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Help - pressures to put ds in daycare

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I am a SAHM with a beautiful little boy of 15 months (Dane). He is incredibly shy - when he meets new people he just hides his head, cries and tries to get up with me. All of my friends (and even acquaintances) are telling me that I NEED to put ds in daycare. I went and visited one today (the only one in town that has room for him - we live in a small town), and I just have this terrible feeling. There was just this herd of 1-2 year olds running around with a couple of daycare workers yelling at them to "please pick up your hat!" or "put your feet on the ground!". I just can't imagine my sensitive and sweet little boy here.

I have to admit that I do need some time to myself, and that I want Dane to get used to being around people, but I'm not sure if this is the best way. Does anyone have any thoughts on the issue? My husband is going to have some free-time this summer, so I will get the time to myself, but that won't help with the shyness. Would it be better if I let him get over his shyness in time, with his mommy there to support him?

I'd appreciate advice!

BTW - I have tried to take my son to the daycare center at our health club and leave him while I go to aerobics. I rarely get to do more that 1/2 hour of the class because he is in hysterics and the daycare has to call me to calm him down. . .
post #2 of 20
A 15 month old is still a baby. It makes me so mad when people assume that they should act so much older than their age. So what if he is wary of new people and situations, he won't be like this forever.

My son was "a mama's boy" at 15 months according to my family. They blamed it on my still nursing at that age. My mother felt that he was 'too attached' to me and that I should wean him. Whatever!: He went on to nurse until I was 3 months pregnant and he was 22 months old. He is now four and rarely does he act shy. If he does it is usually because some adult is in his face asking him a bunch of silly questions. He talks all the time and is very social. Very different that he was at 15 months.

I have worked in a day care center and my kids will never spend a day in one. My center was great, but the kids in any center will never get as much love and respect as they will at home. Don't let people pressure you into doing something that you know is not right for your child or your family. If you need some time alone, try to find a mom with a child your child's age and swap time away. This is what I do with my kids. It makes it much easier for them to separate from me when they are young if they are going to a familiar house to play with their friend.

Enrolling your child in day care could create a host of new issues for you.
post #3 of 20

Trust your feelings, Luke

I totally agree with jbcjmom. Your 15 month old is supposed to be shy and attached "ie clingy." DO NOT give in to pressure to "socialize" him if your heart tells you it is not right for your son. If you can afford to stay home and still get breaks for yourself this summer, it sounds like the ideal situation. Put yourself in his shoes, he will have no understanding why you are leaving him in a loud noisy scary environment and wont know when or if you are coming back.

The best daycare is still bad because its not what little kids need and no caregiver can care for that many kids adequately. Trust me, Dane will also have more illnesses and ear infections then you've ever had before. Tell the people who are encouraging daycare that you are not going to throw him into the Petrie Dish that IS daycare if you dont have to, maybe that will shut them up. Anyway, if this is your first child, this is also your first acquaintance with people telling you how to parent. Listen for a while but discard what does not work for your and your family. You will find support here for decisions that may not fit what the mainstream tells you is right.

OT Hi Jbcjmom, "hot enuff fer ya?"
post #4 of 20
just agreeing w/what's been said above. 15mos. is way too young to put in daycare.... just remember, you're the mom you call the shots - not well friends or family, no matter how well meaning.
post #5 of 20
Since my ds in in daycare, I can't comment on the badness of having a child in daycare. I would say that it would seem like a stupid expense to me to pay for childcare when you are home. As far as socialization goes, I doubt he is being deprived but you could always try to arrange play dates with other kids his age or just take him to the park and let him run around. He'll interact when he is ready and forcing it will just make the situation worse
post #6 of 20
Again, just agreeing with what everyone else is saying here. Seems to me that if he's not ready, forcing him to socialize will be way more damaging than anybody thinks letting him go at his own pace would ever be.

Did that come out right?
post #7 of 20
I agree, you shouldn't feel at all pressured to put him in daycare, but nobody has even addressed your other concern of feeling like you need a break. There are much more gentle and fun ways to socialize him a little bit and have a break for yourself!! Maybe start with something like mom's meetings or music class where he can learn to have fun with other toddlers and babies, in a joyous, cheerful atmosphere, not one as overwhelming as a daycare. With you there, of course. After that, maybe you can hire a caregiver--a babysitter--to take him a few hours a week. Get to know her with him, until he feels very comfortable. Then have HER take him to the music classes, or the park, the playground, the whatever. Don't do anything YOU don't feel comfortable with, but it does sound like you need some time off. Good luck!

