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#1 of 22 Old 09-05-2007, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm in Columbia MO, if that matters.

I'm considering the parents as Teachers as something to do but I'm concerned that I'd run into severe conflict. We don't vax, co-sleep, use gentle discipline and playful parenting.. etc etc. Some of the things we do are very non-mainstream and given that Parents as Teachers is connected to the local school district and thus very mainstream, I'm hesitating.

Thoughts?
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#2 of 22 Old 09-06-2007, 04:09 PM
 
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I did PAT with my oldest. What I basically got out of it was someone coming to my house and telling me where my child should be developmentally (which I was already aware of), and what activities I should be doing with her to keep her on track developmentally (which I already did). I think that for parents that don't have a clue, it could probably be beneficial, but for parents that take the time to educate themselves and engage their children in educational play, there's not really anything to be gained.

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#3 of 22 Old 09-06-2007, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm really starting to get that same feeling too..
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#4 of 22 Old 09-07-2007, 12:05 AM
 
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My parents, my daughter and I all live in the same house. My dad is gypsy and wont let any state workers into the house. That includes PAT. They have called several times and sent letters. I tell them 'no' It makes me wonder why they want to come over so bad. Maybe his conspiracy therories are correct. I do know that they provide paper diapers on certian visits ( I use cloth) Also they "help" you learn to play with your kids, and "teach" you what is correct development for your child. Who knows your child better then you do. You know if he is suddenly not making progress. You dont need an expert. I would not reccomend them in your home.
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#5 of 22 Old 09-07-2007, 12:26 AM
 
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I'm not keen on allowing the government in my home----especially for the "natural parenting" aspects to our lives. Although they seem normal to all of us on mdc, these things are heavily criticised in the rest of the US.
I have dozens of friends that do it and I have a friend who is actually a "teacher" w/ the program.

They do advocate cio, which I think is sick and wrong and why our tax dollars are paying for such horrific advice is beyond me. So for that alone, I am against paying for it.
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#6 of 22 Old 09-07-2007, 01:16 AM
 
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I've had good experiences with PAT. It's good to look at it as just something fun for the kid to do. My PAT educator is definitely more mainstream than me--discouraged extended nursing and cosleeping, for instance. Honestly, I don't really care--I can deal with people disagreeing with me and PAT has no ability to force their views on me. My PAT educator is a fun person and good at connecting and interacting with my daughter who is very shy and reserved. The more people who can get Alex to play and have fun without clinging to me, the better, I think. I think around here they take the summers off but for awhile, my educator was coming every few weeks for about an hour and a half. I think that parenting a toddler can get boring at times and although Alex and I are very often engaged in educational things, it tends to be the same things over and over and over. Seeing the woman interact with Alex has given me some ideas of new activities that Alex enjoys that for whatever reason, I hadn't tried before. Also, it's nice to have an audience for talking about every little thing about my daughter without feeling rude because the other people have kids they're obsessed with, too.

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#7 of 22 Old 09-07-2007, 01:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mandymichel View Post
Also, it's nice to have an audience for talking about every little thing about my daughter without feeling rude because the other people have kids they're obsessed with, too.
Mandy: I have no idea why this made me laugh, but it did. I totally get what you're saying.

Anyway, I haven't done pat, simply because I'm generally too overwhelmed/lazy to make the call, but from what I've heard there is great variation in the teachers (or whatever they're called) and a lot of people's enjoyment of the experience comes from who the educator is.

As far as the government invasion/conspiracy theory stuff, I'm skeptical. I think this program was set up with good intentions...now whether it is of value to everyone is a whole 'nother ball of wax.

Trying to get my bearings...
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#8 of 22 Old 09-07-2007, 03:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't gotten a call or anything from them and I wonder if that's because my daughter wasn't born in a hospital.

I realized that if I do need any ideas on what to do with DD i'll probably get them on MDC.
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#9 of 22 Old 09-07-2007, 03:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Kalopsia View Post
I think that for parents that don't have a clue, it could probably be beneficial, but for parents that take the time to educate themselves and engage their children in educational play, there's not really anything to be gained.
I do agree with this but I think it is fun for the kids and a nice resource for mothers. (At first I felt bad using the resource since others may need it more.)

