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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have been going to our church for 5 years. We have been tolerating the preschool department for 5 years. But lately I have been especially frustrated. Here's the deal.

The workers love kids, and I know they love my children. Most of the ladies are older and seem to have this mentality that they know best and I am pretty much a clueless fool who drops her kids off every Sunday to their superior care.

When dds were infants, I used to keep them with me at church, much to the disapproval of some of the nursery ladies. Then when the girls got older, I'd take them to their classes and repeatedly asked to be called if they cried or needed to nurse. I got called once. In 5 years. But I have found out since then that dds were allowed to cry because "church was almost out and we knew you'd be right back to nurse her". AAAUGH!

Now that they are older, dd #1 has great teachers. But DD #2 is stuck with CIO-loving teacher who has no problem with her screaming THE WHOLE TIME! Last week a friend of mine actually heard dd#2 screaming for half an hour and she finally went and got dd and brought her to me. The teacher apparently thought that dd was just mad and that if someone were to come and get me, it would just teach dd that screaming gets you what you want. Forbid it that the teacher actually try to meet the emotional needs of one of her 2 year old students. And dd#2 was coming down with a cold and didn't feel well that night. So they just let her scream.

These are just two examples of what has gone on. Others include withholding snacks to a delayed little girl when she refuses to sit on the potty, calling my dd a baby because she wet her pants (she's potty learning right now), letting the kids play in another room while the ladies sit in rocking chairs and gab, and the list goes on.

I have talked to the preschool director (very educated, kind mother of 2) who backs up her teachers. She doesn't get GD at all. She thinks that I let my kids manipulate me.

I have started to avoid the preschool department, but I have responsibilities at church that sometimes demand childcare for my youngest. When possible dh takes her so I can do what I need to do, but that does not always work.

So how can I communicate my concerns so that they will be taken seriously? The preschool department director blows me off, so I guess the next step is talking to the pastor, who is going to refer me back to her. And since the preschool department runs on her philosophy, what am I going to do to educate the whole department on what I believe about GD?

Please don't bash my church or tell me to change churches, OK? It is a great church and I am very involved there. After praying about it I know that leaving is not the right option, and DH totally backs me up. It is just, on occasion, I cannot handle what goes on in the preschool department. Other moms have told me they don't like it, either. Has anyone else faced this situation, and what do I do?
 

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Yes. I've been in your situation, as a parent.

I've actually been in Church nursery as well.

So I've seen both sides of the story.

Long story short, I no longer attend church. The way they treated my children when I wasn't there, and the way the other parents treated their children (and wanted me to treat them in their absence
) was something I was NOT cool with. I know that's not what you want to hear, but it's what happened in our family.

I'd rather be having fun with my children on my own. YMMV.
 

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Do you have a less involved friend at church? I used to volunteer in a church nursery in high school, and even without realising it I was very GD-- I've never thought the kids were trying to manipulate me, I've always just assumed they were crying or fussing for a reason, and so I met their needs. A lot of the high schoolers there used to watch the younger children and babies, and looking back, the kids seemed better off with the teenagers than with the older women because teens usually just go with it-- they take care of the child without some kind of parenting agenda, which it sometimes seems older women have (typical of mother-in-laws, lol!)
 

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Have you tried just telling the teacher and director "Look, she's my kid and I make the decisions, even when you are caring for her. This is not acceptable. I will be dropping in as I see fit and having it out with you if my wishes are not respected." ? If it were me, though, I wouldn't be leaving my child with people I didn't have confidence would treat him or her with respect and not endanger her. I think that if they aren't willing to listen and you aren't willing to change churches, then you need to find alternate care for your daughter while you attend to your church duties. I mean, what are your other options?
 

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You said that other mothers were also unhappy with the care in the nursery (?) Why not get together with them, and then speak to the director together as a united group so she knows it's not just one mom being "unreasonable" in her wishes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's just it. I don't feel like some of the ladies treat the babies with respect, and it is with all the little ones, not just mine. Fortunately it is a minority of the workers, but the attitute that pervades the nursery is catching to the other workers when the mother hens are in there.

The older classes are terrific--it is just the baby class that I hate.

Thanks for the suggestions. They already think I'm psycho mom, so whatever I do won't surprise anyone!!
 

