Boundaries in staff/parent relationships.

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Nj1987
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Boundaries in staff/parent relationships.

Post by Nj1987 » Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:36 pm

Hi all
My current staff are finding it hard to keep professional boundaries in their relationships with the parents at my centre. Such as their latest bowel movement to what they are doing on their weekend (in extreme detail) My director and myself have discussed this at many of our staff meetings, but it seems to be continuing. I seem to have run out of ideas. I was wondering if anyone has anything to add or anything new that works in their centre.
Thanks :-)


law92
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Re: Boundaries in staff/parent relationships.

Post by law92 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:00 am

Hi

I have also experienced this in my time so far working in child care. I think it is extremely unprofessional for staff to be socialising with parents, including babysitting for them. There is a fine line from being friendly to being over friendly and sharing too much information with parents. It's sad that a lot of staff don't know how to be professional these days. I believe socialising with parents compromises our ability to remain impartial when caring for their children at work. I've seen staff that are overly friendly with parents and they give those children special treatment while at work, such as more lenient if they see the child hitting someone else, given extra food (in a centre that supplied food).

The only thing I can think of is if maybe if the director puts something in the policies about staff socialising and being unprofessional with parents and conduct a staff meeting to discuss these issues. It will be hard to break this behaviour, and the staff may very well continue to socialise with parents outside work which you can't really stop.

I know it's annoying when it seems that most other staff are being unprofessional and you're the only one that remains professional but just keep doing what you're doing. Hopefully the director will do something about this. If not, maybe it's time to move on? Good luck :)

Nj1987
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Re: Boundaries in staff/parent relationships.

Post by Nj1987 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:22 pm

Thanks law92 for your input and helpful suggestions. :-)

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Lorina
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Re: Boundaries in staff/parent relationships.

Post by Lorina » Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:56 pm

At past centres we have had a no babysitting policy which basically says that staff are not allowed to babysit for families at the centre as it will cross professional boundaries. Although staff were not supposed to babysit it still happened with some of the staff members.

Some parents and staff do have close relationships, especially if they have been at the centre for awhile. It's hard to say to staff "don't talk to parents" about other stuff because some parents are open and get the conversation going themselves. Even though there is a time and a place to have such intimate conversations don't you think it builds upon relationships with parents and staff, rather than staff and parents not communicating at all. I think it's very positive to have parents and staff communicating together. Whether it's about their child or weekend stuff I don't think it does much harm at all.

Just wanted to share my thoughts,

:geek:,
L.A

JNP
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Re: Boundaries in staff/parent relationships.

Post by JNP » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:20 pm

I agree with Lorina as long as confidentiality is not compromised and conversations don't take educators away from properly supervising or engaging with the children.

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catchmeifucan
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Re: Boundaries in staff/parent relationships.

Post by catchmeifucan » Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:03 pm

Some of the relationships that have developed between families and staff at my centre has become personal that some staff have been invited to weddings and birthday party's of the families. As long as all staff treat children equally and fairly that's all that matters.

jenblack
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Re: Boundaries in staff/parent relationships.

Post by jenblack » Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:05 pm

Absolutely agree with Lorina and JNP, as long as socialising doesn't mean a lack of supervision, there's no harm in having a friendly relationship with parents.

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fchaudari76
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Re: Boundaries in staff/parent relationships.

Post by fchaudari76 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:04 pm

Relationships and making connections is fine, in fact I think it is essential.
What information is exchanged in the relationship is what one needs to think about. As long as confidentiality is maintained then it is not an issue, if boundaries are being crossed there then it is VERY SERIOUS.
I work at a small community centre were staff have children at the centre so obviously they are also "friends" with certain parents and see them socially outside of the centre, however in one case I had to make it very clear to a staff member that she was risking her job if she was taking information from the centre and sharing it socially and coming and telling staff what parents had said to her during these social settings.

Perhaps your Director needs to make this clear as well as having conversations with parents/carers is fine as long as it is not happening at the expense of the children's time

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Misse84
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Re: Boundaries in staff/parent relationships.

Post by Misse84 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:03 pm

In my last centre, I was close to a few families and we talked a lot. The parents often told me stories and I shared a few hinge too. Nothing too intimate or bad, but I think it just made work so much better. They were like a second family and the parents who left last year said that we were so lovely and warm to them.

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Re: Boundaries in staff/parent relationships.

Post by ksengar » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:14 pm

Explain the term ‘professional boundaries’ and how this applies to your role as an Educator in an early childhood education setting.

please help me out


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