Child Care Professionals Supporting One Another
Carolyn Webster-Stratton is the developer of The Incredible Years Series and is a real pioneer when it comes to thinking about relationships. Carolyn uses the metaphor of a piggy bank when conceptualizing a developing relationship. She likens our beginning and evolving a relationship with someone as filling a piggy bank (good) or emptying a piggy bank (not good). We make deposits when we do things to build relationships while we make withdrawals when we engage in behaviors that are detrimental to relationship building.
This can be a particularly helpful and a basic concept when thinking about developing relationships with children and their parents. But this can be even more helpful when we think of building a relationship with a co-worker or fellow child care professional.
The work that child care professionals do is complex, difficult, and stressful. It can be made easier when we pay attention to build supportive relationships and look out for one another.
Here are some ways to make deposits in our relationship “banks.”
• Let a fellow professional know when you see them going “above and beyond.” When they took the time to assist a child, or help a coworker with an issue. None of us ever get enough positive feedback for good work!
• When a co-worker or fellow professional was out, let them know they were missed.
• Acknowledge your co-workers’ efforts even if they didn’t exactly turn out right!
• Encourage teamwork and collaborative problem solving; two or more of us are smarter than one of us!
• Provide support in everyday activities as well as special events.
• Build trust by doing what you say you’re going to do.
• Be honest and kind to one another.
• Respect co-workers’ talents and abilities and show that respect through feedback and encouragement.
• Acknowledge accomplishments, in one-on-one, and in group sessions.
• Understand and respect each other’s backgrounds, that helps us understand each others actions and motivations.
• Develop a shared vision, goals, and mission through conversations, and testing out ideas.
• Have a sense of humor, particularly about yourself and your actions.
• Build cooperation and recognize the back and forth that happens with that process.
• Don’t be hesitant to approach your co-worker to offer assistance when they appear to be having a rough day.
Mutual support helps each and every one of us individually, as professionals and personally.