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There are, IIRC, a few Christian-based GD books. Perhaps getting one or two and giving them to the church? I worked church nursery for 5 years (ages 13-18) and our policy was always "if we can't calm them down, go get mom." I couldn't imagine letting a kid cry for 30 minutes, even before I had kids/knew why CIO is bad. My ears just couldn't take it! I'd a]tell the nursery folk that you are NOT on board with the way they're handling things and you would expect them to respect you as Mama, b]talk to the pastor about things (can't hurt to try, and s/he might be very open to suggestions) and c]look into the Christian-based GD books. Someone who's more religious than I am will be able to help with titles, I'm sure. Good luck!
 

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I would just tell them how you feel and how you expect your kids to be treated. But honestly it dosnt sound like it will do much good.
If they feel what they are doing is right then they have no reason to change. Is there any way you can just keep your kids with you? The church we go to does not even have a nursery all the kids sit with the parents.
 

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Man there is nothing worse than a crying baby in the nursery so how can they just sit and listen to it, when there is a perfectly willing parent to come and get their child!? That is pretty dumb because it usually starts the other babies crying. Since you cannot trust them with your baby maybe you should cut down on your responsibilities in the church until she is older. That way you can stay at your church and everyone who needs to be happy is happy. In the grand scheme of things your child is more important than anything you do working in the church. My mom (a pastor) always said to me when I find something wrong with the church then it means I should help out in that area or I should just pray for it.

So maybe you can use this time instead of doing Martha type things you can do the Mary and sit at the feet of Jesus. You know the story where Jesus was at Martha and Mary's house and Martha was doing all the work and told Jesus to make Mary help her. Jesus basically told her that what Mary was doing was eternal. I have been heavily involved in church stuff as I am a preacher's kid, preacher's wife and a former pastor myself. Church stuff isn't as important as family, but I know how easy it is to be caught up in working hard for things that seem so important. But just pausing and selahing is great too!
 

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Several ideas here. You could volunteer your services in the nursery once a month, or so, so that you can maybe gently show these ladies how you do it, they might not understand GD because they havent seen it?

I know you dont agree with the things they do, I surely dont either by the sounds of it, but ( and please dont flame me or anything, im not an expert) aside from CIO I dont think some of the things they do will harm your child in the long scheme of things when you weigh/outweigh the benefits of going to church, etc. Its only one hour a week in a lifetime, your child will move from that class soon enough anyway. Also you did say not all the workers were like this.

You could bring your children in the church with you. When people complain say..well..I would take them to the nursery, but the ladies in there wont listen to me about how I want my children taken care of, wont come get me when they cry, etc, so I have to let them sit in here til something is done about it. Then maybe something would be done about it after the noise level in the church arises. Maybe all the parents who agree with you could do this, even better.

You could print off research about CIO, GD techniques, etc, so that could help them understand where you are coming from.

These are just some ideas...randomly thrown out there for you to think about mama. ((HUGS)))
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Tendaironi View Post
Man there is nothing worse than a crying baby in the nursery so how can they just sit and listen to it, when there is a perfectly willing parent to come and get their child!? That is pretty dumb because it usually starts the other babies crying. Since you cannot trust them with your baby maybe you should cut down on your responsibilities in the church until she is older. That way you can stay at your church and everyone who needs to be happy is happy. In the grand scheme of things your child is more important than anything you do working in the church. My mom (a pastor) always said to me when I find something wrong with the church then it means I should help out in that area or I should just pray for it.

So maybe you can use this time instead of doing Martha type things you can do the Mary and sit at the feet of Jesus. You know the story where Jesus was at Martha and Mary's house and Martha was doing all the work and told Jesus to make Mary help her. Jesus basically told her that what Mary was doing was eternal. I have been heavily involved in church stuff as I am a preacher's kid, preacher's wife and a former pastor myself. Church stuff isn't as important as family, but I know how easy it is to be caught up in working hard for things that seem so important. But just pausing and selahing is great too!
I'm not Christian but was raised Christian and still hold some things very dear. One being that I learned Family was a VERY important thing and it was above work. I was going to post almost the exact same advice as Tend. Please cut back on the activities within your church where DD#2 cannot be with you and would end up in the nursery.

 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jennnk View Post
There are, IIRC, a few Christian-based GD books. Perhaps getting one or two and giving them to the church?
Have you read Wm and Martha Sears' book, The Complete Christian guide to Parenting and Child Care? Excellent. Sounds like your church nursery workers could learn a thing or two from it!
: Good luck.
 

