You are consumed with guilt. You keep telling yourself that you should be able to stay home with your baby and teach him everything he needs at home.
Think of all the money you’ll save. Think of how close your bond will be. Why would you ever want your little one to be in day care?
Oh… a million reasons. Some are for your own sanity and some prepare your child better for Kindergarten. And no, it has nothing to do with learning the ABC’s or 123’s.
Throw your guilt out the window. There are quite few disadvantages to daycare centers. Here is help in getting over daycare guilt.
I know guilt.
When my son was born, I planned to take a year off of teaching and stay home with him. That year, was the perfect amount of time for me to realize that I need more stimulation in my life.
Actually, 3 months was enough time for me. I started this blog and it took off.
For the first time in my life, I saw a way to make money working from home and earning a pretty awesome income.
Perfect right? I can work at home and watch my son. I’ll save all this money on day care and life will be easy.
Ummm… not quite.
I’m sure you’ve tried to work with your kids around.
Just yesterday, I was trying to make a hotel reservation for an upcoming business trip. As I was spelling my last name into the phone, my son was spelling words beside me at full volume. Pretty soon, I had no idea if I’d spelled my own name correctly and I feared I messed up the whole reservation.
And this was just a hotel reservation! Think about answering emails, balancing financials and writing. It is impossible to devote your complete attention to a task when a child demands you look at them… right now!!
Something had to give. I went back and forth between enrolling my son in day care and staying home.
Really, was my time worth that much? Day care is expensive.
If you are asking yourself the same question right now, let me answer it for you. YES! Your time and mind are super worth the cost of day care.
And besides, by enrolling your child in day care, you’re not only giving yourself some needed thought space but you’re giving your child an amazing gift.
Yes, at first, your child may cry at drop-off. That doesn’t mean it’s the wrong choice. Here’s what day care will teach him that you can’t teach at home.
Yes, there are play groups and other ways that your child can interact with peers, but they always have that safety-net of mom around.
When they fall down, they run straight to you for comfort. When they don’t have their favorite food, they don’t have to ask…you know what it is.
Daycare teaches kids how to interact with others who cannot anticipate their every need. They are exposed to different personalities and figure out how to handle it when people think differently than themselves.
Daycare teachers help kids with the social skill transitions. Think about that one toy in the playroom that your kid always wants to play with. For us, it was this huge Fisher-Price car that my son love to sit in and pretend to drive. When other kids come over to our house, they fought over that car.
Now think about a classroom with 9 kids who all want that car. Here’s where your child gets his first exposure to sharing. Daycare teachers introduce the concept of taking turns and each child gets a few minutes with the toy. When their time is up, they need to give up the toy.
Kids crave routine.
However, as adults we like a little more variation in our days. We like novelty. So when we’re home with our kids we tend to do a lot of different activities.
- Go to the zoo.
- Visit friends.
- Eat lunch at different places.
This is more for our sanity than really about our kids preferences.
Daycare and schools thrive on routine. Not only do they have set times for meals, but they also have set times for play for center , for free time, for outside time… The list goes on and on.
A structure that would drive most of us insane in our daily lives is awesome for kids
In daycare, kids get this routine. And through this routine they develop discipline as well as a sense of calm because they know how to predict their day .
When they get to elementary school, classrooms run on the same predictable routine. Your child will be ready in kindergarten to hit the ground running.
Learn Skills Faster
Okay, I’ll admit it now. Potty training drives me insane.
In fact, it was a trouble for my son as well. He screamed every time I asked him to try the potty. He told me that he was too scared.
When a child doesn’t want to sit on the potty, it is almost impossible to potty train them. Thankfully, this was around the time that I enrolled my son in daycare. Within a few months, my son voluntarily sat on the potty. Amazing, right?
That’s the benefit of being around peers. Not only are kids willing to try new skills faster, but they are also more open to other adventures.
The preschool my son attends also feeds the kids lunch. My son eats vegetables, lean meats, fruits and all sorts of other foods that he refuses to try at home. All because his friends are eating the food too.
When kids see other kids accomplishing a task, they believe more in their own abilities to accomplish it as well.
Most kindergarten teachers say that it is not a lack of knowledge that makes Kindergarten hard for kids. Rather it is hard to teach kids who won’t cooperate or follow directions.
Daycare teaches kids to follow the directions and teachers.
- Kids learn how to walk in a straight line.
- They learn how to take turns.
- They learn how not to touch the paint and the scissors until they’re given instructions.
These are all essential behaviors for the classroom. As a former 5th grade teacher, I saw students who still had not mastered the skills. These skills need to be learned young for future success later in life.
Daycare provides that single place to just focus on developing following directions as a skill.
Daycare is more than simply making sure your child’s basic needs are met. It teaches your child needed social skills, how to follow direction, discipline and will help her learn other skills faster because she sees her peers doing it. No need to feel guilty. You are giving your baby a world of good.
Now go get it, Mama!