: Professional Love
When a parent or family member leaves his or her child in the care of someone else, that parent or family member may experience a variety of hopes, dreams, and fears. How will the child be treated? Will she feel loved, safe, and protected? Will she share adventures and joyful experiences? Will she like spending time with her caregivers more than she likes spending time with me?
The sensitive relationship between family member, child, and caregiver is often not recognized or articulated. Family members can feel vulnerable. Professionals may be adept at providing nurturing, healthy one-to-one relationships or they may not. A certain level of trust and respect must be present in order for everyone to grow and thrive. Early childhood professionals need to establish a delicate balance between loving a child in ways that provide genuine warmth and safety while encouraging independence and growth—all the time remembering the deep emotions that come with leaving a child to grow and thrive in an environment outside the home.
You will examine the concept of professional love and consider its associated challenges for early childhood professionals.
Review this module’s Learning Resources and consider the challenges some early childhood professionals may face when attempting to balance emotions and establish healthy attachments while encouraging children’s independence. Also think about your own experiences with families leaving their children in your care and/or you leaving your own children in someone’s care—the conflicting emotions of wanting children to love the people they are with and be loved while at the same time wanting all relationships to be healthy and nurturing. Think about what you have learned about attachment in your child development courses and read about professional love as well as the scenarios presented in the media.
Post the following:
• Your definition of professional love and whether issues related to professional love are discussed regularly in various settings including ones you have worked in and/or are currently working in and why
• Recommendations for how to balance fostering healthy attachments while maintaining strong partnerships and healthy relationships with families
• A scenario from your experience or one you have created that demonstrates either healthy or unhealthy relationships between a caregiver and a child from the caregiver perspective