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I have this parents at my nursery who really would like to run the nursery. The staff are in fear of speaking to them anything said about their child would be turned around and would be the staff's fault. They have a particular staff whom they like, because she always agrees to what they say, she is leaving now, and God help us because they would now say their child is not well looked after since she has left. The annoying thing is that she is so nice to the parents when they are there, but she is very lazy, and takes all the praise, but some parents have already cotton on to that.

 

This parents are now complaining about tyres in the garden saying it is unsafe, and Ofsted and children services would not accept it, we tried explaining to them the reason behind the tyres, but no they want it removed, we have had the tyres for 4 years no complain from other parents. They complained about water been stored in them after it rains, il assured them that we would check every morning, but no. They are forever complaining if their child has an "accident" (wet pants) she is 2, they are always maintaining that she does not have accidents at home, that she must be traumatise at nursery. Can go on but God help us. When we go on outings she is not allowed, she goes to her nan. Sorry for the rant. :o

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Yes, please don't feel alone! It WILL go away, just doesn't feel like it right now!!

 

They are being picky for their own reasons - maybe even that they feel guilty for letting child out of their sight!! :o

 

It's nothing to do with you and your setting I'm sure - whoever heard of OFSTED and Children's services getting stressed about tyres! - Properly maintained/supervised they're great xD

 

Relax and forget for a while

 

Sue

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I totally agree with all replies.

We all have experience of parents like this - and people in general, just remember some people are just complainers.

No parent can demand you change your practice if you have deemed it to be both safe and stimulating for your children. If it was me I would give them a copy of my risk assessment and a list of the ways the tyres are enjoyed by the children with links to learning. Due to the very nature of complaining parents that will probably not make them happy but as others have said "so take your child elsewhere"

good luck and don't let it get you down :o

Edited by Guest
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im in symphehy with u and have been in your posistion. Our message to parents/carers when they look round the nursery is to communicate about their play through learning. And we advise to bring a spare set of clothes, wellies show pictures of messy and wet play and the benifits of how this enhances their learning especially for boys. In our settling forms the parents/carers we have added a question explaning about messy play. And when settling form completed they sign, and hope fully there no negative comments, its difficu7lt to educate parents/carers about the benifits of learning through play. hope this helps.

 

Sarah

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I think it can be very 'draining' on the rest of the team when you have parents like this- and we all have them at some point!!

 

Try not to let it get you down........sometimes with parents like these we try and guess what the nest 'complaint' is!!!!!!! xxxx

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Parents have very individual reasons for behaving the way they do, and often these reasons are hard to fathom. Sometimes it is in order to ask the parent directly whether they are unhappy with the provision and are they thinking of taking their child out of your setting. They will either say that frankly yes, but most likely they'll be surprised that you would think that! I also think that parents won't understand how you feel when you have your practice continually challenged in this way, and how demoralising it is.

 

I'm not sure if you're a privately run group or a committee group - obvously if its the latter then parents will have some say in what you provide. However perhaps a good ploy would be to give this parent the telephone number of your early years advisory teacher or development worker the next time this parent suggests that you're doing something dangerous or inappropriate. Perhaps they could explain what it is that you're trying to achieve!

 

And in the meantime you can always come on here and have a good old moan and get it out of your system!

 

Maz

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What about a display board with photos of chdn enjoying playing with/on/through the tyres and links to learning.You could include a photo of a member of staff o/s first thing brandishing a large cloth with a caption saying something like 'Maggie out bright and early drying the tyres after last night's rain'.

Posy

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I agree, show them your risk assessment and the benefits of such play, get some website adresses that explain about outdoor play, the damage to children of risk averse practice ect ect. Give these parents lots of information then if they continue ask them to follow the settings complaints procedure to 'formalise' their complaint.

Record ALL complaints, as they are said, ie: Thank you for letting me know your concerns, I'll just write them into the back page of your childs learning journey folder, or in the complaints folder, or wherever you choose to keep a 'log' of these complaints, (even what may appear 'informal' complaints). Write the complaint as it has just been spoken to you . Then alongside this record write your response, then get the parent to date and sign it. These records may come in useful at a later date because unfortunately some parents who feel that their complaints are not being addressed, however much you try to 'accomodate' them, do take it further and contact Ofsted. If you can show Ofsted ALL the complaints you have dealt with and more importantly the sum total of complaints, they will see that this behaviour is just this parents style, they will also be able to see how well you have managed the parents complaints.

 

There are many reasons why some parents are like this, it is not, I believe, for us to judge, but to inform, enlighten and put first 'the needs of the child'. Don't take such complaints as 'personal', remain professional and although the problem behaviour may not go away, it may improve, and if not at least you know that you have done the best you can by sticking to your settings policies and procedures and 'listening' and acknowledging these peoples opinions. ( which is all that they are).

