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#1 of 16 Old 03-02-2012, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I decided a couple of weeks ago to pull DSS (3 yrs.) out of daycare. He got in trouble that Wednesday. He called a little black girl the "n word" and the owner texted me about it. In the text she said "I know that some people may use this term at home but it is inappropriate and you need to have a talk with DSS today."  I immediately called the daycare after I got the text and talked to the co-owner. Apparently DSS said it, realized what he had said and then said, "No I didn't say that." Three times. There were three teachers standing there who heard it and said his name after he said it, but they didn't put him in time out or have a talk with him about what he had just said. So DH picks DSS up later that day and is asking him what happened, before they are in the car and some workers were offended that DH was asking about it. That night DH and I talked with DSS and told him how we don't say bad words and that they can hurt someone's feelings. DSS understood and has since not said anything. DSS is not a kid to say bad words as it is. We are not racist, actually I was so upset by the whole ordeal that after I got off of the phone, I burst into tears. We have very close friends who are African American and we NEVER and use that word. I have Chinese American cousins who are like brothers and sisters to my brother and I! We have never been racist in our lives! I couldn't believe that she even insinuated that we did.

 

Then Thursday morning I get another text from the owner that says, "You need to call me when you get a chance." I call about two minutes after I see the text and ask what is wrong. She says that my DH "did not smile and was very unfriendly while dropping off DSS today. He gave the workers dirty looks and then stared through the window at them after he walked out. This is just drama that we shouldn't have to deal with and if it's going to be this way, you should just find another daycare." I was blown away. DH is number one, not a morning person. He doesn't feel the need to be happy go lucky. Plus he was starting his new job that day and ready to get to work. I told the owner, "DH isn't a morning person and he was just trying to make sure that DSS was ok." I apologized (for what I honestly don't know) and assured her that I would talk to DH. 

 

DH and I did talk. He said he went to look at the window because DSS knocked on it to get his attention (DSS does do this). DH has one of those faces that people think he is angry when there is nothing wrong and he is actually in a great mood. We thought that they were blowing the whole thing out of proportion. Her comment that we should find another daycare made us very upset. DSS has never been in trouble before this time and they didn't even talk with him or explain to him why his words were hurtful at the time. DSS has also since starting daycare  hit himself in the head when angry, used the words "stupid" and "shut up" (he never said that before), and been on sugar highs when he comes home ( the idea of a snack is jelly beans and cookies). So we decided to put him on the waiting list for another daycare that has been open almost 15 years and we have literally never heard anything bad about and we have family member who have their kids there. I texted the owner and let her know that he was not coming back and she didn't even ask why.

 

I have missed my little boy and I am glad he is home. But I am feeling pretty annoyed/angry/ betrayed by the owner. I have known her all of my life and our parents are best friends. I can't believe that one little incident got everything blown up and now we are on the waiting list for a new daycare. But I wasn't about to send DSS back after what had happened and take a chance on him being mistreated. 

 

Tonight I saw a friend in the grocery store. Her SIL works for the daycare. The SIL had told my friend all about what DSS did wrong (specifically the n word and that DH was rude) but failed to mention anything else. So now we have people talking in our small town about us and I am wondering what the hell to do. I don't appreciate that my child is getting talked about, even to a friend. That is her work and she should not be discussing my child with anyone but the owners or DH and I. I also think the entire situation was handled unprofessionally, on her part and the owner's part. I know that I am being the bigger person in letting things go and taking him out of there. But at the same time Cuss.gif!!!!!! Is pretty much mine and DH's attitude on the ordeal. DSS has handled the transition back to being at home great and he says that he misses his friends but he does know that we are going to find another daycare and he can make new friends. He truly is an amazing child.

 

Any advice, thoughts? Are DH and I overreacting?


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#2 of 16 Old 03-02-2012, 09:25 PM
 
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I don't know...if I was a daycare owner and had a family whose child said the n-word directed at another child, and then the next day was dropped off by a parent who seemed to be pissy, I might think what the director said to you.  If you guys have known each other for years, it's possible that she is stunned and shocked that your child would say something like that (though you never do know where kids pick up stuff, and you have to be professional), and then your husband's perceived behavior the next day (when staff might be on edge/upset to begin with) might have compounded things.

