Today at Parenting.com, we’re talking about a new study that suggests trouble for kids in day care. Please go over and weigh in on the discussion.
I stay home with my kids but I’m honestly not sure what I’d do with them if I were to go back to work. Half the time I’m not sure what to do with them now.
How do you manage childcare in your family? Share your wisdom with the rest of us.
I’m a stay at homer as well, so I’ve little wisdom to share. Except that before I had kids I used to take care of a little boy whose Mom had to work. It was one on one, he was the only one I watched. I think I’d look for that kind of situation first. Someone I know from church, possibly. Someone I could trust.
My daughter has been in daycare since she was about 2. She’s 5 now, and in preschool part of the day and kindergarten in the afternoon.
She has always LOVED daycare, and loves preschool now. I think if she were to be at home all day, she’d get bored (even if we did projects, etc.) I think daycare and preschool teach valuable lessons about how to act around your peers, and prepares kids for school. They also provide many more activities than I could think of or afford. She rarely has a bad day, and hasn’t learned any bad habits. She is a friendly, social, and sweet girl who loves to go to preschool, and loves to come home to mom and dad at the end of our day.
I have huge respect for stay at home moms. I don’t think I could do it, I wouldn’t have the patience. I think the choice needs to be made for each family. Different kids flourish in different situations. I do not think that there is a black and white answer.
I just had this discussion with a friend last night. Having looked at the other side of the argument and other studies over the years, the general conclusion seems to be that the quality of parenting is what’s most important. Generally speaking, mothers that are completely spent at home may be just as ineffective as mothers that leave kids with other caregivers too long. It’s a touchy issue either way. As a journalist yourself, I’m sure you’re well aware that the way that research is reported to the general public is often different than what the studies actual findings are. Best to take it with a grain of salt and do what you think is best. You know what your own circumstances, limits, and your kids needs are better than anyone else. As women, researchers, and journalists, we probably shouldn’t add fuel to the fire of a mother’s guilt. She’ll find plenty of it all on her own.
Milly has had the same experience as Della’s child. We all LOVE her daycare which is wonderful b/c the choice is daycare and work and groceries or stay-at-home with no food. I picked #1:-)
PS “the year of paying attention” was marvelous. You keep thinking, writing and posting and I’ll keep copying, pasting, reading and savouring. We’re a good pair.
The Daring One says
An anonymous commenter who did not even provide an email address left a link to this great article, which was already linked in a comment over at parenting.com. If you’re interested in this discussion, you should really read it.
I cannot approve an anonymous comment with no real email address or I’d open my site up to all kinds of spam.
I went back to work when our son was 12 days old for the old “no job=no food” reason. Of course, I suffered guilt of CRISIS level proportions as was SURE that my son would grow up thinking his mommy hated him and then hating me in return. I never put my son in daycare though and I never will. I am too paranoid, and if something happens to my son I want to be able to beat the tar out of the person who is directly responsible. And I don’t like beating up strangers. The choice to work and not do “daycare” is a hard one. We have lost jobs several times because of flaky babysitters and had to scramble to get new ones.
Now that the other half’s job has passed the line where I can stay home and we can still afford to eat we are beyond greatful. There is far less guilt involved, and I find my son much more pleasant than anyone I ever worked with-even when he turns into a gila monster and starts throwing EPIC tantrums.
And guess what? He doesn’t hate me-in fact I would say he may be a little too attached to his mommy….I’m blogging on that later.
Anyway, moral of the story, I agree that it is all about individual parenting and that while daycare may not be a great option, if it’s your only option you shouldn’t feel bad-they won’t get messed up just from that.
We found a great alternative to day care that has worked really well for myself, my sister and many of my friends. We host a live-in au pair. In fact, I liked the program so well, that I now also work part-time for the program helping families in my area find great childcare. It is a government sponsored program that brings high-school and college educated young men and women from overseas to live with families for one to two years and care for their children in the home. They are very carefully screened and are very warm, loving, active people with good childcare experience. They provide the one-on-one attention that our kids need and they also help with household tasks like the kid’s laundry, cleaning the kid’s rooms and cooking for them as well as driving them around to their activities. They have all become a part of our family and we feel so lucky to have had them in our lives. Feel free to contact me about this program!