Monday, October 26, 2009

The Daycare Go-around

This post frst appeared on Urbanmamas

I have posted here numerous times about a wide variety of topics. I have offered you a look at what my specialties are, how you should approach the economic decisions surrounding daycare for your child, the hopes and dreams we have and the anxieties we face making that all important decision on where to begin your child's preschool days.

What you feel when you search for the best place to put child, perhaps for the first time might have something to do with your Americanism. Alexis deTocqueville called it our "restless temper", the feeling that the next landing place, whether it be job or house or even church, might be better than the one we have now. We believe in new as the better option; what Juliet Schor, an economist calls fast-fashion.

While I could use this post to talk about this disposable lifestyle we have been nurtured on, new this replace the still relatively new that, I'll instead speak to what I am doing to change that go-around your brain must be on as you search for daycare. Just as fast-food led to slow food movement, a return to finding nourishing instead of simply filling our bellies with whatever might be convenient, fast-parenting, the need to expose your child to everything as soon as possible will lead to slow-parenting, a return to letting your child be a child again.

More than simply hoping some talent will emerge as we plan our child's future, the brain function needed to get to that point is nurtured through these initial years of social interaction, learning while playing and staying with a small, family oriented environment. Your child should be given this opportunity to grow at a pace that is often not in anyone's control. Does your child surprise you at times with what they have done? This is them showing you that they are free thinkers, individually designed to grow at a rate of their own making.

This is why slow is best. Given the chance, each child will have the opportunity to develop at their own pace. This is also an opportunity for you to accustom yourself to slowing down yourself. This stick-to-it for longer than your think is necessary now will give you excellent training for those school years ahead. Watching your child grow up is never easy, yet each new surprise offers rewards that far exceed what you might expect.

I offer all of the safeguards many of the daycares posted here do. In addition, I also offer your child the patience to learn who they are, grow from the experience and become the child you envisioned they would be: sharp, inquisitive and adept in social settings.

If you would like to learn more about this kind of opportunity, please visit my site or drop me a note about the one opening I have left.
Bonni Petillo
Bonni's Funtastic Daycare

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Anxiety Tolerance

This post first appeared on Urbanmamas

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 (Jenny McCarthy, really?), 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.

Bonni Petillo
Bonni's Funtastic Daycare