It’s important to know your caregiving philosophy, the why behind how you care for kids, for a lot of different reasons. One is to be able to talk about it with potential clients or employers during the interview so you can make sure you’re on the same page. While your caregiving philosophy and an parent’s philosophy won’t ever line up perfectly, it’s essential that they align enough so the parent feels good about how you’re handling the big and small issues of the day and so that you feel you’re able to work in a way that supports your style and beliefs. So what should you look for?
1. What is the parents’ track record around their parenting style? Parents, like all of us, don’t always do what they say they’ll do so it’s important to find out how they really are as parents, not just how they want to be. You can get this information from different sources. Listening to what the parents tell you about their style, asking them situational questions, observing them during the interview and trial, and speaking to their current and/or former child care providers.
2. Do the parents want to make changes and how committed are they to making them? Some parents see a better path and want to hire a caregiver that can support them in making changes in their parenting style. The big question is how much do they want to make those chances and how do they want to work with the caregiver to achieve them? Parents have to be open to new ideas, ready for their kids to push back, and willing to work with their caregiver to make change happen.
3. You have to know your style well enough to be able to see where you and potential employers align and where you don’t. It’s impossible to find a great fit if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Finding a family that aligns with your caregiving style is one of the foundational blocks of being successful and happy in a job. Without that match, things will fall apart quickly.