 

I'm sure it's shocking to you that your child used that language, and it's tempting to just gloss it over and then make it all the other people's fault...but when you say "DSS is not the type of child to say those words"--well, yes, actually he IS.  Any child might say any 'bad word'.

 

I don't know if you are overreacting, as I'm sure it was a very shocking and embarassing situation for you, so it's understandable to have a strong reaction especially when you perceive (rightfully so) that people will judge you for both your child's words and your DH's non-morning-person behavior the next day.  But I do see how it could be interpreted by the staff/owner of that daycare.  I don't think she handled it as well as she could have.

 

It doesn't sound like DSS' language will be a problem (at least not that particular word, I'm sure there will be others that he might discover and try out!), but to be honest if your DH knows that he tends to worry or upset people by his facial expressions then it might be good to not think badly of people interpreting them that way.  I mean he doesn't have to turn into Susie Sunshine, but I think he should probably get used to people interpreting him as surly if he's scowly and not be offended when it happens.  Especially after there's been a bit of an 'event'.

 

I would chalk this up to one of those things that happen.  It does sound like everyone needs some space.  But to many people a child calling another child the n-word and then a parent that seems to be put out afterwards towards the staff would not be a "little" episode.  I'm not saying that's fair, but unfortunately stuff like that can really alter your perception of someone, at least until you calm down. 

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#3 of 16 Old 03-02-2012, 10:29 PM
 
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Adult drama is just that, adult drama.  And any daycare that feeds children jelly beans and cookies for snacks is obviously not that concerned about the child's well-being.

 

I would be WAY more concerned about where my 3 year old heard the n-word than anything else. I mean if you aren't saying it, then it means he is picking it up from school.

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#4 of 16 Old 03-02-2012, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Tigerchild- It's not that I doubted that DSS said it, or that he would never say that. It is that we have had talks, just like you have to with any child learning to speak about what words are "bad" or "good" words. DSS even corrects other family members when they use a bad word. I feel like my biggest problem is that the situation wasn't handled properly when it happened. Since I have never heard him use that word, but I have heard him use other bad words and we always have a talk immediately afterwards, I thought that a talk or time time out would have been more appropriate that a text message telling me to handle a situation that I did not witness. DH is pretty used to people interpreting his facial expressions in a negative way, which is why I apologized and explained to the owner how his demeanor was not meant to be offensive. I get what you are saying and I am very aware that this is not the first and will not be the last time DSS does something that makes me do a double take. I just feel like the whole situation was handled very unprofessionally and then to find out that it is being further discussed outside of the daycare is down right wrong IMO.

 

goldingoddess- The snack thing, behavior differences, etc. were many reasons we were already looking for another daycare. I felt rather limited and was trying to get through this semester of school, and having the baby in April before we made anymore changes in DSS's schedule. 

 

I would be WAY more concerned about where my 3 year old heard the n-word than anything else. I mean if you aren't saying it, then it means he is picking it up from school.

 

^^That is exactly what I was thinking. I am guessing he may have overheard it there? The only people he is with besides DH and I alone are my parents. They are the ones who taught me about civil rights and activism, so I highly doubt it came from them. They were equally taken aback when I told them what happened. I have no clue and we did ask DSS about it and he just said, "I dunno, I just heard it." Either way he hasn't used the word again and hasn't used any other bad words for that matter. The words "shut up" and "stupid" are slowly leaving his vocabulary and we are working with different words here at home as well as other preschool aged activities I have added to his schedule throughout the day.

 

wink1.gifThanks for the input, ladies. I appreciate it. 


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#5 of 16 Old 03-03-2012, 06:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by csekywithlove View Post

 

Tonight I saw a friend in the grocery store. Her SIL works for the daycare. The SIL had told my friend all about what DSS did wrong (specifically the n word and that DH was rude) but failed to mention anything else. So now we have people talking in our small town about us and I am wondering what the hell to do. I don't appreciate that my child is getting talked about, even to a friend. That is her work and she should not be discussing my child with anyone but the owners or DH and I. I also think the entire situation was handled unprofessionally, on her part and the owner's part. I know that I am being the bigger person in letting things go and taking him out of there. But at the same time Cuss.gif!!!!!! Is pretty much mine and DH's attitude on the ordeal. DSS has handled the transition back to being at home great and he says that he misses his friends but he does know that we are going to find another daycare and he can make new friends. He truly is an amazing child.