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I would cut down on my volunteering. Let them know that you love being involved but can only help out when your dh can watch the kids because you feel your children aren't cared for properly.
 

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Originally Posted by moondiapers View Post
I would cut down on my volunteering. Let them know that you love being involved but can only help out when your dh can watch the kids because you feel your children aren't cared for properly.
I really like this idea. It presents the impact of the poor care upon the rest of the church commuunity-not that it's punishment, but, truly, the chilcare services they provide DO have more impact (for the poor kiddos and their parents) than some might like to acknowledge
 

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ITA with moondiapers. This is what we did. I love our church, love our pastor, feel very led to stay there, as the teaching is right on. The only problem is the childrens minisry, and most of that is due to the parent volunteers, who raise their children punativly, and bring that teaching into the preschool dept. I used to be very involved with church, going 3 times aweek on a slow week. I have since then totally cut out everything but the actual service, and I have dd with me fr that. I teach one of the nursery classes, the one my dd is in. I feel it is important for me to teach, because 1. Then dd gets a chance to go to nursery, I would never leave her there without me and 2. I can impart some of my wonderful GD wisdom on some clueless mothers and teachers. Seriously, we have a waiting list for our room, and there are other rooms for this age level that are never full. Parents DO notice that there is something different about us (my mom co-teaches, and she is very AP) and they ask for their kids to be switched into our room. I would bow out of activities if it meant leaving your daughter in the nursery, and I would be very honest as to why you are no longer going to volunteer your time. I'm sorry that this is going on in your church. I am right there with you, its a very hard situation, especially when you get people who think you are being 'manipulated' by your children.
:
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by moondiapers View Post
I would cut down on my volunteering. Let them know that you love being involved but can only help out when your dh can watch the kids because you feel your children aren't cared for properly.
This is basically what I had to do in my church. I love my church and am very involved there too, but in my case it is the facilities and rather than the workers that are totally inadequate. Tons of babies and toddlers all crammed into one tiny room, there is nowhere to put the younger babies where they won't get trampled by the older ones and two people is not enough to care for all of them and hold babies that aren't mobile at the same time. I have started saying no to anything I can't do while caring for DD. I just tell them I will be interested in doing it again when DD is older or when we expand our nursery so that she can stay in it. A friend with has been doing the same thing and it has actually made our pastor and trustees more serious about working on the nursery situation (dedicating funds to renovation and such). When I was at Women of Faith Patsy Clairmont made a comment that sometimes when you say no to something at church you are actually saying yes to your family. I like to remind myself about that from time to time.
 

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I agree with everyone who recommends cutting back on your responsibilities. Personally, I felt capable of continuing as a children's church leader after my first was born -- I could have held and nursed her in the sling -- but leadership didn't really approve so I only did stuff where I could have her with me.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Arania79 View Post
You said that other mothers were also unhappy with the care in the nursery (?) Why not get together with them, and then speak to the director together as a united group so she knows it's not just one mom being "unreasonable" in her wishes?

That is exactly what I would suggest. Definitely get together with the other moms who are not happy with the current state of things in that room and perhaps you could work with the director of the preschool to set up some standards of care. I know CIO is absolutely not allowed at our dd's daycare as well as shaming, etc. Perhaps that room just needs more structure in what the preschool expects? And maybe that would help improve things.
 

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I have dealt with this issue at my church as well, and I used to have a lot of gripes and complaints. One day, my DH gently pointed out that I needed to examine my own attitude, and try to be less judgemental. He pointed out that the services provided at the church were provided by volunteers. Because of that fact, he felt it was innapropriate for me to lay down specific expectations, and try to control the way they choose to serve. He suggested that I accept whatever part of their "gift" that I was willing to, and simply say "no thank you" to whatever part didn't feel like a gift to me.

Since then, I've changed my approach to dealing with these church ladies and I feel much better about it. I never force my kids to go to any of the classes or sitters, and I make alternate arrangments when I have to. I bring my children into the church service with me frequently. I will also stay in Sunday school with them if they feel anxious and want me too.

Also, my DH has gotten very involved in the sunday school program -- he teaches the toddlers and is close enough to our own kid's classes to hear them if they have a problem. He is able to be gentle and sensitive with the toddlers in the church, and many of the mother's start their kids in his class before they are technically old enough, and leave them there past the time they should have moved on! LOL.
 
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