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Originally Posted by Ellie'sMom
but from what I've heard there is great variation in the teachers (or whatever they're called) and a lot of people's enjoyment of the experience comes from who the educator is.
:


Like mandymichel, I've had good PAT experiences. PAT never contacted me, I called them. (Actually I didn’t even realize it was a widespread program & was shocked when I saw this post. I thought it was just part of our local school system.) I’ve had the same PAT contact for three years. She is great and non-judgmental. We’ve never discussed vacs, sleeping arrangements, etc. She is impressed with our diet restrictions, TV rules, and is supportive when I discuss potentially home schooling - her own kids did not go to public school. She agrees with gentle discipline and even offers family forums about gentle discipline. She is very supportive of my parenting - maybe that is why I enjoy talking to her.

Once the kids got older we started meeting at her office and joined in the group activities. She has never suggested I change my parenting ways. She basically listens to me, gives advice when asked and provides activity ideas. It was especially nice when the kids were young because I am an older parent and my friends did not feel like discussing ‘baby things’ at this point in their lives. She never did much with the developmental testing since my kids were in several therapies and I knew where they stood developmentally.

We had a PAT meeting today. The kids played while we talked then we did a craft. She suggested specific activities I could use to help my kids use scissors, etc. Nothing I couldn't have found on my own, just another resource for information. Plus, my kids love her!

I should add, I do not live in the OP's area.
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#10 of 22 Old 09-07-2007, 04:01 AM
 
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I'm definitely not in this tribal area, but I saw this post and thought I'd add a bit. My mother works for PAT in SC, and maybe it's different in MO, but the program there is very laid-back and isn't about pressing mainstream ideas (which is surprising considering how conservative SC is). Basically, she visits with families and plays with the child for a while, and goes over different things with the parent (when to look for certain milestones, how the different games foster development, etc). She gave me the binder of info they give families... They advocate bf and don't support cio. Actually they provide the no cry sleep solution to their families. So sure, if you've done your homework and already know about developmental milestones and learning play and everything, it could turn out to be an annoying visit with someone you see as telling you how to parent. But for a lot of moms, it's a helpful resource for info they would otherwise not have gotten, and it does good things for a lot of children.
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#11 of 22 Old 09-07-2007, 12:57 PM
 
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I don't have anything to contribute as far as experience with PAT, but having grown up in Columbia Schools I know that my parents were never pressured to be 'mainstream.' I now have friends that are teaching in the school system, one as a kindergarten teacher, and she's very open-minded about parenting choices. As long as the kids are happy and healthy, it's not an issue. I think if there is any open-minded community in this state, it's here in CoMo. I say give them a call, you don't have to go over your entire parenting philosophy, just listen to their advice and some of it might help! And if not, well, that's the way it goes.
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#12 of 22 Old 09-08-2007, 12:50 AM
 
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We are in Missouri and participate in the PAT program. We have had nothing but positive experiences (except for when my dd 'failed' a developmental screening for not knowing how to feed a baby a bottle). I recently had a conversation with my PAT educator about LLL and extended bf and cosleeping, which I was very suprised to know that my educator thought these were all good things. She did tell me however, that moms ask her advice about these sorts of things all the time and it isn't her job to tell them what to do. This program isns't about teaching you how to parent, but just making sure your child is developmentally on track. Basically an early screening process to ensure your child doesn't need some sort of developmental assistance from the school district. Anyway, my main point is that, overall I think it is a good program, but a lot depends on your parent educator and their personal beliefs/experiences of parenting.

Emily
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#13 of 22 Old 09-09-2007, 04:38 AM
 
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I'm in MO and do PAT and they are very mainstream, but I just take the info with a grain of salt and don't get too worked up over what she says. I like the ideas she has when it comes to homemade toys and games and things. That's the only reason I stay in it. Haven't had to tell her we don't vax anymore though - I'm sure she'll love it
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#14 of 22 Old 09-10-2007, 02:56 AM
 
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I'm in Columbia and participated in PAT for 5 years with my kiddos. I don't think I really learned a whole heck of a lot from the visits, but they were fun, my kids loved their PAT educator. She was very supportive of all our parenting choices, and when DD was very late in speech development, let us know what resources were available, but agreed that we were the best judges of wether therapy was needed. It was a very positive experience for us.
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#15 of 22 Old 09-10-2007, 05:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by emilymommy View Post
This program isns't about teaching you how to parent, but just making sure your child is developmentally on track. Basically an early screening process to ensure your child doesn't need some sort of developmental assistance from the school district. Anyway, my main point is that, overall I think it is a good program, but a lot depends on your parent educator and their personal beliefs/experiences of parenting.

