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Discussion Starter #1
I need to find a daycare situation for my dd for the fall, since our current situation ends then. I'm looking at preschools...<br><br>
I checked out this place today that I loved, in most ways...but they do time outs. I got to look at the time out log, and it looked to me that while they don't use them often (once ortwice a day or less), they do use them as punishment as opposed to a space for a kid tho get herself together.<br><br>
I feel like time outs would not work well with my itense kid...and also I just don't like time outs as punishment.<br><br>
But it's really really hard to find a daycare situation that I can afford, that is generally respectful of kids, and where I wouldn't be considered a total freak (this is the punk rock daycare :LOL ).<br><br>
I need some perspective...is it worth exposing my kid to time outs (and seeing otehr kids get them) in exchange for everything else being pretty cool?<br><br>
(my kid will be three in November...she's super intense but usually, if we approach it right, cooperative)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
wanted to clarify why it matters about the feak thing...in my direct experience both as a child of freaks and as a daycare provider, if the adults in the daycare situation think something is 'wrong' or weird with the parents, they will treat the kid differently.<br><br>
So a daycare with queer families, punk families, lefty families...is a good thing for my queer, lefty, freaky punky family.
 

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well, let me preface this by saying i'm not in your position. I dont' need daycare, so I'm perhaps more free to hold out for what I want. luckily we have it here, and DD wil be starting a preschool (2.5 hrs/day, four days/wk) this fall that is completely GD and non-punishment.<br><br>
but i would not send my children anywhere that used methods inconsistent with our family's values. it's one thing to have a different spin, but for me punishment is a no-no. IMO, it only serves to make children feel bad and shamed about themselves, and I don't want that for them. not at a time in their lives when they are just forming an opinion about themselves. kwim? so for me, the timeouts would be a dealbreaker. JMHO.
 

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Okay as a long ago preschool teacher when using timeouts was considered wildly progressive, I have two problems with timeouts in an institutional setting. They do not have to be used often because the little children smell them in the air. They aren't "behaving" because they are breathing in the value of cooperation and the joy of generosity. They are behaving because they care about whether they'll get a time out. Or a minority don't "behave" because they don't care about the time out.<br><br>
My biggest problem with timeouts is that if children are being put in time out in these group situations, eventually a child will refuse. The teachers will eventually shove a child into time out without even realizing that they are doing it. Because if they lose that struggle, the smell of the timeout that contributes to classroom management dissipates and the children immediately sense it.<br><br>
Is the place you are thinking of open to re-thinking time outs? Many Montessori, Reggio Emilia and "playschool" situations have eliminated them as inconsistent with the philosophy of their founders. I think a place that has thought through time outs and come up with other alternatives (or reserving time out as a real last resort to help a child calm) is going to be okay with the freak thing. Is there a queer family group near you? Our local list is constantly posting with questions and recommendations on schooling and daycare. How about an Attachment Parenting International chapter. A lot of the parents in the local chapter here go to the same crunchy happy-place playschool.<br><br>
I shall take my rambling self on to bed. Good luck with your decision!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thank you both a lot for the input. So much about this pre-school is awesome...but I feel very strongly that punishment is sort of a cop out and time outs can be constructive if used carefully( taking time out of a situation for everyone to re-ground themselves...) but often are not and devolve quickly into punishment. it's good to come here, because i do start to feel like i am weird in a bad way for not wanting my daughter to be punished, for thinking punishment is not actully useful.<br><br>
and i'm glad you mentioned Emilio Reggio, as that is the philosophy they claim. can you tell me more or point me in the direction of articles or something that talks more about proponents of that disavowing time outs? if I decide that i canno choose this daycare based solely on the time out issue, then it seems worth it to me to try to move them by offering my reasons and supporting it with info from other people with the same philosphy.
 

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I would have a pretty hard time with that, too.<br>
My daycare does NOT use them.<br>
Bummer that the place is so suitable, otherwise.. but hey, maybe you can educate them!
 

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I'm at work so I've just got a minute. Here's what I found that's the most helpful:<br><br>
"I asked about the interventions used to address behavior problems, a common concern of teachers in the United States. The Reggio Emilia staff reported having few behavior problems, primarily because the children are so engaged in learning. If a child is having a tantrum or other behavioral issue, there is no punishment. The staff try to empathize with the child, verbalizing the feelings the child may be having, trying to help the child understand these feelings. Teachers report looking for clues for the behavior beyond the child's outward signs in order to figure out what is going on. They consider behavior problems as an indication that the child is upset in some way and needs support. Because of the European philosophical heritage based on the psychodynamic model, Reggio Emilia staff have a philosophy that is decidedly nonbehavioral, and time-out is not used in the centers. Staff discuss these issues with the child's family, if they come up. Another strategy often used in the Reggio Emilia schools is making reference to the child's positive traits. Self-knowledge and self-understanding are major goals for young children in the Reggio Emilia schools. Every interaction with an adult is intended to facilitate the development of a child's self-knowledge and self-understanding."<br><br>
The entire article is here: <a href="http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v3n1/bennett.html" target="_blank">http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v3n1/bennett.html</a><br><br>
Another one that might help:<br><a href="http://www.journal.naeyc.org/btj/200401/wien.asp" target="_blank">http://www.journal.naeyc.org/btj/200401/wien.asp</a>
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks, these articles look really interesting.<br><br>
I'd actually never heard of Emilio Regiio before checking out this prescvhool, it seems really good. I wonder what it would take to convince this place to abandon time outs?
 

