Parent Care Is Hard Work
The steps above are simple in theory but are often difficult in practice. With
some parents, you will feel the love right away. Others you grow to love, and
with some parents, you may not feel that your efforts are even making a dif-
ference. You may be asking, “Doesn’t a partnership mean two groups of peo-
ple working together? Doesn’t a partnership take two?” And while that state-
ment is essentially true, your job is to help care for and educate parents even
if they don’t do their fair share in building the relationship. Now, this partner-
ship doesn’t sound so simple or fair. You know what your mom told you about
life being fair? Seriously, though, parent care doesn’t mean that we are going
to condone or allow behavior that is inappropriate or hurtful to us or the chil-
dren. What parent care does mean is that as an early childhood professional,
you are going to help parents, even if you don’t think that the parents are
doing their part by helping you or helping their children in the way you think
is best. Why? Because those parents, surprisingly, need your help the most.
Why should you care for all parents? Caring for parents is
good for children
helpful in making partner-resistant or avoiding parents become
part of our job
necessary in today’s world, where parents have fewer supportive
the right thing to do
How Are You Doing in Caring for Parents?
Take a quick self-assessment to see how you are doing in caring for parents.
As you read each of the statements below and circle the frequency that best
describes your actions, try to focus on what you can do in creating a real part-
nership with parents, not what the parents should be doing for you or their
children. Be honest with yourself. Understanding your current attitudes and
actions toward parents is the starting point for improving your parent care
and creating real partnerships.