I’m hoping that this isn’t how you view your child’s time spent in daycare. You want to want a safe place for your child to train for the school years ahead and I agree; these are the formative years, the time between you going back to work and your child going to school. It can be so much more that just a flyover. It is more than just time spent only as a precursor to better years ahead. It should be a time better spent when your child can learn to play, learn to socialize, learn to learn.
Those moments from the first day you return to work, you are faced with the dilemma of questioning yourself: did you make the right choice? I would be willing to wager that many urbanmamas visiting this site have not been in daycare when they were young, Yet, here you are, looking for care for the very child you probably have lost sleep over since the day s/he entered your life. Yet, here you are, looking for the type of care that affords you the time to go to work and for your child, the experience of social and educational growth.
It is referred to as nurture shock by authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman in their new book by the same title. They suggests that the feelings you have once you bring your youngster home, the feeling of "what have I/we done?" or better "they let me bring this home?" is completely natural. What now? is more like it. And once we ask that question, we begin looking for answers that may or may not be there. Bronson and Merryman don't think that many of the sources of wisdom we draw on on are the right ones.
There are plenty of other books and guides out there. Hollywood mommies, doctors who look at children and still others that look at parents, all write hoping to offer the magic elixir of parenthood between the covers of their books. While Bronson and Merryman look at the effects of praise and punishment (one leads to discouragement, the other induces lies) and how children develop a sense of race and future academic achievement, you are left with the decision of what to do with this precious bundle you are in charge of for the next eighteen or more years.
And as a result, we become anxious. Robin Marantz Henig, writing for the New York Times Magazine does not equate anxiousness with fear. She believes that "fear is something right in front of you, a real an objective danger". Anxiousness instead leaps forward, imagining something that might not even be there. When you begin looking for daycare, you will entertain both of these emotions at different times. And that's a good thing.
You are anxious about the kind of care a provider will offer. You are fearful and look for tell tale signs of danger as you interview for the spot. You are anxious, worrying about something in the far-off future will be a direct result of this very decision. And this is all part of parenting. You can rest assured that you are doing what any parent would do - although second born children can tell you that these emotions temper somewhat with each successive kid.
So how can I help? The kind of care I offer gives you some relief from this anxiousness. With an in-home, close knit group like the one I have, your child, almost immediately finds the kind of social immersion I provide educationally stimulating. They tend to blossom and grow in exciting new ways. I am focused on nurturing this growth with activities that have been developed over the twenty-two years I have been doing this. I relish my contribution not only to your child's well-being, but to yours as well.
I believe that if you feel good about where your child is, you will feel less anxious and as a result, be a better co-worker and after a day at the office, a better parent. Modern life offers enough challenges; it does not need to do the same with your child. They need the ability to be kids for just a little longer, learning while playing, interacting and socializing with a group that soon become friends.
I have one opening as we head into the fall. And I would be willing to spend some time with you dashing those anxious fears aside, letting you know that your decision is the right one and that you can relax (as much as any working mom or dad can) and contribute to the career you have chosen. Knowing that your child will be safe and in a enriching environment is for your benefit as well as your child's.