One of the most challenging parts of an early childhood professional’s job is dealing with people who are unhappy or upset. The following resources offer support.
Luis Hernandez and Connie Jo Smith provide a number of helpful suggestions for "Disarming Cantankerous People" (which is the name of their article included in the Exchange Essentials Dealing with Difficult People):
"Workplaces are increasingly diverse; we have class differences, ethnicities, languages, cultures, genders, religions, and other diversity factors. Truly, what we may find difficult may depend on the context of the situation and our worldview. A little self-reflection will help you create a greater balance in dealing with all of your coworkers."
And this is what William Mosier and Ross Glen Chandler Nunamaker say in their article that is the foundation for the Exchange Reflections, "Handling Difficult Moments with Families":
"When parents feel a loss of control over other aspects of their personal lives, they feel helpless and sometimes take it out on the people who are caring for their children. All kinds of factors play into how a parent will feel on any given day. There is no question about it, sometimes parents get angry over trivial matters. However, the best thing we can do is to listen to the parent and not respond to anger with anger. Sadly, some parents wait until a problem occurs before they get involved in what is happening at the child care center. The aggression that you might be observing is not about you, as a person. Parents just get caught-up in the stress of a situation they are not sure how to resolve. So, do not take it personally! It is not about you. It is about the parent feeling helpless."
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Billie Green Smith,
It is very hard to work with people who do not know how to manage communication. Even though they are great with children, their co-worker relationships can reflect onto the children. Thank you!
-Tiffany at Exchange
Thank you for the article, it is difficult to work with cranky people. I find that my co-workers are great with children, but have trouble communicating and managing conflict with each other. I will share this article with them in hope that we can all reflect on our behaviors and make some changes.