 

Any advice, thoughts? Are DH and I overreacting?

 


It seems to me that the daycare handled the situation badly, even though the initial offense is understandable. It can't be the first time a small child has said something terrible and needed correction and guidance. Since this is a small town, it might be worth your time to go back to the daycare owner about this part of the situation. She may not know that her staff are gossiping about you.  She needs to take steps against such behaviour immediately. It is absolutely unprofessional that the staff are discussing it with anyone outside of the school.  If the daycare belongs to any kind of licensing body or professional group, you could explain to the owner that gossiping about families is the kind of unprofessional conduct that merits a formal complaint. 

 

 

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#6 of 16 Old 03-03-2012, 02:30 PM
 
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Did your son say they didn't address this or did the teachers. For a situation like this the typical response in the center I work at would be to gently and briefly tell the child that it isn't a word we say because and a brief explanation of why. Because it us such a negative word we would also want to let the parent know so they can also address this. Not lecturing a child or isolating them is very standard where I live and it also causes some kids to think they weren't in trouble. If the teachers told you they didn't do anything then I think you should be outraged but three year old children aren't the most accurate reporters so I suggest asking how a situation was handled next time you think something big has been allowed to slide.

From the perspective of a teacher I think they handled things mostly okay. They didn't make a huge deal out of the initial word and they seem to have tried to word the initial text in a way that respected your possible homelife (something that isn't easy to find even if her comments weren't relevant). The director also stood up for her employees when they went to her and let her know that the day after she asked a parent to talk to their child the parent treated them very coldly. That kind of protection from negative parents makes a teachers job less stressful. It sounds like your DJ doesn't drop off much so they didn't realize that he isn't a morning person and that is unfortunate, but the impression he gave was of a racist who is angry his child can't use the "n" word at school and that is something a daycare center that has a diverse clientele probably didn't want to deal with. The fact that you pulled him right after that probably made them feel correct in their assumption. Since you are in a small town you should consider writing a letter explaining your decision to pull your dss out and asking her to talk to her staff about confidentiality.
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It seems to me that the daycare handled the situation badly, even though the initial offense is understandable. It can't be the first time a small child has said something terrible and needed correction and guidance. Since this is a small town, it might be worth your time to go back to the daycare owner about this part of the situation. She may not know that her staff are gossiping about you.  She needs to take steps against such behaviour immediately. It is absolutely unprofessional that the staff are discussing it with anyone outside of the school.  If the daycare belongs to any kind of licensing body or professional group, you could explain to the owner that gossiping about families is the kind of unprofessional conduct that merits a formal complaint. 

 

 

 I believe that the staff handled the whole situation horribly. When DSS started at the daycare, the owner had a conversation with me about how she had had to replace several staff members in the beginning, I thought nothing of it. In the five months that DSS was there, I saw him have four different teachers and was not given any notification or even introduced to any of the other staff taking care of DSS. I of course was assertive and would always ask them their name and talk with them when picking him up or dropping him off for the day. It became apparent that the only staff members she was hiring were young girls who had graduated from high school within the last year. I am not saying that is a bad thing. But I taught these girls in class last year (I was a substitute teacher) and now they are taking care of my kid? I wondered if they even knew how to do CPR or had any real experience with teaching children in any way. These young girls literally make up 70% of their staff. Perhaps I was wrong for not asking but at that point, DSS was already adjusting to being there and seemed content.

 



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Did your son say they didn't address this or did the teachers. For a situation like this the typical response in the center I work at would be to gently and briefly tell the child that it isn't a word we say because and a brief explanation of why. Because it us such a negative word we would also want to let the parent know so they can also address this. Not lecturing a child or isolating them is very standard where I live and it also causes some kids to think they weren't in trouble. If the teachers told you they didn't do anything then I think you should be outraged but three year old children aren't the most accurate reporters so I suggest asking how a situation was handled next time you think something big has been allowed to slide.
From the perspective of a teacher I think they handled things mostly okay. They didn't make a huge deal out of the initial word and they seem to have tried to word the initial text in a way that respected your possible homelife (something that isn't easy to find even if her comments weren't relevant). The director also stood up for her employees when they went to her and let her know that the day after she asked a parent to talk to their child the parent treated them very coldly. That kind of protection from negative parents makes a teachers job less stressful. It sounds like your DJ doesn't drop off much so they didn't realize that he isn't a morning person and that is unfortunate, but the impression he gave was of a racist who is angry his child can't use the "n" word at school and that is something a daycare center that has a diverse clientele probably didn't want to deal with. The fact that you pulled him right after that probably made them feel correct in their assumption. Since you are in a small town you should consider writing a letter explaining your decision to pull your dss out and asking her to talk to her staff about confidentiality.


