nursery worker at church - Mothering Forums
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Gentle Discipline > nursery worker at church
nevaehsmommy's Avatar nevaehsmommy 06:18 PM 05-12-2008
I have started taking DD to the nursery at church when the praise and worship time is over. Some sundays she is very receptive to going to play and other sundays she gets clingy the moment the music stops.

So I took her back sunday and she seemed fine. Ran down the hallway to the nursery, started playing.....I sat down to let her get acclimated and then I was going to leave. The nursery worker told me I needed to leave. I said no I would wait a few minutes to see that DD was ok. She said she would only cry a minute that she need to realize I would come back. I said something to the effect of, that she would have plenty to cry about in life, being left in the church nursery to cry was not a memory I wanted her to have. She said they would not remember and if I was not going to leave her why come back. I explained that I watched her cues. When I sensed she was ready for me to leave I would go. Well dd was listening to this whole charade. When she heard the word go, she burst into tears. Obviously she was not ready. So we sat down and nursed. So then she started in on a story with another nursery worker about how nursing after 6 months is pure manipulation on the childs part....I was ready to put her out of her misery. So I nursed DD, Put her down and told her I was going to go bye-bye. She said bye, and then the nursery worker picked her up and she started screaming again. Aparently in her misery she also wet herself and they had to put a diaper on her. When I came back after service she was very embarrsed. I asked her what was wrong and she lifted up her dress.

So. Next week how do I handle this better? There are 4 or 5 nursery workers but this one is always the "boss" she talks loud, handles the kids rough. I am sometime reluctant to leave....

I have thought about taking her to the 2-5 year class but they wont take her until she agrees to go in "like a big girl"

alegna's Avatar alegna 06:45 PM 05-12-2008
I would not leave my child in that environment.

-Angela
mamazee's Avatar mamazee 06:54 PM 05-12-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I would not leave my child in that environment.

-Angela
I wouldn't leave a child there either. In fact, I might "shop around" for another church, if there's another one of your denomination in your area. Otherwise, I don't know, talk to the other parents and see if anyone else could join you in trying to force change?
riversong's Avatar riversong 06:56 PM 05-12-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevaehsmommy View Post
So. Next week how do I handle this better? There are 4 or 5 nursery workers but this one is always the "boss" she talks loud, handles the kids rough. I am sometime reluctant to leave....
I think your reluctance to leave comes from a very real concern that your dd is not being well cared for in this nursery. It sounds like their kind of "care" is not the kind your dd needs. If this woman is the boss, then the other caregivers probably do as she does, no matter how loving they might be in other situations. If this woman disagrees so wholeheartedly with your parenting, she might try extra hard to treat your child in the way *she* thinks is best.

Your dd probably won't have any *conscious* memory of this nursery, but the memory is in her body on some level.

Can you just keep her in church with you? If not, do you have a friend or family member you can leave her with so that you can go to church alone? Or...can you look for a new church? One that welcomes children to be there during the service or at least has a loving nursery?
pink gal's Avatar pink gal 07:02 PM 05-12-2008
Is there someone on the ministry staff that you could talk to? At my chuch we have a children's ministry director and this is something that she would want to be aware of and would handle with education for the nursery worker.
Mama_Leah's Avatar Mama_Leah 07:02 PM 05-12-2008
Exactly why I don't leave my kids in church nurseries! I'm sure most of them are very nice but there can be just that one person that is just "doing their duty" instead of doing it because they like kids.

Our church is integrated, all our kids stay with us through the entire service. If someone gets antsy or loud we just take them out for a few minutes. Sometimes it seems like we are "out" more than "in" but we can still hear the message so it works.
purple_kangaroo's Avatar purple_kangaroo 07:03 PM 05-12-2008
I would find out who is in charge of the children's ministry and talk with them.
purple_kangaroo's Avatar purple_kangaroo 07:07 PM 05-12-2008
Oh, and one other thing . . . I would probably volunteer to be a helper in that class, at least for a few weeks, so I could watch what went on and help my child get acclimated to the class. They can almost always use extra help . . . you'll probably have to let them do a background check, etc. before you can be an official helper. But you should be able to stay in with your child even without that, just to help her get comfortable.

At our church they have no problem whatsoever with parents staying in the class with their kids . . . it's one less crying kid for the childcare workers to manage, besides that it can be good for the kids.
nevaehsmommy's Avatar nevaehsmommy 07:17 PM 05-12-2008
nak


I love the preaching.

would no want to go looking for a new church again. I left one about 4 months ago after the kids in the youth group told me about there sunday school lesson.

