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  1. #1
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    Strictly business?

    I've had a few parents lately who have suggested doing something that would move them beyond the role of just a client and more into the role of a friend. For example, inviting my kids to their children's birthdays, going out for playdates, etc. I had one parent the other day ask if me and my child would like to go trick-or-treating with their family!

    My first instinct, which I generally think are right, is to keep it strictly business. I don't think it's a good idea to mix friendship with business. I'm wondering what everyone else thinks/does. I'm also curious how you respond to these sorts of invitations if you don't want to go beyond the roles of client/provider.

  2. #2
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    This can be very tricky obviously! When I chose my clients, I chose people that I could imagine being friends with. Not so that we would be friends but because that made sure I only had clients that I would enjoy having! Not once did I socialize outside of the daycare. Now that I have moved and no longer provide care for the children we get together frequently for bbq's etc. I would simply say that you were unable to attend an event that they invite you to, you don't have to explain about keeping things professional. Be friendly not friends.

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  4. #3
    Expansive... Other Mummy's Avatar
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    Things can get a bit weird if you become friends and then switch to "business mode " when things get hairy with dcc. I have enough friends outside of daycare business. I don't do "outside b-day parties, get togethers, etc. I'm always polite and mention just how busy we are on weekends, evenings. Yeah, I see your child for 9+hrs a day. I don't need to socialize with dcf as well

  5. #4
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    I agree with Wonderwiper ~ this is my same approach DURING their child's time here I maintain a friendly demeanor during drop off and pick up but keep a professional 'distance' from clients in regards to socializing outside of work and just politely arrange to respond to invitations with 'Oh that sounds like it would be a lot of fun but we are previously committed' and than once they are no longer 'enrolled' if they continue to want to be friendly and invite me to something social THAN I can feel free to attend because the business relationship has now ended and it is easier cause no need to worry about the crossing of the two relationships ... it is the same with I never 'friend' any of my current clients on Facebook or other social media and actually use a different variation of my name on those sites so it is very hard to 'search' me but if they ask me AFTER as a way to keep in contact than I will find them and friend them.
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  6. #5
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    I can see saying that you have a previous commitment if they invite you to something on a specific date. But what if they say, 'Oh we should get the kids together at the park one day.' Then what do I say?

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starshine View Post
    I can see saying that you have a previous commitment if they invite you to something on a specific date. But what if they say, 'Oh we should get the kids together at the park one day.' Then what do I say?
    You don't have to run screaming if you happen to show up at the same place and it's easy to be friendly at the park for example, but you don't have to go out for ice-cream together afterwards. If the idea of meeting up at the playground is mentioned casually say that might be fun....non-committal but not offensive! If an actual time is suggested, then unfortunately you have other obligations that day!

  8. #7
    Euphoric ! mimi's Avatar
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    I agree with not socializing with the clients. We have been invited to a few birthday parties over the years which we have declined to attend due to "other commitments" I tell them I really appreciate the invite and consider it a compliment to be asked but family and other social commitments keep us busy.
    I have even considered having a daycare BBQ, but then gave it a good thought and realized the kids would be as disruptive as they are at drop off and pick up knowing Mimi is not in charge of us even though it would still be "my house my rules" disciplining a child in front of parents can raise some parental furor!

  9. #8
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    I don't mind the birthday parties just because I only keep 2 kids and they are the same age as mine and they all became good friends so I do it for the kids.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by momof2cuties View Post
    I don't mind the birthday parties just because I only keep 2 kids and they are the same age as mine and they all became good friends so I do it for the kids.
    Yes I do admit that I would find this part hard if my OWN children were wanting to be 'friends' with their daycare companions and attend their birthdays as friends do ... however shamefully admit I would likely have sent my spouse to attend the actual party to A) keep that buffer cause he is not 'business related' to them so much and B) because I would be too afraid I would end up 'working' the party cause this was my experience at any family function growing ~ everyone just left the supervision and entertainment of the kiddies to me assuming I 'enjoy kids' so wont mind
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  11. #10
    Euphoric ! kidlove's Avatar
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    for the most part I do suggest to keep all business relationships, business. However over the past 10 years I have met a few families that have become more than just business, even then...it involves only the children. I have been invited to their home by the Mother for a girls night before, and I politely declined, she did ask one more time and after my second decline I think she got the picture. I don't think it is a good idea to develope such a "tight" relationship between adults but the kids will always have the opportunity to develope freindships which are for the most part quite harmless. My children and I have been invited to most of my Day Care Kids Birthday Parties and we always go! My children are invited as "friends" (of course) and I as "day care provider".....the kids are always thrilled to see us arrive and I wouldn't miss it for the world.
    IMO. You may tread on thin ice becoming friends with Day Care Moms and Dads....most times business doesn't mesh so well with pleasure. Having you're children be friends is nothing deeper than your child going over to play with a friend from school.....you are polite to one another at pick up and share conversation but nothing much deeper than the kids.

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