DSS did not actually tell me about the incident. When I called the owner told me that DSS had said the word, three staff members witnessed it and said "DSS! (his name)" to which DSS respond, "Oh no, I didn't say that." And then he walked away to play and that is all that I was told that happened. I didn't feel the need to question DSS about the incident, I felt that it was more important to make sure that he understood that it was not a word he needed to say and was hurtful to people. Pulling DSS out of the daycare may have been preemptive, but after picking him up that afternoon and myself acting happy, normal, asking how the teacher was, only to get the cold shoulder from all of the staff present??? I thought, nope. Maybe the owner was right, a more professional daycare would be better for us. So bringing him home has been great and I don't regret the decision. I can see your point about protecting teachers from negative parents but I don't think my husband not being a morning person constitutes us being negative parents, even after a situation like that. 

 


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#8 of 16 Old 03-03-2012, 08:02 PM
 
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 I believe that the staff handled the whole situation horribly. When DSS started at the daycare, the owner had a conversation with me about how she had had to replace several staff members in the beginning, I thought nothing of it. In the five months that DSS was there, I saw him have four different teachers and was not given any notification or even introduced to any of the other staff taking care of DSS. I of course was assertive and would always ask them their name and talk with them when picking him up or dropping him off for the day. It became apparent that the only staff members she was hiring were young girls who had graduated from high school within the last year. I am not saying that is a bad thing. But I taught these girls in class last year (I was a substitute teacher) and now they are taking care of my kid? I wondered if they even knew how to do CPR or had any real experience with teaching children in any way. These young girls literally make up 70% of their staff. Perhaps I was wrong for not asking but at that point, DSS was already adjusting to being there and seemed content.

 


DSS did not actually tell me about the incident. When I called the owner told me that DSS had said the word, three staff members witnessed it and said "DSS! (his name)" to which DSS respond, "Oh no, I didn't say that." And then he walked away to play and that is all that I was told that happened. I didn't feel the need to question DSS about the incident, I felt that it was more important to make sure that he understood that it was not a word he needed to say and was hurtful to people. Pulling DSS out of the daycare may have been preemptive, but after picking him up that afternoon and myself acting happy, normal, asking how the teacher was, only to get the cold shoulder from all of the staff present??? I thought, nope. Maybe the owner was right, a more professional daycare would be better for us. So bringing him home has been great and I don't regret the decision. I can see your point about protecting teachers from negative parents but I don't think my husband not being a morning person constitutes us being negative parents, even after a situation like that. 

 

 

In that case I would have been livid.  I assumed from the level of detail you gave that the information came from your child because I have received the same level of information from my child but have always asked and found out that a lot more went on than she conveys.  It sounds like you do need a more professional center. I can't imagine hearing a child say something like that and ignoring it.  It sounds like you are all better off looking for a center where your child will be taught more about what is socially appropriate instead of the family being ostracized when he lets a bad word slip out.

 

I do think that being put off by your husband not being a morning person was understandable though, not to the extent of kicking you out but it is understandable that they would find it offensive (especially if it is different from the way he usually is during drop offs or he came in grumpy for his one and only drop off).  Your dh probably doesn't go into work and treat clients or his boss coldly just because mornings aren't his favorite time so faking a smile and a little personality doesn't seem like too much for him to do at daycare drop off time when many kids feel better seeing a happy parent departing and treating drop off as normal.  I am not a morning person but I don't ignore my family, give my child's teachers the cold shoulder, or walk around with a scowl at work as parents pass their children off to me. I think it is an especially bad move to make when your family is already viewed as a possible problem family by the daycare center because it makes you appear like a family that doesn't want to work with the teachers to find solutions.  It sounds like a non-issue now, but I suggest that you to talk to him about working on that appearance if your son has problems at the new center if you get in.  As you found out, centers where kids are easy to come by are often very quick to drop families they have even a very small problem with.  It would be a shame to get into a center with a waiting list just to get kicked out again a little later over a small normal childhood thing just because he doesn't appear willing to work with them. 