Oh, and I totally disagree with this "the best daycare is still bad" business. How can a person possibly say that without having visited every daycare? Sigh.. just more of the same old anti-anything-but-100%-SAHM prejudice. :
post #8 of 20
If your husband has the summer off and you can get time to yourself that way, there is no reason to put Dane in childcare.

As others have mentioned, Dane is still a baby. Children are never "finished products" and shouldn't be expected to exhibit mature social skills in all situations. In fact, Dane is still within the time frame when he is probably experiencing the peak of his stranger anxiety (the peak wont end until 24 months, and even then, he may continue to have some stranger anxiety for a while). I don't think his shyness is anything you need to be worrying about right now.

Even if you were to worry about his shyness, I see little value in socializing children in abnormal social environments. This is why I don't buy the whole "send your kids to school rather than homeschool so your kids will be socialized" argument. What kind of socializing are they getting when put ina situation where they have hours on end with only kids in their same age group and with so many harmful factors that aren't similar to anything we experience as adults.

My SO works in a Preschool/childcare, and we, like jbcjmom will never, ever have our child there! SO sometimes cries after work out of frustration regarding what the kids have to go through there. SO's preschool is considered one of the best in the state, but it has so many problems, and even without those problems, it isn't natural for young kids to be seperated from their mommies. Some parents need daycare, but if you don't need it, I say don't use it.

The best way for Dane to work through his shyness is to do so within the safety of knowing that his mom is nearby if he needs her, that he can come and get her. He may always be shy (maybe that's just his personality), but over time he will learn to cope in social situations so that he and others can have a good time. Stick nearby, not right at his side but nearby, and give him the opportunities to engage (through playdates or whatever) as he seems willing to take them, and you will see it coming naturally.

More importantly than anything I've said, trust your gut!
post #9 of 20

not to hijack

Since I am famous (being quoted and all) about best daycares being bad, I just want to say that it is not a bias against working mothers at all. I know the best daycare is bad because my son attends two days a week at a GREAT daycare so I can work and it is still bad, because as I said, it is not what the under two or three set needs. The best daycare in the world is not their mom attending to their needs. Some people, me among them, have to work. That doesnt mean going to daycare is best for my son, its just a sad reality. If Dane doesnt have to go, he shouldnt, JMHO.
post #10 of 20
Just adding more support to you:

Nobody will ever be able to "prove" that your son isn't just shy by nature and going through a perfectly normal adjustment period in his growth. I believe it is his inherent nature at this time and trying to force a child like him to "socialise" and become "more independent" is the antithesis of attachment parenting. I bet he would just be traumatized by it. There is NOTHING wrong, IMO, with being shy and clingy at that age, and I urge you to read some of Dr. William Sears' books for moral support. Particularly the Baby Book and The Discipline Book.

God, it makes me so angry how impatient people can be with a child's development. We don't criticise them for not wanting a steak for dinner when they are young, or for not being able to walk when they are infants, why are we so adament about forcing emotional development before its time?

You GO girl! You are doing the absolute best for your child and putting them in daycare when you are able to SAH would be a total waste of money. Join a mommy-and-me group and do things together so you can both have some fun but your son will be with you and reassured.
post #11 of 20
Ditto to what everyone has said.

I would just like to add that you have that "funny feeling" for a reason. TRUST IT!!!

My son was such a mommas boy at that age. He's more out going now, he's two and a half. They will grow more independant.

You're the mom, you call the shots.
post #12 of 20

im glad that hasn't happened to me yet.

because i am afraid i might say something hurtful in reply.

daycare is fine if the mother wants/needs to work.

if you are happy at home, there is no reason that your baby "needs" daycare.

they do have a higher risk of getting sick at daycare, among other things.

there are good and bad things about daycare, but i think staying home has many good things, and i can't think of any bad.

unless the mom was unhappy.

which, sounds like you are not. im not either. i love being home. knowing that my baby is safe with me.

a young baby is unable to tell you what happens to them during the day. i perfer to have my baby with me....and i will know what is going on with him.
post #13 of 20
Maybe you could find a trusted baby 'sitter' that could take him to the park for a couple hours a couple times a week, just so you could have a break once in while?? You could start off by the 3 of you going together 'til he gets to know the sitter [if he's ready] ... It might help him to start to socialize with some of the other kids at the park - at his own pace of course. ??
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for your support - it is just what I needed! I knew that putting Dane in daycare was not the right answer to his shyness problem, but I have just been bombarded with well-meaning advice to do so. It is so nice to have my beliefs reinforced, so that I question my parenting choices less - I seem to know so many main-stream parents.