 

Good luck, lots of deep breaths and counting to 10. :o

 

Peggy

 

p.s. The responses to this parent do need to be consistent so either give other staff some in service training on how to deal with such incidents (ie: some role play responses, or discussion etc). Make sure that all staff know the procedures and all follow them. If they still do not feel able to deal with this particular parent then have them refer her to one nominated person 'Customer services person'. This will ensure that the parent doesn't get mixed messages, the parent has a clear message that she/he is being acknowledged, and there will never be a situation where she can say, " well she said.................and she didn't do so and so............etc. Keep communications clear and well recorded."

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Not much help I know but I think we all have to deal with parents who can be 'challenging'. We had one particular mother who wanted us to stop our freeflow because her son got wet from splashing in puddles. We changed the child but the mother complained about having extra dirty washing!!! dont think the poor child ever got to do stuff like that at home.

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I just give up with parents

"you can please some of the people ......" you know the phrase

 

think about these parents - they came to the setting and saw what you provide and they made the choice to send their child if they moan that its not good enough but they choose to keep their child at at the setting then things cannt be as bad for their child as they are making out, there are lots of reasons why parents are like this and there seems to be one in the every setting on a regular basis.

....... so I think with some parents you need a thick skin and a fake smile and remember that its not forever

 

 

this is the one aspect of training that is greatly neglected "dealling with awkward parents"

Edited by Alison
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Great advice from Alison - Smile!!!!!

Parents then can't tell if we are happy, angry or just loopy. :o

 

I have had parents give me scissors "to look after and lock away" on first visits. At that stage I know that smile is going to be needed a lot.

 

Is anyone brave enough to open up that special pre-school for painful parents?- we could all donate some and it would be very special and popular setting.

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Is anyone brave enough to open up that special pre-school for painful parents?- we could all donate some and it would be very special and popular setting.

Errr...do you mind if I don't! :o

 

Poor you Toro - be comforted by the fact that we've all had them and I expect there are more to come!

 

Sunnyday

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~You might find that now that person has left the parents attitude (or my perceved attitude?) might change now the 'golden girl' has gone. Speaking to people is a wonderful experience!!

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l desperately need advise on how to deal with these parents. The girl has now left the nursery, but they called her mobile number today, because they wanted breakfast for their daughter at 10am. staff informed them that breakfast ends at 8.45, but will make her a toast, but snack and milk will be given anyway b/f lunch. They called the ex staff to confirm that breakfast actually ends at 8.45am.

 

Another incident today, their daughter fell on her knee today in the morning got up o.k, played and ran around in the nursery, really fine nothing to note in the accident book, parents called me at 9pm on my mob. I missed the call, left a message saying Daughter fall on her knee, now cannot walk knee is very painful, and why did they not fill in an accident book.

I really feel like telling them to withdraw their daughter :o

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"The girl has now left the Nursery"....................Sorry, do you mean the member of staff?

I'm curious, if the parent is contacting an ex member of staff, how do you know this, is the ex member of staff contacting you, or did the parent tell you she would/has 'checked' with the ex member of staff?

 

I would suggest you review your Accident record keeping policy, just that the fact that you 'noticed' the child was physically ok following the fall indicates that you 'kept an eye on her', this could be misconstrued to suggest that there was some idea that the fall could have resulted in an injury, thus should have been recorded. (hope that makes sense).

 

I would suggest that you explain to the parent that you didn't record it because no injury was found when she was checked following the fall, state very clearly that you did observe the child for a time after and again saw no obvious injury, then state that now you have additional information from the parent you will record it now. In your Accident record, write the facts, child fell, checked, no obvious injury, observed for ..........(state how long), left setting at..................(time) received information from parent at...........(time) that knee reported as being painfull. Then get parent to sign etc. (One could summise that she hurt her self again after leaving the setting, or parent is just 'finding reasons to complain and is exagerating, but this is not fact., just think this and 'smile' :o )

 

Maybe state to parent you will review the Accident policy, give her a copy and ask her if she would like to read it through and suggest any changes to it, ask her to write her views and any changes etc. Thank her for her input.

 

Peggy

 

p.s. You do need to make a record of the phone call, include also an offer of 'formalising her complaint', record her response to this, (give her a complaints form if she wants to formalise her complaint) show the written record to the parent and get her to sign it. Follow the complaints procedure if required. Basically keep everything 'formal' with this parent, and record everything and ensure all your policies and procedures are followed, to the letter.

