Effective communication does not just happen. We must take time to build trusting relationships with the families we serve. Here are some ways we can create meaningful relationships.
1. Introduce yourself. Share who you are with the family. Make first contact(s) positive.
2. Use family friendly words to convey meaning. Avoid technical jargon.
3. Tell the truth. Never lie or over-promise. Honesty is the basis of a trusting relationship.
4. Maintain confidentiality. Keep sensitive information private. Do your best to control what you say and write when it comes to confidential information.
5. Put yourself in the family’s shoes. Taking the perspective of another can create empathy.
6. Share resources. If you are aware of needs, you can share what you know and/or do research to locate resources for families.
7. Build on family strengths (not deficits).
Spend time each day connecting with parents and families. Checking in on a regular basis with parents can support the bond we have with the families we serve. Children benefit when we invest time in creating mutually beneficial partnerships.