What happens at home

While we were on vacation last month in Washington State, we spent 3 nights visiting friends while staying in a vacation rental on Orcas Island. Our friends have a daughter who is almost 3 years old. I was talking about day care, parenting, and that sort of thing to my girlfriend and she said some things that have stuck with me.

She said that mostly due to financial restrictions and partly due to their own desire to expose their daughter to a wide range of people –they send their daughter to a less than optimum daycare (totally safe and free of danger of course). While they may be able to afford a slightly more expensive daycare–this one offered many of the things that others didn’t in the form of language and cultural diversity. She also felt that this daycare fit their needs the best with regard to location.

She said that her and her hubby have almost weekly discussions about the daycare-ranging from why they pull her out today to why this care arrangement is the best for them and their daughter.

The bottom line for both of them was that its what your child learns at home that matters most. Even though they spend a lot of time un-teaching their daughter undesirable habits or behaviours she learns at school, they felt that it was time well spent. They felt that it was a great way to teach valuable life lessons. Now, both parents are elementary school teachers (kindergarten and 2nd grade), so I am more inclined to trust what they say having the experience with kids that they do. What do you think? What have your experiences been in this arena?

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2 thoughts on “What happens at home

  1. We sent our sons to a very diverse daycare. Not only was it for children with special needs (we selected it before my second son was born), but it was also a state assistance daycare center. It was actually more expensive for us because we didn’t meet the low income guidelines. We loved it so much I’m thinking of sending my daughter there for preschool. As for unlearning behaviors – you can’t keep your child in a bubble. At some point they are going to see undesirable behavior. I agree with you that the examples you set at home and the early guidance you offer is more important. By seeing the negative behaviors in a daycare setting, your child will also see how adults respond and model appropriate behavior. While older kids (teens) may be influenced by their peers, young children turn to adults. Great post, btw. I love how your blog always makes me think 🙂

  2. I agree with lynanne — children will learn undesirable habits from anyone and anywhere — even at the fanciest schools. Even my children teach other children (relatively, and hopefully temporary) bad habits — something I used to be embarrassed about until I learned that it happens to almost every parent. I think the most important aspects in choosing daycare/preschool are 1) do you trust the providers/teachers to give each child his or her full attention and love every single day, no matter what, and 2) is your child safe. If the answer is yes to these, and if your child is happy on the days she goes to daycare, then diversity or no diversity — you’ve got a great place. I think of diversity as an enhancement to the educational/socialization experience, in the same way I view art, music, dance, science, etc. If they’ve got it now — great. If not — they’ll absorb it at some point down the line, whether through school, or by enrichment and family activities.Making parenting choices, large and small, is so hard. We can never really know the long-term effects of the choice we make today, or whether the long-term effects would have been better or worse if we had chosen something different. I feel VERY strongly, however, that there is almost no chance that an intelligent, thoughtful, loving parent, will actually make the WRONG one.

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