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p.s. You do need to make a record of the phone call, include also an offer of 'formalising her complaint', record her response to this, (give her a complaints form if she wants to formalise her complaint) show the written record to the parent and get her to sign it. Follow the complaints procedure if required. Basically keep everything 'formal' with this parent, and record everything and ensure all your policies and procedures are followed, to the letter.

I agree - for one thing the offer of making an official complaint can make parents quickly review their position and decide that the issue at hand isn't quite so serious as they might have thought previously. Getting the parent to sign the record is crucial especially if there is any chance at all that the parent will later deny the conversation took place.

 

One thing I would say is that things change at nursery all the time, so even if the parents ring this girl to check that what the staff are telling them is correct, pretty soon she'll be out of date because she won't know what happens and when. However I think this is a really unhelpful development in your relationship with the parents and if they continue to do it I remind them that the person is no longer a member of your staff team and is not authorised to advise about matters concerning your setting. If that doesn't work, I would seriously consider asking them if they would rather take their child to the nursery this staff member has gone to.

 

Good luck - keep coming back and letting us know how things are going!

 

Maz

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Thanks for your replies. Peggy l would definitely carry out your advise tomorrow thanks :o

 

 

A bit quiet now, child is not in nursery because keyworker is away on holiday for 2 weeks even though we named a staff that would be taken over in the interim, parents said she is staying with nan for a week. I really feel like telling them where to go. The staff that left called the nursery and informed us, even asked for the address of the new nursery. I would not be surprised if she is settling in there this week, l think l would call them and tell them it is inappropriate to call an ex staff for infor.

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perhaps we need a special forum to post all the comments!! :o

 

we had a parent who suggested that we blunt the pencils on the table after we had sharpened them because they were dangerously sharp...

 

Good to know everyone got some and I don't live in some loopy village xD

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear All,

 

A while ago, i started this topic about problems with these particular parents. Well today, a staff member called me and was really hysterical on the phone, i could not make out what she was saying, really sobbing very hard. I got to the nursery and one of the parents (the wife) was there, the staff explained to me that Dad was threating to hit her, took off his glasses, and coat shouting just because his daughter had an accident (poo), and trainers was still soiled. he did not give her the chance to explain, just became really abusive. He does not want daughter to play with water, because getting wet is unacceptable, staff have to keep taking her away from water because of fear of her getting wet. He shouted at staff that i told you i don't want her playing with water, because he assumed that clothing was soiled because of water game, then got really mad when he discover it was poo, staff did not want to clean poo on trainers because parents will automatically think she has been playing with water, so left it it was not really soiled at all just a tiny bit of poo on the sole, and side.

 

I told them that such behaviour will lead to excluding child, but at the end of day if that happens, it is the child that suffers, mum was slightly apologetic, Dad had gone before i got there. I told her after this incident,they might even want to withdrawn their child, which is O.K, but made known i was not happy. I don't really know want to do, so angry with them :o. They tried calling me on my Mob Phone at 8 pm, did not pick up, will speak to them tomorrow.

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Well you clearly have problems with these particular parents that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency - perhaps it is time to sit down and have a formal meeting with them to explore where you go from here. It sounds like you need a kind of contract outlining what sorts of conduct is acceptable and what will happen if this contract is broken.

 

Whatever has happened in the setting is no justification for staff being threatened with physical violence, and they have the right to protection from this in the workplace. Fears about how the parents will react are clearly affecting the way this child is being cared for, which is in itself unacceptable.

 

Leaving a child in soiled trainers (however minimal) is not acceptable either - apart from the consideration of meeting this child's needs, presumably if the sole of her trainers were soiled she was walking this around the setting. Staff may well have been concerned about how the parent would react to wet shoes, but still the shoes should have been cleaned. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh and I know it is easy for me to say this when I'm not in the position your staff found themselves in today.

 

Good luck in sorting this out TORO - it seems to me you've reached a real crisis point here. You need to decide whether the relationship with these parents has gone past the point at which you can work together to care for their daughter, especially since your staff now feel intimidated and fearful of how they will react in any given situation.

 

Take advice urgently to find out how you stand legally, and keep supporting each other. No-one has the right to put you under this kind of pressure or make you fear for your personal safety.

 

Take care

Maz

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Well you clearly have problems with these particular parents that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency - perhaps it is time to sit down and have a formal meeting with them to explore where you go from here. It sounds like you need a kind of contract outlining what sorts of conduct is acceptable and what will happen if this contract is broken.

 

Whatever has happened in the setting is no justification for staff being threatened with physical violence, and they have the right to protection from this in the workplace. Fears about how the parents will react are clearly affecting the way this child is being cared for, which is in itself unacceptable.