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I'll be the dissenter (and working, mom) and say that if everything else felt ok (I understand completely about the freak part), I would probably go ahead and do it. No day care will completely perfect and no one can act as your stand in doing things exaclty the way you would. There will always be things that they do differently. But YOU, and not the day care will be the biggest influence on your child.<br><br>
I would talk to them more about how they do the time out. There is a thread on the working mothers column about biting. I'll break some rules and paraphrase: The day care has a responsibility to keep all children safe. So if one it biting, they may need to remove them from the group situation for a brief period. And maybe that's considered a timeout, maybe not. But the key to me is whether or not they use shaming behavior. What is the attittude - "Go sit there until I say you can re-join us - You're in Time out!" Or - "I see you are very frustrated and angry. Let's go here and calm down." Do they use it as a threat "Do you need a time out? Well if you keep that up, I'm going to put you in time out."<br><br>
Remember how unique MDC is! Time-out is like a positive word to most of mainstream america. They day care may think it's a point of pride that they use timeouts. If their philosophy is otherwise respectful the timeouts might be also.<br><br>
I asked my day care about time out and they said they used it. But I asked more about what that looked like and it wasn't "stand in the corner for 2 minutes" or "go sit there until i say you can come back." They told me they usually gave them choices - usually "like do you want to take a little time for yourself, sit with me or go read a book?" They said ususally one teacher is sitting with the child until they calm down. My daughter is 2 btw.
 

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I think it depends on how time outs are used.I don't think much of time outs as a punishment..like, you hit xyz and now you have to take a timeout. I do however think they can be useful if a child is going wild and the day care provider asks the child to sit down somewhere until the child has cooled down some and is ready to talk. Does that make sense?<br><br>
So it depends.If they use it in the first way described I'd probably try to find another day care and only use that one if I have to.
 

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I like your idea about talking to them about maybe changing their discipline approach regarding time outs. Honestly, they may not have thought about it in a while.<br><br>
I know there are Reggio teachers in the Schooling forum. Maybe you could post a question in the sub-forum. I'll bet those smart mom/teachers could talk to you about the interaction of the philosophy and discipline policies.<br><br>
It would be sooo great if you could get the cool environment, super teachers *and* a discipline policy that makes you breath a sigh of relief!!
 

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Hi everyone,<br>
I have a few thoughts for you, but I'm not the best at this so bare with me.<br>
Firstly, I am in the field as an Early Childhood Educator in BC. There are a lot of burnt out staff out there so be aware. Where you're at when you're working directly affects how you deal with the children. Ie stressed = time out as punishment, supported= a constructive "time in" (I'll explain this in a sec.) Do some research about the staff, how long have they been there? What professional development do they do? What kind of staff meetings do they hold? Specifically ask what they do to cope with the stresses of the job.<br>
I'm big on asking questions, you can even get a vibe about how they respond, they should be OK about it all, not like you're being a hassle.<br>
Secondly, There is some philosophy out there (I don't know about any links, sorry) about using 'time in' instead. This is the constructive method that Ellien C described in post #9. I believe in the power of words and seeing it as a time-in and not 'out' is an empowering statement. Maybe the group North American Educators of Young Children NAEYC will have something on this.<br>
Thirdly, I recently finished a parenting course given by Gordon Neufeld, his recent book is Hold on to Your Kids Why Parents Matter. He has an interesting take on attatchment. One aspect of it is "use connection, not separation, to bring a child into line" that "when there are troubles, increase proximity instead of decreasing it." There's lots more to this but it's a start.<br>
Good luck<br>
Janet
 

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Big fan of Neufeld's. It comes up a lot on another parenting listserv I'm on (Continuum Concept). I think it's good stuff and have been waiting for the US book to come out.<br><br>
My pediatrician was completely taken aback when I told her I didn't do time-outs. She asked "what do you do," and I stammered something about "using connection to re-establish our centers." She, who is normally talkative just stopped dead - and said That's terrific!
 

