Tuesday, November 15, 2011

*Climbing onto Soapbox*

From Michael Shannon's article on insidenova.com

"For those in two-in­come households who have been wondering what the long-term effects of parking children in daycare would be, the results are in and the news is not good.

Quite a few members of the daycare generation are currently occupying Obam­avilles in New York City, Washington, Oakland and points in between. This is a natural outcome of society's reliance on strangers to raise our kids.

The daycare generation's formative years led them to become accustomed to large, mostly benevolent third-party organizations that dried their tears, filled their tummies and enforced the rules for sharing.

Inside this primary colors utopia the daycare genera­tion finger-painted signs, beat on the furniture, sang songs and it was absolutely free! At snack time Juanita never charged little Belgium or Saskatchewan for the goldfish or juice boxes.

It's only natural, now that the daycare generation no longer depends on Kinder-Care, that they turn to the largest organization of all and ask Uncle Sam to make everything all better."

As a mother who will be placing her child in day care in less than two weeks, I find this offensive for two reasons. One is the assumption that I am relying on strangers to raise my kid. I will be raising my child. I call upon others to assist me. I will be disciplining and training at home, in the car, in the store, and as we walk into day care. I will be receiving reports of my child's behavior, and when my child is old enough to remember what they did wrong they will have repercussions at home. I will be giving suggestions for how to discipline my child. And the people caring for my child will not be strangers after a short period of time, any more than the Sunday School teacher in a large church is a stranger.

Second is the assumption that the Occupy movement is a natural response to day care. No, the Occupy movement is a natural response to the parenting that occurred, or in this case, did not occur. A two year old can be expected to clean up his room whether he's in day care or not. A quality day care will assist in training children to clean up after themselves. Yes, my child will be in daycare 50 hours a week. There are 168 hours in a week. That means I'm with her 2/3rds of the time. That's a majority, if my math skills are still intact. That's when I train my child, and if I can't make an impression on her in that amount of time, 50 more hours probably won't help either.

The other problem with this "natural response" idea is that it assumes the mentality for these kids was set by the time they were five years old. What about the school systems? The kids spent 13 years in school, but I see no criticism of parents handing their kids off to strangers in school. Even if they are placed in day care as infants, they are in the school system three times as long as they are in day care. And let's be honest. For an infant, things are free. I'm going to guess that things remain "free" at least until the kid becomes able to crawl. And even then, they don't "earn" their milk by putting their toys away. What parent (unless they follow the Pearl's system) is going to deprive their young child of food because they didn't put their toys away? You make it a game, so that it's fun to clean up. Especially in the first year, what they learn is that their needs are met. For free. Because someone loves them. I do not believe I am raising a child fit for Occupy camps by picking her up and changing her diaper when she cries. When she's three and I help her clean up when she has an accident, I'm not going to make her do something to pay me for my service. But I will train her to be a productive member of the family. That's what's missing in children these days. It's parents training. I'm a firm believer that those parents who don't parent when their child is in day care, wouldn't parent if their child wasn't in day care, and the result would have been the same if not worse.

I'll get off my soapbox now...

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