Emily
I agree. I signed up for PAT, no one contacted me. I thought it was a great resource. Every friday they have a open play time for the kids, which was a great way for me to get out of the house and socialize with other moms. I never felt pressured to parent "their" way.

With baby #2 I probably won't do it, but only because I've BTDT.
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#16 of 22 Old 09-10-2007, 10:55 PM
 
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I'm in Mo and I have a wonderful PAT educator. I agree that they basiclly just tell me things I already know but we have fun. She is very anti CIO and supportive of BFing. I think it just depends on who you get.
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#17 of 22 Old 09-13-2007, 03:35 AM
 
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Missouri here too. I live in a pretty rural community a couple hours from columbia and my kids are in pat. They don't come to my house, though. I go to the once a month play group and do the little "screening" every now and then and sign their paper so they can get more grant money. My daughter loves it, and she gets to play with other kids her age.

The one concern i have is that the educator, whom i've known for a long time and knows i am not a neglectful parent, did ask me for her vaccination record once and i told her simply that i didn't believe vaccing was a healthy choice for my child. It concerned me when she looked me in the eye and rephrased what i just said in a different way and asked me to agree with her. It was essentially the same thing i told her so i said yes and she made a note of it. But it was like she had to validate something so she wouldn't have to turn me in for neglect. almost like if I hadn't known this women fairly personally and i phrased my no vax reasons wrong I would have DFS on my doorstep. Now i'm just speculating here because i am kind of paranoid about the government also but it seemed fishy.

anyway i'm due back to the next pat meeting tomorrow and I think i'm going to try to figure out what that was all about. I was too nervous (or paranoid) last time to bring it up but I think i'll try to ask some questions tomorrow.

Okay, back to the OP question. My oppinion, PAT is good for the childs social skills, but they are employees of the government, so keep your eyes peeled (okay, i'm really not as paranoid as i sound......really)

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#18 of 22 Old 11-09-2007, 04:33 PM
 
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Bumping this old thread because I have a PAT question.

I've had two visits (at my house) with a PAT teacher, and now I've decided I don't want to do it anymore. She is a very nice lady, but a little awkward and seems to have low self-esteem. She makes a lot of negative comments about herself and then goes into really long-winded stories about her own life. She does have some good information, but spending an hour with her is just a little rough.

So when she was here yesterday and asked when we should schedule our next appointment, I told her we were good for now. She seemed kinda upset and told me she needs to have six appointments within a year, and she needs to see by baby when she is 6 months (she's 4.5 now), so I could just call her in a couple months.

Do I have to call her again?

And for anyone that's curious..
She also asks for the vac. schedule every time she's here. When I tell her we haven't done any, she doesn't really say anything and moves on to the next thing.
The teacher also wants to know where my baby sleeps...
It goes likes this:
"Where does your baby sleep?"
"Usually starts out in a crib, and ends up in bed."
"Big crib or little crib?
"Little one...a co-sleeper"
"Oh, she's won't want to ever sleep in a crib if she's in bed with you."
Why do they wanna know this stuff?!?

As you can probably tell, it's been kind of a weird experience.
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#19 of 22 Old 11-09-2007, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wouldn't call again, but then again, I never did call them. I meet with several other groups of moms..
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#20 of 22 Old 11-09-2007, 08:53 PM
 
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Yeah, I wish I had never set that first meeting up.

My mom was kind of adamant about me doing it, and I didn't really want to bother with it. But then last month our local library was having a baby fun play activity thing, so I went to that not knowing it was sponsored by PAT. It was there that I got kind of wrangled into signing up.

Also guess what I got in the mail today? A card from Matt Blunt telling me I need to give my baby immunizations. There was a little insert in the card from, that's right, Parents as Teachers.

:
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#21 of 22 Old 11-09-2007, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Gah see that gets my inner conspiracy theorist going again..
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#22 of 22 Old 11-14-2007, 02:52 AM
 
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Also guess what I got in the mail today? A card from Matt Blunt telling me I need to give my baby immunizations. There was a little insert in the card from, that's right, Parents as Teachers.

:
I Got One Too!!! Clearly Matt Blunt knows what's best for my child

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