The whol nursery thing bugs me. Also they have a tv that show baby einstien ( oh all movies you could play during CHURCH) We have what they call the fireside room that is really a type of over flow area. I have taken her in there before but she is kinda loud. And I like the idea of her getting to play with other kids bc she is my only one and I stay home with her.

How would you approach the childrens pastor about this with out sounding like a freak mom. I know most of my ways are "out there" even my mom did not think the nursery worker was out of line.
shayinme's Avatar shayinme 07:19 PM 05-12-2008
Honestly I would not leave my child in that nursery and I say this as someone who had to stop going to church when my dd was almost a year. My experiences with church nurseries has been that the workers don't really have any training as far as child development, they are often volunteers, I know because I signed up.

Personally my own dd's personality even at almost 3 is that she does not do the nursery unless either dh or dd is with us, I have never at any church been told we couldn't stay. Most are happy since that means one less kid to watch.

I find in general most church nurseries don't mesh well with our dd's personality.

Shay
shayinme's Avatar shayinme 07:22 PM 05-12-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevaehsmommy View Post
nak


I love the preaching.

would no want to go looking for a new church again. I left one about 4 months ago after the kids in the youth group told me about there sunday school lesson.

The whol nursery thing bugs me. Also they have a tv that show baby einstien ( oh all movies you could play during CHURCH) We have what they call the fireside room that is really a type of over flow area. I have taken her in there before but she is kinda loud. And I like the idea of her getting to play with other kids bc she is my only one and I stay home with her.

How would you approach the childrens pastor about this with out sounding like a freak mom. I know most of my ways are "out there" even my mom did not think the nursery worker was out of line.
I hear ya about liking a church and not wanting to leave. Until she is comfy with the nursery, can you and your dp trade off Sundays.. meaning 1 Sunday you stay with her in the nursery and the next your partner does? That's what me and my dh do when we attend church, I would think the more you attend that your dd might feel more comfy with the nursery.

Shay
Sarahbunny's Avatar Sarahbunny 08:32 PM 05-12-2008
I would just tell her "I will leave when I am ready too, so please don't trouble yourself about it" - and then I would do that.

And I would talk to the Children's Ministry director about it. The way to grow a church is to have a FRIENDLY and well-run nursery. Not to force the parents to leave them.
shantimama's Avatar shantimama 08:33 PM 05-12-2008
Ugh - sounds like a yucky experience. When my little ones were toddlers, I often stayed with them in the nursery or volunteered to help out. The "head lady" was a lot like the one you described but I didn't take much from her. When she told me I had to leave, I said we would be going straight home because I wasn't about to do something that was wrong for my child. As I stayed and 'volunteered' more I came to really enjoy it. When I saw a little one who was upset I found ways to play with and comfort them until their parents returned. The other woman would roll her yes and say that the kids needed to learn to get over it but eventually she seemed relieved that there was someone else around - and that the little ones weren't crying so much. I missed being able to be in the worship service, but that season in our life really didn't last forever. Whenever I heard comments about breastfeeding or AP that were negative and judgmental, I wold politely offer accurate information. Eventually she seemed to accept it better - and she also moved on to volunteering elsewhere in the church because it turned out she didn't really like little kids

My dh is a minister. When there are little ones in the church making noise he smiles at them and somehow includes their "interruption" in whatever is going on. Gradually the older people have become very accepting of the children's presence in worship. He also lets them know that there is a nursery if they would prefer to have a space for their children to play - and that there is someone there to care for their child, or if they would prefer, there is a speaker in the nursery so they can still listen to the service if they think their child needs them to stay with them. He is proactive in asking AP-friendly people to volunteer for the nursery and when people who are not child or A friendly volunteer he lets them know that there isn't a need for many more nursery help - is there something else they would be interested in doing?
eepster's Avatar eepster 09:11 PM 05-12-2008
I would not be at all comfortable leaving my child in such a situation. Even if you wait till she is comfortable with you leaving, it sounds like they would not come and get you if she became upset after you left.

Have you considered converting? Ok, I'm joking, but I just don't get churches that don't welcome children into the service. My church doesn't even have a nursery, children are considered important enough to be included in the service. They even have special childrens sermons once a month where the priest invites the LO up to participate.
nevaehsmommy's Avatar nevaehsmommy 09:13 PM 05-12-2008
I can not trade sundays becasue I am a single mom. I am thinking about just taking her to the nursery, staying with her. Then come monday watch the service on the internet.....
pghgranola's Avatar pghgranola 10:16 PM 05-12-2008
dd sits with me during the entire service. i FILL the diaper bag with books, soft toys, little cars, coloring books/crayons, and snacks. our service is about an hour long and she is occupied the entire time.

