Before I say anything on this very controversial subject. I must say that I have no children of my own. Many people will stop reading at this point, because a person with no children apparently has no say in how to raise them. In fact that’s exactly the attitude I’m talking about. worked at a church, aiding with toddler aged Sunday school kids, for several years. Every Sunday, I had to deal with overprotective parents. These were people who would (every Sunday) tell me how to take care of their kids. Here are some of the worst examples:
- The mom who felt the need to tell me her child’s problems every week: “Cole has a peanut allergy.” she would say, “So he has have the snack I packed for him.” This would be an acceptable thing to tell me under different circumstances, like if I was babysitting her son for the first time. However, the church I worked for had a system for this sort of thing: They ha a card for every child, if the child had an allergy, there would be a sticker on their card. There was actually a sticker for most special circumstances, and I was trained to recognized which sticker was which, and also to inform new parents of the system. This mother was not new to the program, yet insisted on saying something every week. As a result, I had to show her the card and explain the system to her every week.
- The parents who won’t leave soon enough: Sometimes there were kids who didn’t like when their parents left. Usually, in these situations, we would take the kids aside and try to distract them from their parents walking out the door. This worked, the kids would be playing happily, and sometimes even didn’t realize their parents had left. And, usually, the parents caught on and went off to church. This is not about those parents. This is about the ones who insisted on calling attention to the fact that they were leaving, saying things like: “Bye, Kyle, we’ll be back in a couple hours!”. This resulted in the child watching their parents leave and crying until we had to call their parents back in.
- The parents who stayed behind: “We’ll just keep an eye on her for a few minutes”. “A few minutes” quickly turned into an hour, which turned into “I’ve missed too much of the sermon, I’ll just stay until the end.” Seriously. This was alos paired with them not letting us discipline their kids, or change their diapers, or play with them.
As you can see, all of these parents were overprotective in their own way, but it all came down to one thing; they didn’t trust anyone else with their kids. It didn’t matter if that was the point of the whole class, or the fact that most of the teachers were parents themselves. Which brings me to my point.
I understand that it’s stressful to see your kids left with someone else, even for a second. But daycare centers and preschools are not the devil. They help kids with socialization, and prepare them for going to an actual school. And, most of the time, anyone who works with young children has to go through an extensive screening process. For me, this included fingerprinting and a background check. Most of the teachers and aids love kids, and take extra care to ensure their safety and comfort.
So, seriously, don’t fret about having your kids go to daycare for a few hours. You’re not abandoning them, you’re helping them. and parents deserve their own time, too.