- Correcting children's behavior in front of parents--how to handle if it if parents are offended, what to do if parents continue to ignore the fact that their child is jumping from the bookshelves, etc. If a child's safety is concerned, this is easier ("I'm afraid you'll get hurt if you run down the hall like that")
- Approaching caregivers whose children's behavior is disruptive or dangerous--how to explain what is expected of them as caregivers. Dealing with people who are working on the computers and aren't keeping an eye on their kids. (One small library staff talks to the kids, tries to redirect them, and then if parents still aren't supervising their children, staff encourages them to come back at a different time when they have someone else to supervise).
- Many of these issues can be helped by a good Unattended Children Policy. I will be collecting policies to share. If you have one, please feel free to send it to me. If not, please watch for more on this issue or contact me for help. If you want to
- How to encourage parents at storytimes to participate in the storytime instead of texting on their phones, using their laptops, or visiting with each other. We came up with a few things: 1. Say one or two sentences during your welcome each time to remind people that storytime is for connecting with their children. 2. Incorporate a "turn off your cell phones" verse into your hello song or fingerplay. 3. Hand out something at each storytime with the fingerplays and songs so parents have something to follow and keep them engaged.
- How to handle varying expectations parents have for their children's behavior--how to respond to parents who are complaining about the behavior of other children. Great suggestion: remind people that there is a range of behavior that is acceptable in a library, and suggest other times they might come that are less busy.
- How to keep kids safe from adults who might be, well, not-so-safe? First, don't be afraid to call the police if someone is in the library who shouldn't be there as a condition of their parole. Second, the consensus was that it is okay to approach people when you have concerns about how they are behaving around children.
Wow, lots to discuss! Anything you have to add?