I really like the ideas of taking him to mommy and me meetings or music classes where he can meet new people with me there to support him. I have read Dr. Sears's The Baby Book, but it has been a while since I pulled it out, and I was definitely letting other people influence my parenting decisions. There were also a couple of advertisements in the paper today for other moms who want to babysit (again we have a really small town), so I might look into that too.
post #15 of 20

I do have the 100% SAHM is best "prejudice"

I'll admit up front that I do believe that 100% SAHM is best (I think someone called it a "prejudice" but I think of it as an informed opinion), so I am biased. Your sweet little baby is still a baby.

Let me tell you about my father... this is a true story! My father was a clingy momma's boy until he started school. Then he became incredibly gregarious. He still lived with his momma until he married at the age of 35, and his momma drove my mother crazy. The attachment never faded.

But... my father was not shy or clingy at all, he just loved his mother. How extraverted was he? My father ran for state wide office of a large state four times (and lost four times) which required him to give passionate speeches in front of large crowds and meet hundreds of strangers all over the state. When we would go to restaurants, even years after he quit running for office, he would engage everyone in the place, finding their secret talents, getting the owners or chef to come out and talk to us, telling strangers that they "could have been a millionaire", etc., etc.

So... I think that a baby being shy when a baby and even younger is not necessarily and indicator that he will be shy as an adult. And if he is, it is not necessarily a negative trait.

Regarding finding time for yourself... you may want to look into what I am considering, the "baby entertainer" option. Basically, a teenager comes over and entertains the baby while you are in the room with them. You pay the teenager and do the real work, ie, feeding, changing, etc. But the baby entertainer is there engaging and interacting with the baby under your watchful eye. The going rate around here is $3-6 an hour. This doesn't allow true time for yourself, but you can sit around and read and relax and also your baby will be socialized by someone you control.

I assume you have found your local AP playgroups, or gymboree or some such program, right?
post #16 of 20
I'm coming to this thread rather late. However, *IF* you feel that your son would benefit from being around other kids, then you may want to consider churches that have "parents morning out" programs. My kids have been going to a local church program since they were infants and they really love it. I have also had my kids in a more traditional day care, mainly for parents who work.

The day care and PMO programs I have seen could not be more different. The child/teacher ratio in church programs is usually very low. Unlike day care, the kids don't *have* to be there, so the teachers really focus on making sure the kids have a fun time. Parents are encouraged to spend time with the child in class to help transition them into being able to be there by themselves.

A 15 month old would only be at a PMO for 3 hours a day 2-3 days a week. If you wanted a little time to yourself (which I think is not at all selfish), then helping your son transition to a good program a few days a week can be a very good thing - if that is what you feel is best for your child.

Good luck!
post #17 of 20
Our almost-4-year-old has just become an extrovert in the last two months!
People that she's seen weekly for years and never spoken to are now subjected to lengthy tales and inquiries.
The man at the gelato shop who has tried to charm her for over 3 1/2 years and previously received only a whispered "Thank you" now gets a narration of her weekly schedule, as do the mailman, the UPS man, the neighbors, familiar faces at church. . . you get the picture.
What did we do differently?
You just have to let them bloom in their own season.
I know someone who's little boy (a year older than our daughter) was incredibly shy. He didn't even like familiar people to speak to him. One day he insisted she put down his window so he could sing a song to someone in a tollbooth and suddenly he was an extrovert, too!

As for time for you, when we were pregnant with our second, my husband made a point of reserving 2 mornings a week for my daughter for her to get 1:1 time with him, and so I could have some quiet 1:1 time with the new baby.
They took an art class together and did a Waldorf parent-child class together.
Now they just do the Waldorf class, and then one morning or afternoon a week they do their own thing (often a fun activity and a grocery run).

Our culture over-values extroversion. Personally, I think it's unnatural to interact with dozens of people (i.e. other children) every day in a day-care! Far better to cultivate a few enduring, valuable relationships with friends with shared values (and desirable behaviors) than to have dozens of superficial ones!
(Just my particular values!)
post #18 of 20
What about a play group? You would be there and he would get used to being around other people. I know you wouldnt get that time to yourself but at least he learn to be around other kids and there would be other parents for you to chat with.
post #19 of 20
My oldest was the same way when he was little. He went to preschool (two mornings a week) when he was three and hated it-I wish I had trusted my instincts and pulled him out. When he went to nursery school at 4, with a friend, he loved it. He just turned 18 and he CAN"T WAIT to go away to college this fall! Trust yourself-just because he is shy now doesn't mean you have to "fix it".
post #20 of 20
Do you have a friend with a baby close in age? You could always swap a couple of afternoons a week - one day you watch both kids for a couple hours, one day she does. Then you both get some time to yourselves!

And, trust your gut on the daycare thing!
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