughts and be firm when you aren't caught off guard with these requests.

    Personally, I would shoot her an e-mail and let her know you have given her request some thought but in a group care environment, you must stick to a routine that works for the majority. Then ask her outright if she can accept that or if she intends seeking alternative care. It makes it really clear.

    I think a lot of provider's, particularly the newer ones, are frightened of upsetting a client and losing them. But you cannot be everything to everyone and that's a fast way to burn out. Decide what your boundaries are and then enforce them. Otherwise you will feel that someone is taking advantage.

    I've learned to be really direct with people and not tip-toe around the hard conversations. That way, they come away with a clear understanding of my position. I think sometimes when people are less clear, a client can come away thinking that while you might like their request, it will be honored.

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