Althought I wrote this post on September 21, 2015, it is one of those “evergreen” posts that is always relevant.
Every so often, I question the fact that, in my belief, daycare is something to be avoided at all costs. (Daycare – from birth until the kid is around 3 years old; minimum – 2.5. Preschool is from that age until kindergarten.)
And then someone complains that her kid – a baby, really, is being bitten. Or hit. Or comes back crying. Or doesn’t want to go back to daycare, because they’re scared.
The kid comes back with black and blue marks. Or with teeth marks. Or scratch marks. Sometimes, it breaks the skin.
But it doesn’t matter, because, “it’s just a phase.”
I always like how the parents defensively call aggressive behavior “a phase” until the aggressive child gets a younger sibling, and bites, hits, kicks, or otherwise hurts the new baby. And suddenly – it’s not a phase anymore. And the parents takes care of the aggressive behavior – fast.
So what does that mean? It’s a phase only if it hurts your kid, but if my kid is hurting my baby, it’s not phase? Your kid isn’t as important as my kid? (Well, we knew that. But you’re not supposed to feel that way – or, at least, you’re not supposed to say it.)
And then I say: Thank G-d I don’t send to daycare.
Biting is a phase. Part of the oral phase.
Then there’s the hitting and kicking. I guess they’re part of the sensory phase.
Then the stealing and the cursing. Part of the social phase? I don’t know.
But the fact of the matter is, if you don’t teach your kid not to be aggressive – then your kid will be aggressive.
And the other fact is that daycare can’t give every kid the amount of attention he or she needs. And children who aren’t getting the attention they need, find ways to get it. Often, those “other ways” are violent and aggressive. And they keep at it – because it works. When it doesn’t work – they’ve at least managed to release their stress and anger . . . onto someone else.
So now parents need to choose. Do we want “better” academics (an advantage that disappears around third grade) and better social mingling skills for our children? Or do we want them to be gentler, less aggressive, less emotionally needy people?