 

 

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#9 of 16 Old 03-03-2012, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In that case I would have been livid.  I assumed from the level of detail you gave that the information came from your child because I have received the same level of information from my child but have always asked and found out that a lot more went on than she conveys.  It sounds like you do need a more professional center. I can't imagine hearing a child say something like that and ignoring it.  It sounds like you are all better off looking for a center where your child will be taught more about what is socially appropriate instead of the family being ostracized when he lets a bad word slip out.

 

I do think that being put off by your husband not being a morning person was understandable though, not to the extent of kicking you out but it is understandable that they would find it offensive (especially if it is different from the way he usually is during drop offs or he came in grumpy for his one and only drop off).  Your dh probably doesn't go into work and treat clients or his boss coldly just because mornings aren't his favorite time so faking a smile and a little personality doesn't seem like too much for him to do at daycare drop off time when many kids feel better seeing a happy parent departing and treating drop off as normal.  I am not a morning person but I don't ignore my family, give my child's teachers the cold shoulder, or walk around with a scowl at work as parents pass their children off to me. I think it is an especially bad move to make when your family is already viewed as a possible problem family by the daycare center because it makes you appear like a family that doesn't want to work with the teachers to find solutions.  It sounds like a non-issue now, but I suggest that you to talk to him about working on that appearance if your son has problems at the new center if you get in.  As you found out, centers where kids are easy to come by are often very quick to drop families they have even a very small problem with.  It would be a shame to get into a center with a waiting list just to get kicked out again a little later over a small normal childhood thing just because he doesn't appear willing to work with them. 

 

 

DH and I did talk about it later that day. It was the first day at a new job and he was worried about getting to work on time. It was one of those, "I didn't think that it was an issue for me to come in, talk to DSS and see him happily playing, then get to work on time. I'll be more conscious of it next time." That's the thing, I can't blame DH for his behavior being mistaken as having to do with the incident, to me that's a bit nit picky. We had decided to send DSS back the next day after talking to him, so at that point we were just trying to move on from what had happened the day before. But I do get what you are saying, so did he. He just honestly didn't think about it. 

 

In the end I know that we made the correct decision in taking him out. I do hope that we find a new daycare sometime before I start back to school next fall. For now though, having him home is great for all of us. He gets one on one instruction and play time, plus we have great play dates with our friend's children. I do want him to go back to daycare because I feel that I benefited from them socially as did my sibling.  I am still none to happy about this whole situation though and it has made an impression that DH and I are not likely to forget. 
 

 


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#10 of 16 Old 03-03-2012, 09:39 PM
 
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Any daycare that has that much staff turnover in a short period of time is not some place you want your child. Your son has had 4 teachers in 5 months? That's a terrible rate, and I'd have considered pulling my child for that reason. In addition, their reaction was not professional, and they did no teaching at the time. Add to that the poor diet, and I think your child is better off not there.


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#11 of 16 Old 03-04-2012, 06:50 PM
 
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My first reaction, was how odd it is that she'd call you about your husband's behavior.  I have never heard of such a thing.  If she had a problem with something he did, why didn't she handle it with him the next day, or later on... why does she feel the need to call you and tattle on your husband? 

 

The word your son said was a bad word.  But, it was dealt with... it's over, it should have been dropped right away.    I guess I can see how they'd be upset by that... it's the type of thing that could cause them SO many problems from other parents who heard about it.  But, then, they should have moved on after it was handled.

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#12 of 16 Old 03-04-2012, 09:12 PM
 
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The thing that would offend me is that the daycare provider said "I know that some people may use this term at home but it is inappropriate and you need to have a talk with DSS today"  Its basically calling you a racist. Kids can pick up bad language ANYWHERE and I would imagine most daycare providers would have said THAT (something like "i know he probably isnt hearing this at home, so i'm sure you'll want to make sure he knows its not ok") not insinuating that you are using bad language in front of him.

