Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Plea to Parents Part 2

With the encouragement of one anonymous, "You are nuts," I continue with my plea.

Be affectionate with your kids. By this I mean: The warm fuzzy sense of love. Parents (adoptive or natural) are the only people that can love a child completely. They are the only ones that think their baby is the cutest, smartest, best baby in the world. No baby sitter (though they may be called teachers, care-givers, etc.) can feel that way about every child they care for no matter how well intentioned they are. Here are some quotes and clips about how daycare can effect a small child emotionally.

Early Childcare: Infants and Nations at Risk by Dr. Peter Cook, ©1996, P52
Unintended consequences of early child care
"High quality" or often just "quality" care is supposed to be sufficient for up to 10 hours of the infant's day, five days a week for up to five years by the age of five. If this is "educare", what is an infant boy or girl learning about the world, its people and his or her place in it? A professional relationship cannot require attachment, intimacy, kissing, cuddling and love, nor even much carrying, let alone the comfort of breastfeeding.

Tina Blue
January 21, 2001
This is an important point, you know. No matter how affectionate and well-meaning your daycare provider may be--and many of us care far more than is justified by our poor wages and impossible working conditions--your child is not her child, and there will always be a difference (sometimes subtle, sometimes not) between the way a daycare provider relates to a child and the way the child's own mother would respond to that child.
Besides, one thing a daycare provider cannot do for your child is convince him that he is the most important thing in the world to his parents. Only the parents can do that--and leaving the child in someone else's care for nine to eleven hours five or six days a week is not the best way to convey that message to him.

Pasted from <>

posted by "carmody"
on forum:
"Is Daycare Good for Kids?"
I worked in 2 different daycares after I graduated college. I got out because it was too heartbreaking. At one (daycare) I was told do not sit the children on your lap to read to them or otherwise hug them etc. because then they'll all want to be hugged and the staff didn't want to be bothered.
...In my neighborhood there is a woman who is the "babysitter". She has a nice business. Lots of kids. All the moms are so happy with her. Sometimes, some of the kids play with my kids. Once, a 5 year old by sat in my living room, slumped in a chair, and calmly blurted out to my children ... "you are so lucky. You get to stay home and play with your own toys." He's been at this woman's home since he was 6 weeks old. Everyday. Up at 6 and in her home by 7:30. Waiting for his mom to come and get him.
...No one loves a child like his mother... no one. No one thinks your child is cute. No one thinks your child is that special. Only a mother feels intense pride and joy at every cute thing a baby does. And you will never be able to pay anyone to love your baby...not like you do.

Day Care:
Just Say No!
Rachel Green Knuese
Mommy Minute
Canyon News
I was in college and worked at a few day care centers to help cover the tuition.
...For daycare teachers, it is a job. These are not their children with whom they share their hearts and souls. For the most part, the teachers I observed were "caring" but I would not go so far as to say that they were "loving". Only a parent (adoptive or biological) can truly be loving to a child. There were children who I adored and maybe at that time I would have said that I loved them. I felt that way with many of the students I had when I taught 7th grade as well. However, since then, I've had two sons. I realize that any warm, fuzzy feelings I had toward children I worked with are totally eclipsed by the depth and breadth of love I have for my own children. This is a significant point because a teacher can not care for a child as well as a parent can.

e-mail to from "Diane"
I want to thank you for a great website.

When I was in college, I worked in one of the "good" daycare centers. The facilities at this very expensive daycare were impressive and up-to-date. We carefully obeyed all of the regulations, conducted regular fire drills, constantly inspected the rooms and equipment for safety, and everything was kept extremely clean. The owner was a genuinely nice lady who wanted to provide the best possible care for children. The ratio rules were stringently enforced: 1-4 in the infant room, 1-5 for the toddlers, etc.

None of these things impressed the babies who were left with us all day long. There was a six-week-old baby who was dropped off at 6:00 a.m. and picked up by her exhausted parents at 6:00 p.m. every day. 12 hours without her parents. The worker in her room referred to her as "a crier", because she was constantly wound up and upset. Then there was the four-year-old boy whose parents just didn't know what to do about the fact that he enjoyed hitting other children. Another child, known as "the biter", regularly bit other children so hard that he broke their tender skin.

If our facilities were so great, why were the children having such problems?We employees were nice enough, at least for the most part. We were just all a little preoccupied with college. Some of my co-workers were preoccupied with their boyfriends-of-the-week. And then there were the weekend party girls, who didn't really like kids, but needed to have some sort of income. We were all there for the paycheck. Not because we loved children. And as is the norm for these types of places, the turnover rate was very, very high.
I now have two children of my own, and I wouldn't dream of leaving them in a daycare facility. I would even extend my criticism to after-school programs for elementary aged children. I think kids need a parent in the house after school.
Anyway, thank you again for your website. I've been saying these things for years.

Nurseries are safe and secure - but are they bad for your baby?
by Rebecca Abrams,
The Daily Telegraph, (UK)
It was an eye-opening experience. Or perhaps I should say an eye-shutting one, for it didn't make pleasant viewing.
In the centre of the room, a five-month-old baby was crying with frustration. Stranded on his back, he couldn't yet turn over by himself. In the corner, a little girl of about seven months sat and stared into the middle distance. She made no demands for attention and got none.
Then there was the boy of nearly one, picked up like a sack of Pampers and carted off to be changed. Clothes removed, bottom wiped, new nappy (diaper) put on in three minutes flat. All this was done with exemplary efficiency - all done without a single word or smile from the young woman doing the changing, the entire operation carried out as impersonally as if she'd been loading the dishwasher.
This was no Romanian orphanage*, but the baby room of a brand new, beautifully appointed private nursery (daycare) in an affluent suburb in the south of England, charmingly located amid majestic chestnut trees. Highly educated adults fight for places here. To stand a chance of getting in, they put their child's name down long before the birth.
The quotidian** neglect I witnessed may not be typical of all nurseries (daycares), but certainly isn't exceptional either. Researchers on one recent British-based study were so distressed by their observations of some baby rooms in day nurseries (daycares) they needed debriefing sessions afterwards.
*Communist dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu's Romanian orphanages were state-run child factories designed to produce compliant subjects for the Romanian military. No consideration was ever given to the developmental needs of the children.

Studies showed that the orphans, sometimes lying quietly and unattended for 18 to 20 hours a day, were severely socially, emotionally and developmentally delayed.
** Quotidian = happening every day

Nurseries are safe and secure - but are they bad for your baby?
by Rebecca Abrams,
The Daily Telegraph, (UK)
But one-to-one care is not just nice for babies, it's essential.
...Within an hour of birth, babies are responding to the way they're handled, looked at and talked to. "Still face" experiments with 10-week-old babies, in which mothers don't react in any way, show that babies are highly sensitive and quickly become distressed when a response is absent or inappropriate.
The delicate, finely turned responsiveness that occurs naturally between most mothers and their babies is not only moving to behold, it affects in fundamental ways how babies' brains develop.
...babies don't need socialising and stimulating; they need to be sensitively loved by the people caring for them. Lack of eye contact, lack of baby talk, lack of gentle playful touch: all have long-term consequences

Parenthood by Proxy,
by Dr. Laura C. Schlessinger,
© 2000, p. 101
The bottom line is this: There is just no way that any public or private facility can, for payment of any amount, provide for each individual, unique, developing human being, the relationship bonding, love, touch, care, concern, that a mommy or daddy can for free!

No comments: