What do you do when there is a difference of opinion between the two?
I have such mixed feelings about daycare. When your kid is lying naked on her bedroom floor, refusing to get dressed, sometimes drop off feels more freeing than it does on the days your kid decides to be an angel and tells you how much they love you and will miss you.
I have so much respect and appreciation for the daycare staff. They are saints with infinite patience. But sometimes I find my relationship with them difficult to navigate. Last September, we switched our daughter to a daycare that is connected to her public school. It’s great, and I love it – but I have found some rules a bit odd. Specifically, language rules – there seems to be an endless list of words that they are not allowed to say. I agree with the majority of them; I don’t want my kid referring to anything as “stupid.” But they also aren’t allowed to say “heck” or “bum.” Those words I don’t find so harmful. Still, I try to be consistent and if the daycare doesn’t allow the language, I try to steer away from it at home.
Other situations I find odd: they don’t have a Christmas concert or party to be politically correct, which is fine – but they also taught the kids a prayer song. They sing about giving thanks to the Lord and end with Amen. I only found out about it when my daughter started singing it at home. How do I explain about the Lord to a four-year-old when we are not religious and do not practice any particular faith?
Everyone has their own approaches to discipline, acceptable language, physical contact, etc. so when you find yourself at odds with the daycare about certain things, how far should you take it? How do you manage it without losing your temper? And should we let the daycare impact our decisions as parents?
My current daycare struggle is with naps. My daughter is four and will be entering Junior Kindergarten in the fall, so we’d like to phase out naps to prepare her for her full days at school. I have mentioned this twice to two different daycare teachers who have both basically told me no. They talk about how busy she is and how much she needs it, and that’s that.
The thing is, I get it – she is always a happier, more cooperative kid after a nap, and I love the hour or so I get to myself to get things done at home – but she’s going to be in an all-day, no-nap environment in two months and I’ve been asking about this transition since about the six-month mark. I can keep her awake at home on weekends, but during the week, they’ll still allow her to nap, making things inconsistent.
We don’t seem to agree, and I am at a bit of a disadvantage because I am not there to monitor the situation (which is a whole other level of guilt we won’t go into here). I feel like I’ve lost some of my parental power here; my child is getting to the age to phase out naps anyway, and Junior Kindergarten is a specific reason to make this change. I pride myself on being open to all comments, opinions and even criticisms from the daycare staff, because let’s face it, I’m not perfect and neither is my kid.
But how far do I push it?