 

Leaving a child in soiled trainers (however minimal) is not acceptable either - apart from the consideration of meeting this child's needs, presumably if the sole of her trainers were soiled she was walking this around the setting. Staff may well have been concerned about how the parent would react to wet shoes, but still the shoes should have been cleaned. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh and I know it is easy for me to say this when I'm not in the position your staff found themselves in today.

 

I Probably did not explain myself well, the soiled shoes where taken off and put in a bag, the staff are not daft. :o

 

Good luck in sorting this out TORO - it seems to me you've reached a real crisis point here. You need to decide whether the relationship with these parents has gone past the point at which you can work together to care for their daughter, especially since your staff now feel intimidated and fearful of how they will react in any given situation.

 

Take advice urgently to find out how you stand legally, and keep supporting each other. No-one has the right to put you under this kind of pressure or make you fear for your personal safety.

 

Take care

Maz

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I think at the very least you could tell these parents that dad isnt welome at the setting. He cant make threats and expect it to be accepted. In the council nurseries I've worked in the police would have been phoned and a formal complaint made immediatly.

I do hope you're writing all this up too. Every complaint or comment. If this man ever carred out his threats the police would be interested in all the background you could give. And can I ask, just why do they have staffs mobile phone numbers? Its not something I would ever do, its private.

I do hope you have a better day tomorrow. Think carefully about your own and your staffs safety.

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Dear All,

 

I told them that such behaviour will lead to excluding child, but at the end of day if that happens, it is the child that suffers

 

I'm not sure that you would be doing this child any favours by allowing her father to think that his behaviour was in any way acceptable. You, your staff and the child need him to find out that this behaviour will not be tolerated.

 

I just feel desperately sorry for the poor little thing. I dread to think what else she has witnessed.

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I have this parents at my nursery who really would like to run the nursery. The staff are in fear of speaking to them anything said about their child would be turned around and would be the staff's fault. They have a particular staff whom they like, because she always agrees to what they say, she is leaving now, and God help us because they would now say their child is not well looked after since she has left. The annoying thing is that she is so nice to the parents when they are there, but she is very lazy, and takes all the praise, but some parents have already cotton on to that.

 

This parents are now complaining about tyres in the garden saying it is unsafe, and Ofsted and children services would not accept it, we tried explaining to them the reason behind the tyres, but no they want it removed, we have had the tyres for 4 years no complain from other parents. They complained about water been stored in them after it rains, il assured them that we would check every morning, but no. They are forever complaining if their child has an "accident" (wet pants) she is 2, they are always maintaining that she does not have accidents at home, that she must be traumatise at nursery. Can go on but God help us. When we go on outings she is not allowed, she goes to her nan. Sorry for the rant. :o

explains it all doesn't it!!! we have tyres in the garden ...no judgements from OFSTED or from our parents both resident or intended!!! they as in parents welcome them...we r also doing our 'bit' for the environment re-cycling n all that jazz!!! we plant flowers/vegetables in them and use them as part of our obstacle course...n 2 date have never had ne complaints!!!

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Toro, you need, I think, to phone OFSTED and tell them about the fathers abusive behaviour. They will ask you to send them a written account of what happened and why.This will help you, if the parents decide to make a complaint at some point. I also agree that you need to arrange a meeting with these parents, to explain that abusive behaviour of any kind is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.You should also tell them that if this happens again, you will have no choice but to call the police and have him removed from the premises.They must also be told that they may not phone you at home, all contact, unless it is a dire emergency, must be made during business hours and you will not put up with abuse over the phone.

I think that the shoes should have been cleaned and the parents given an explanation as to why: they need to understand that children, even older children, all have accidents pooing and weeing is all part of them learning to have control of their bodily functions. I would have cleaned them..sorry!I would also note any accidents, even if there appears to be no injury, at least they know you are aware and take things seriously ( I know you do!!)

I think the deeper problem really, is that you have a set of very insecure parents here, who are afraid of things happening to their child......and the child is picking up on all of this.Is this their only child...........is she particularly precious for some reason, by which Imean, have they lost other children through miscarriage,, is she an IVF child?? there are many reasons why she could be the absolute centre odf their universe. ( I don't mean to offend anyone by this suggestion!)

Could you give these parents a set of the EYFS cards, so they can begin to understand why all the play opportunities you offer are so good for their child?

Your ex-staff member ought to be told that giving advcie on what happens in your setting is not on, she's not part of your set-up and she needs to tell the parents to speak to you.She certainly hasn't done anyone any favours, has she?? Good luck xx

Edited by narnia
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