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sadie_sabot said:
wanted to clarify why it matters about the feak thing...in my direct experience both as a child of freaks and as a daycare provider, if the adults in the daycare situation think something is 'wrong' or weird with the parents, they will treat the kid differently.QUOTE]<br><br>
Hey, Sadie, just wanted to agree with you. I was going to substitute teach until my 2nd baby got here, and put my dd in daycare for the 1st time. We're not particularly funky or different, but we live in a VERY conservative small town. They were all very nice, they didn't use timeout, just continuous redirection, and they had three rooms and a great outside area, so there were lots of ways to distract w/out punishing. Which was cool.<br><br>
However, it was still very hard for her. At first, they loved her and always told me how well she talked and what nice manners she had. But she started getting stressed out by the chaos and the kids (she's a pretty big natural introvert) and started crying more and more and having a harder and harder time. One day when I went to check on her, every other kid was watching Blue's Clues and she was doing puzzles by herself. The woman I talked to said, "She's over there, all by herself," and her tone was "She's a total weirdo!" We don't watch TV, and she's never really learned to watch it very well, and she is pretty different. Anyway, long story short, things got worse from there. Every time I picked her up or called to check on her they said she's been crying all day, she won't take a nap, she's not happy, etc. She got labeled, and then it was almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy. This probably won't make you feel any better, but I agree that's something to watch out for. I think part of the problem was that there just wasn't much harmony there, something I noticed later on. All the workers were always snippy and snotty w/each other, and I would guess it wore them out and made them less cooperative. But since your dd's older, she might be able to better cope w/that stuff.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I think part of the problem was that there just wasn't much harmony there, something I noticed later on. All the workers were always snippy and snotty w/each other, and I would guess it wore them out and made them less cooperative. But since your dd's older, she might be able to better cope w/that stuff.<br><br>
Good luck!</td>
</tr></table></div>
This is EXACTLY why I moved my DD to a new Day Care when she was 15 months old. The toddler room had these care takers who seemed to have interpersonal issues with each other. At pick-up one day one of them was really snotty going "I'm going to leave now - OK? Are you SURE you don't want me to pick up any more toys? Alright, I'm leaving then." I got the impression she had left earlier another time and the other staff were a pit peeved she hadn't helped - but good heavens! You need better coping and communication skills than that! I thought about a kid having to spend all day in a tense situation like that. It's bad enough for an adult, but children are SO much more intuitive.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
huh, good points about the interactions between staff. I really didn't interact with the teachers much; it was more of a preliminary visit really, but the director (major freak by the way :LOL ) mentioned that he started the place to provide care for his daughter after he'd yanked her form a previous place b/c the teachers were so underpaid and miserable; so it seems like he has a sense that the workers need to be well cared for.<br><br>
And really, the hour I spent there, everything seemed very calm and the vibe was great.<br><br>
I'm thinking I need to do a couple of things. One is, go there again and check out the teachers more. the other is, read up on Emillie reggio and go there prepared to argue, based on that philosophy, agiants timeouts, and see if there's any wiggle room.<br><br>
Because I am finding NOTHING else so far. Every place I've checked into ahs no vacancies. Ugh. so this may be the best option in spite of the time out issue.
 

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That's a good idea - but maybe before you say anything you should ask them to tell you more about how time out works. This way they speak before you do, so they don't start telling you what you want to hear. Also, I'm sure you know this but perhaps approach with a tell me more __________ attitude rather than trying to argue for them to change before you kid is even enrolled. It sounds like time out is contrary to their philosophy so maybe you can approach with the director with a "help me understand" attitude. I know how difficult it is to find day care you are comfortable with. That's why I said I'd use it if that was the only thing wrong. No place will be perfect.<br><br>
I find also, now that my kid has been in the day care since September and I have a relationship with the staff that I am able to influence them. Recently my DD started coming home and saying "You angry at me, you very angry." I talked to the staff about reflecting feelings back to the students. And I suggested that instead of reflecting back "You angry at me," when a 2 yo is melting down "If it feels right to you, maybe say something about Frustration. Like 'Oh - you're very frustrated right now. That made you mad. you didn't want to come in for lunch and your very mad about it.'" I thought this would be more healthy than reflecting that the anger is directed at a person - which is really isn't - the kids are just frustrated. But I was very careful in my approach to our teacher. I can't tell her how to do her job and I don't want her to do something that doesn't feel right. I'm not trying to change her so much as trying to share additional "tools." And I asked her advice about somethings to. She was very receptive and I don't think I made her feel like a bad teacher or came off as a pushy parent. My relationship with the teachers is just as important as their relationship with my daughter.<br><br>
Let us know how it goes - I'm rooting for you to find the right place for your family.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
thank you. Last friday, the woman who currently cares for my kid and another one (the survivors of our now defunct day care co-op!) went and met with the director of this place about possibly working there in the fall. so it'll be interesting to hear what she thought. also, if she ends up working there, I will DEFINITELY send my kid there, she's the best care provider I can imagine...very ap and gd, and good politics besides!!!
 

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I agree with Ellien C and Pealette. The general philosophy and environment is important, but the most important thing is what goes on in with particular classroom and teachers where your daughter will be. As someone who has also begun navigating the preschool waters, and I'm very picky, I really think there is not substitute for observation- and not just an hour, but a whole morning or day if possible. Then you really get a feel for the day and see what really goes on, not just when everyone's on their best behavior. I realize this may be difficult if you are working full-time, but I think it is really important. Go without your child if you can, so you can really focus. Sit back, and try to blend into the walls (don't interact with kids or teachers), so that you get a feel for what things are like when you are not there. You may realize that the time-out issue is not really such a big deal in the whole scope of things, or you may realize time-out or no time-out, this environment is just not as positive as you thought on a first impression. Hopefully the former. Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
 
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