would that work for you?
rmzbm's Avatar rmzbm 10:20 PM 05-12-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by pghgranola View Post
dd sits with me during the entire service. i FILL the diaper bag with books, soft toys, little cars, coloring books/crayons, and snacks. our service is about an hour long and she is occupied the entire time.

would that work for you?
That's what I was going to say also. I keep mine with me. That nursery sounds...well, I wouldn't let my kid stay, sounds bad.
VisionaryMom's Avatar VisionaryMom 10:31 PM 05-12-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
I just don't get churches that don't welcome children into the service. My church doesn't even have a nursery, children are considered important enough to be included in the service. They even have special childrens sermons once a month where the priest invites the LO up to participate.
I get it. Our minister and his wife have 4 small children, and he always says he enjoys the "sounds of children" in the sanctuary. Children of any age certainly are welcome to stay, but our dd goes to the nursery. DS is with us through praise music and then goes to children's church. I think he gets far more from children's church than he would in an adult service, and honestly I like being able to concentrate on the sermon rather than occupy 2 squirming kids.

As for the OP, I don't think I'd leave my children with someone who didn't seem to want me there. I probably would watch the service online and skip Sunday altogether. Personally if I'm going to sit in the nursery, then *for me*, there's not a huge point in going. I could be home doing something else with my time and then getting spiritual fulfillment elsewhere. We're in the midst of a church crisis ourselves, so I'm sympathetic. I wish churches came with handouts saying, "hey, we consider ourselves conservative Christians. We support the death penalty, oppose gay rights, and fund crisis pregnancy centers." Then I could move on, and people who agree with that could join up. How much easier life would be...
tsume's Avatar tsume 10:55 PM 05-12-2008
I wouldn't leave my little one there.

I would either

volunteer in the nursery until dd became comfortable enough to stay on her own

bring a bag of goodies (books, crayons, paper, quiet toys, snacks) and sit in the service or over flow area with her.

Our third (6/06) has started resisting going to service. Either one of us stays home with her or we sit in the cry area with her.
purple_kangaroo's Avatar purple_kangaroo 11:13 PM 05-12-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
I wish churches came with handouts saying, "hey, we consider ourselves conservative Christians. We support the death penalty, oppose gay rights, and fund crisis pregnancy centers." Then I could move on, and people who agree with that could join up. How much easier life would be...
IME, most churches don't take an official position on those things. Individuals may lean one way or the other, the pastor may have his own personal views, etc., but the details aren't official church positions, taught from the pulpit, or required for members to believe. I don't think the death penalty, for example, has ever been mentioned by anyone at my church in my hearing, either for or against.
warriorprincess's Avatar warriorprincess 11:38 PM 05-12-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I wouldn't leave a child there either. In fact, I might "shop around" for another church, if there's another one of your denomination in your area. Otherwise, I don't know, talk to the other parents and see if anyone else could join you in trying to force change?
Before I shopped around for another church I would go to the pastor (if there is more than one go to them all!) and the Parish Ed or whatever committee oversee the nursery. Be loud! If you DO end up leaving, make sure you inform all the above people why, especially if they did nothing about this person.
(I am a church nursery worker and someone like that would NOT last in our nursery).
What I encourage parents to do is come in early ( early service, SS hour) and volunteer, then see if the child is comfortable with mom, dad, etc leaving.
VisionaryMom's Avatar VisionaryMom 11:47 PM 05-12-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by purple_kangaroo View Post
IME, most churches don't take an official position on those things. Individuals may lean one way or the other, the pastor may have his own personal views, etc., but the details aren't official church positions, taught from the pulpit, or required for members to believe. I don't think the death penalty, for example, has ever been mentioned by anyone at my church in my hearing, either for or against.
Not to hijack, but unfortunately I grew up in an area where it's all too common for churches to have a position on political issues. I once was in a sermon while I was in college where the pastor said, "if you're a Democrat, you can't possibly be a good Christian." So I got up and left (and would if someone had said the same for Republicans), but there you go. I'm jaded right now because we joined a denomination that professes not to take political stances, but our sermon 2 weeks ago was basically an ad for a local crisis pregnancy center, which I find horribly distasteful.
yarngoddess's Avatar yarngoddess 03:28 AM 05-13-2008
I don't know if you can handle the situation any better than you already did. I think you did great! It's very hard to deal with people that are our opposite's or who just flat out disagree with our held belief's. I would do as you have done and stay until your DD is ready for you to leave, but I would speak to your pastor about the situation. Explain that you don't feel safe leaving your child there while this lady is in the nursery. I just wouldn't leave her there- when that lady is there. You need to have a "safe" place to have some adult time, and if church is that place for you- then you need to make it safe for your DD. You need a place that she can be looked after with minimal issues, so that you can connect with yourself and other adults in a positive way. Speak to the pastor, children's minister get this resolved because she isn't this way with ONLY your DD- she is like this with all the children, and maybe they don't protest like yours is. Now that she (dd) has told you about this lady- what are you going to do about it?
veronicalynne's Avatar veronicalynne 03:29 AM 05-13-2008
I would never ever leave my kid in that environment at all.
madis81's Avatar madis81 04:44 AM 05-13-2008
My husband is a children's pastor and I know that he would want to hear your concerns. Nursery workers are there to minister (that doesn't mean watching Little Einsten's) to young ones, not to belittle parenting choices and whatnot. You should really speak with the person who directly oversees the nursery. That may be the children's pastor or the early childhood director about your concerns. You could just tell he/she that you are concerned and explain that your experiance in the nursery was not a pleasant one and that you were offended by the nursery worker. You won't come off as a freak mom, just a concerned mama, and a good children's pastor will be understanding and will address the concern in some manner. I would also be asking why they let the kids watch Little Eisteins in church... the first 5 years are so important in developing... they aquire and learn so much.... these are formative years! And watching Little Einsteins is more if a babysitting tool then a learning tool (the idea that these videos help young kids learn has been debunked!). Children are not passive receivers of knowledge; they are active participants in their learning!
althara's Avatar althara 05:13 AM 05-13-2008
Her telling you that you couldn't be there really threw up a red flag for me. You have to right to be with your child anywhere your child goes, period. And anyone who tells you different should not be trusted IMO.
Equuskia's Avatar Equuskia 05:16 AM 05-13-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by althara View Post
Her telling you that you couldn't be there really threw up a red flag for me. You have to right to be with your child anywhere your child goes, period. And anyone who tells you different should not be trusted IMO.
I thought the same thing. If they are volunteers, they should be happy there is someone extra to lend a hand, not trying to push them out the door.
VisionaryMom's Avatar VisionaryMom 11:22 AM 05-13-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by madis81 View Post
I would also be asking why they let the kids watch Little Eisteins in church... the first 5 years are so important in developing... they aquire and learn so much.... these are formative years! And watching Little Einsteins is more if a babysitting tool then a learning tool (the idea that these videos help young kids learn has been debunked!). Children are not passive receivers of knowledge; they are active participants in their learning!
You're thinking of Baby Einstein, not Little Einsteins. Little Einsteins is a cartoon for slightly older kids.