 

My oldest went through a horrible phase of using the "N" word when he was about four, and he NEVER heard that word from either of his parents (because we've never used it in our lives, ever) but it was a common word used by some black people in our area when we lived there. Which is kind of ironic, that people would assume we were teaching racist things to our son when he may have just overheard the "street lingo" in our inner-city neighborhood.

 

The gossiping is totally out of line, and i'd be sure to mention that to your ex-provider. Totally unprofessional. She probably wont care though.


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#13 of 16 Old 03-05-2012, 06:45 AM
 
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I agree; they sound very unprofessional.

 

I can sympathize with your husband. My own face has sort of a downturned look to my mouth, so people have often accused me of disapproving of them when I wasn't. I have to overtly smile all the time if I want to get my mouth to be straight across and not look unhappy.

 

The daycare people don't come across as very mature or thoughtful. Anyone educated knows that that it matters what we choose to see in any given situation, and they just as easily could have interpreted a grumpy-looking dad as "wow that guy looks like he's having a rough day; I'd like to be extra-kind to him." They chose to make it all about them.

 

And the jelly beans and cookies would have been my signal long ago that this wasn't the place for my kid. That reflects a lack of understanding about the effects such things (refined sugar and artificial colors) can have on kids.

 

The gossiping and so forth reflects immaturity. Kids will often pick up and use words that they have heard somewhere and they try them out, for whatever reason, either out of ignorance, or because they have seen the word get a strong reaction, or because they want to sound like grownups, or whatever. They cannot know the depth of how hurtful that word is. They should be taken aside and the word (and its prohibition there) gently explained. It should be made very clear that anyone who uses it cannot come back, but there needs to be some maturity and intelligence about how all this is handled. Not everyone's up to the task; I am glad you will find another place.

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#14 of 16 Old 03-06-2012, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by queenjane View Post

The thing that would offend me is that the daycare provider said "I know that some people may use this term at home but it is inappropriate and you need to have a talk with DSS today"  Its basically calling you a racist. Kids can pick up bad language ANYWHERE and I would imagine most daycare providers would have said THAT (something like "i know he probably isnt hearing this at home, so i'm sure you'll want to make sure he knows its not ok") not insinuating that you are using bad language in front of him.

 

My oldest went through a horrible phase of using the "N" word when he was about four, and he NEVER heard that word from either of his parents (because we've never used it in our lives, ever) but it was a common word used by some black people in our area when we lived there. Which is kind of ironic, that people would assume we were teaching racist things to our son when he may have just overheard the "street lingo" in our inner-city neighborhood.

 

The gossiping is totally out of line, and i'd be sure to mention that to your ex-provider. Totally unprofessional. She probably wont care though.

That is exactly what my dad said. And kids can pick up language anywhere. It's not like I've never been around kids prior to my own DSS, I know they are sponges and that there are words we can't say/ tv programs we should limit and we do. The entire thing was offensive and you are right, even if I talked about the gossiping, she probably wouldn't care. 

 

NellieKatz- The jelly bean and cookie thing was when I started noticing things that I didn't approve of. The week before we pulled him out I had already discussed with DH about moving him to another daycare. 

 

DSS is doing great at home. I'm 34 weeks along and he is keeping me up and going, which is wonderful. The only sweets he gets now is fruit, I'm glad to have my little man home.
 

 


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#15 of 16 Old 03-10-2012, 12:01 PM
 
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I hate it that so many teachers/ schools think that the teaching of important things like anti-racism should only be done at home. Those teachers should have told your son "That's not a nice word. We don't use words like that." And then they should have used it as a teachable moment to teach all the kids something positive about diversity, African American culture, etc. When they spoke to you, they should have had recommendations of books to read or classes to take or counselors to speak to. In otherwords, they should act like educators.

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#16 of 16 Old 03-30-2012, 11:09 AM
 
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Wow. The daycare handled this all wrong, imo.  I am a daycare provider, and I would never EVER imply that a child's bad behaviour was a direct result of something he learned from his parents. It is first and foremost a daycare worker's obligation to work with the parents to ensure that the poor language does not reoccur. I really find it weird and unprofessional that she would call your husband out like that to you. It's also appallingly inappropriate that the other workers are gossiping about your three year old child in your community. This is a private work related matter, and if she worked for me, she'd be fired for this.

 

I am so sorry you have had to deal with this.  I hope the new daycare works out well.


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