SAHP- part time outside care for socialization? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 02-08-2010, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
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DH and I went to a sustainable ag conference this weekend. In order for both of us to attend workshops at the conference, we signed DD, 15.5 mos, up for daycare at the conference. Daycare was really supposed to be for 18 mos+, but we asked if she could give it a try, and they said yes.

From birth to 12 mos, I was a SAHM. Since 12 months- current (and forseeable future), DH is a SAHD. We've had both of our moms babysit on occasion at both their places and ours. But we have not left her with anyone outside of family.

Needless to say, DD was horrified that we left her at the conference daycare. For some reason, she is significantly louder than other kids, I've noticed... at any rate, she pretty much lasted 2 minutes, then went on a crying/screaming rampage, and was upsetting the other kids as well as monopolizing the staff's time. So they had to call us to console her. This happened a few times, and eventually they said it just wasn't working, so I ended up caring for her the rest of the day and the next.

She's been great in playgroups and will play very well with other kids when we are in the next room, etc. But our experience at the conference left us feeling that we'd let DD down by not preparing her for this type of situation. There was another little girl, 15 mos, and she was fine there. I later found out she did 1/2 day daycare twice a week. Another mom I was talking to said it took her son about 1 week to get used to daycare. I chuckled and told her "too bad this conference is only 2 days!"

What are your thoughts on the necessity of a 15 mo. old to be able to cope on her own with care that is outside of family? We were thinking about joining our local Y, but in order to get what we are looking for out of it, DD would have to be okay with being in Y childcare for an hour or two. Any ideas on how to ease into this?

-Me(35), DH(37), DD1(10/21/08), DD2(4/30/11)
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#2 of 7 Old 02-08-2010, 05:59 PM
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i've heard ecfe (early childhood family ed) is a good way to practice brief separation - you are in the room with the kids for a little while, then step out for a little while (like 15 minutes). then things like an hour at the ymca, or with another mom and her kids, aren't such a big deal.

as far as being in part-time care on a regular basis, i don't think it's really necessary at this age. it's okay that she doesn't want to be away from her parents or grandparents. she's pretty much a baby. i think preschool or even kindergarten is a reasonable time to start spending several hours a day, 3-5 days a week, away from parents.
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#3 of 7 Old 02-09-2010, 03:25 AM
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Babies, toddlers, even preschoolers do not need outside care for socialization. They need to get out and see the world, play with other kids, etc, but they do not need outside care for that. To me, care and socialization are put in the same sentence far too much in this society. And that bugs me lol.

I think your daughter was feeling some separation anxiety, and that's different from not being 'socialized'. Some kids are perfectly fine with being left with a new caregiver and some kids need to be eased into it. Even a kid who goes to daycare regularly can feel frightened and abandoned if all of a sudden they're placed in a new environment where they don't know anyone well enough to trust them.

This is what I would do for the Y...take your daughter to the playroom a few times in a week and play with her for 30 minutes. The 3rd time, leave for 2 minutes and come back. Play for another 15 and then leave again, coming back after maybe 5 minutes. Hopefully she'll become accustomed to the playroom and the caregivers and won't cry for you the next time you leave. If she has a backpack with a few great snacks in it, that might help as well.

2 of my kids would play in the playroom just fine while my husband and I exercised. The 3rd, not so much. Eventually my husband and I had to take turns, one would exercise while the other played with her in the playroom. By the time she was 4 she would stay with the caregivers for 20 minutes at a time. She even had 2 older siblings to play with and she still didn't want to be away from either myself or my husband. Every kid is different, that was just the way she rolled .

Best of luck to you .

I have 3 kids! : Lookit them go!!!
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#4 of 7 Old 02-09-2010, 04:26 AM
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She got upset because you left her with strangers??? I'm not surprised.

I agree with PPs. She's a baby and needs to be with her family whenever possible. Ds1 is 3 and only just started attending classes on his own (he does one afternoon of preschool a week and one hour-long gymnastics class (I stay in the waiting room). I think he hasn't had a problem being separated from me because he's developmentally ready to start exploring little bits of the world on his own. 12 months is way too young for this if it's at all avoidable.

"So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton

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#5 of 7 Old 02-09-2010, 09:57 AM
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I use a nursery on occasion at church and/or my MOPS group.

My first son hated it until he was about 2 years old. I'd drop him off, and he'd last maybe 15 minutes before they came and got me. I *really* needed the break, though, so I kept trying. It was a 1-3 time a month sort of thing. Eventually, he would last 30 minutes, then 45, then would be okay (but not happy) the entire hour. At age 2, I dropped him off, he turned, said, "bye, Mama!" with a big smile, and now he loves to go.

My second son wasn't like that at all.

A lot of it just depends on your kid.
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#6 of 7 Old 02-09-2010, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone... all your posts echo exactly my thoughts- this is why we have always wanted to have a stay at home parent. Our DD is so wonderful and bright, and I know part of that is her, but I also generally think that we do a great job at home with her. (Outside care makes me a little uneasy. For instance, one of the times I walked into the conference daycare, 7 or 8 kids were hovered around one of the daycare teacher's smart phone watching cartoons or something. DD does not watch any TV at home, and I don't like her to watch it anywhere, really. We interact and play with her pretty much all day long, and I think she learns a lot from it.)

I think I mis-used words when I mentioned that it would be for "socialization." What I really meant was that she needed practice being away from us for short periods, and yes, that is very different. She is generally not afraid of new faces, and loves to say hi to everyone we pass when we are out. I guess it is just normal separation anxiety at this point, which will probably pass with a little practice.

mamaluvspirates- thanks so much for the game plan. I think we even saw a hint of this working when things didn't work out at the conference. The next day I asked her if she might want to go see the teacher at the daycare to say hi, and she said yes. Clearly, it isn't always easy for an attached 1 year old to become accustomed to another adult within a few 5 minute trials in an hour.

Sometimes I think I go out of my way to avoid knowing what other kids are capable of, because I don't like to compare DD to any other kids or any standard. We like to roll with her individual needs and levels, regardless of where her peers stand.

I'm so glad all your responses verified my original thoughts and feelings on this issue. I, too, really dislike when people tell me that a SAHP is not good because they assume it means a child cannot socialize. DD can and does socialize very well.

-Me(35), DH(37), DD1(10/21/08), DD2(4/30/11)
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#7 of 7 Old 02-10-2010, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by elisheva View Post
She's a baby and needs to be with her family whenever possible.
See, I don't agree with this. I think children need to be with a loving, attentive caregiver and if that is a daycare provider then it's fine. So long as the child has someone there who they trust and who will comfort them I think that is what's important.

I do agree though that leaving a 15mo with a stranger suddenly really isn't a great plan!

It's complicated.
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