I've never been in a church where the nursery wasn't a babysitting tool. We've been in all types of church, from our current one with 300 or so members to a mega-church with several thousand. Nursery is for children under 3, and whoever is there watches them until their parents are done. I'm not sure why people are acting as if church nursery workers need some sort of training on child development. In reality, this is 1-2 hours, not a daily thing.

This nursery worker needs to decide whether or not she even wants to be there. What you need for quality nursery workers is someone who enjoys being around children and can keep them safe and happy until their parents return. My grandmother loves to work in the nursery at her church because she really enjoys rocking babies and playing with them. That's what you need.

Truthfully I don't see where the child was in any danger of being mistreated. The OP didn't like the way *she* was treated, and that's a valid concern. Some parents - me, for example - wouldn't want to be told each time Kate cries, so I don't view that as any kind of child abuse. I assume if she falls, she'll cry and that someone will take care of it. I only need to be told or retrieved from service if she's inconsolable. The BF comment was rude, but that's the end of it. She's not going to be BF the OP's child anyway.
JamieCatheryn's Avatar JamieCatheryn 11:48 AM 05-13-2008
At our church the parents let the children's ministry worker know if they wants to be fetched immediately if thier child cries or if they tend to stop quickly so stick it out and try this or that first. My son and the pastor's youngest both want mom most of the time so we end up in there with our kids and another little girl who does fine without her mom and dad. We're on a rotation but since that's how it generally works out we send the caregiver back to the sanctuary and just stay once we've been summoned.
One_Girl's Avatar One_Girl 01:39 PM 05-13-2008
She is probably right about the crying for a minute thing, I have seen kids cry for about half a minute after their parents leave in the most heartbreaking type of cry every day and then once their parent is gone they are fine. I have also seen parents who drag out their leaving and their child has a complete meltdown once they actually do leave and has a hard time actually coping with them leaving. It may be that she sees your child having a very hard time once you are gone and the other children do just fine after their initial one minute of crying and she is trying to stand up for your child. It is very common for people to work around primarily kids to be blunt about telling parents what they see as in the child's best interest.
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