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No Hit Zone Sample Scenarios

Scenario 1/3

You observe a caregiver raising her voice at her 3-year-old child in the entry area. The adult is showing increasing signs of stress and frustration toward her child’s behavior.

Mother yelling at daughter
A. I would probably ignore her. I’m not comfortable in this situation.
Many people have hesitations about stepping into a situation like this. However, ignoring the situation may lead to escalation of the problem. Even a simple offer to help can interrupt the potential escalation and reduce stress. There can be a variety of ways to offer supportive words or actions that de-escalate a situation. Scenario discussion or role plays on common incidents that may occur in your workplace can be a helpful strategy for increasing your comfort level and confidence in completing a supportive intervention.
B. I recognize signs of stress in the caregiver and would try to offer support to the family by asking if there was anything I could do to help.
Disciplining children in public places can present challenges that caregivers don’t face at home. Offering support or positively interacting with the caregiver could serve as an interruption to potential escalation and actually decrease the stress of the caregiver. Your supportive words or actions could be a helpful step towards setting up a positive outcome from a difficult situation.
C. I would give her suggestions for how to handle the situation better next time.
While you may have a difference in opinion on discipline or how to better handle the situation, avoid the temptation to challenge or argue. This will likely increase resistance or escalation of the problem. Instead, communicate encouragement and show supportive body language.
D. I would tell her that the organization offers parenting classes and suggest that she attend.
While your intentions are good, consider whether the timing of this discussion would be helpful to the situation. Parents are usually not motivated to reach out for parenting support if they are told that they need to. Your first step is to focus on preventing the situation from escalating and providing support to the family.
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