You have had the conversation, now what?
Provide a summary
Email the parents a summary of what was discussed in the meeting. Highlight any key points that were brought up, as well as any changes or courses of action you agreed on. End the email by thanking the family for their time and letting them know how much you appreciate being able to exchange feedback and communicate openly with them.This is a great opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to the family!
Follow through on your end
If you expect the family to stick to the action plan, you must also follow through on your commitments. Here’s an example: In the meeting, you discussed that you wanted to have more autonomy when looking after the children, rather than having the parents hovering and managing every detail of the day. The parents agreed that they trusted your decision-making abilities and would be willing to step back, provided you texted them with regular updates throughout the day. If you want the parents to hold up their end of the deal, you have to demonstrate that you are willing to hold up yours — text them those updates and show them that they can take a step back!
Ensure that the family is implementing the feedback
Now that you’re following through on what was agreed upon in the meeting, you need to hold the family accountable to do the same. Naturally, there may be a bit of an adjustment period as parents are learning to do things differently, and it’s okay to give gentle reminders during this time. That being said, if time has passed and nothing has changed or the parents have reverted back to their original way of doing things, it may be time to have a more formal follow-up conversation.
Follow-up, if needed
As mentioned above, if you aren’t noticing any changes or the parents aren’t following through on the commitments they made in the initial meeting, it may be necessary to follow-up with them. This can be done in-person or through email, and you can refer back to the written summary outlining what both parties had discussed and agreed upon. Once again, it is important to be assertive, but not aggressive, in your use of language and tone.
Schedule subsequent meetings
Regardless of whether the feedback from the last meeting was implemented or not, it is important to have regular, ongoing conversations with the family to discuss how things are going and exchange constructive feedback. If the family did not follow through on what they had agreed to in the last meeting, it is important to bring those issues up first, explore why they weren’t able or willing to implement the changes, and come up with a new way to approach the situation together. If things have improved since the last time you met, acknowledge that and give praise for the changes that have been made and what has been working well!