I didn't know I was raising a pack of dogs, but apparently I am and they are going to be social retards (as Taryl so eloquently stated in a half-related thread )
Here's my beef! I don't understand it when people say that kids need to go to daycare or school for socialization. I don't believe that, not in the least. I have a two year old DS that is the most social child I have ever met in my life. Not one person that has ever met him has not commented on his happy nature and his curious nature when meeting new people! He is polite, empathetic (more so than a lot of adults I know), a chatter box, and of course a wild little boy when he knows it's an acceptable place (and sometimes when it's not). He has an imagination like no other, a fantastic sense of humor and he truly enjoys meeting new people. He kisses me when he thinks I've hurt myself and would for you too if you were here and he thought you might need it. As far as I can tell, he's a great kid that has never been in daycare is only seldom away from us.
I have no idea why people say kids need to go to daycare or that SAHM's should send their kids to preschool early because they have not gotten the benefits of daycare. WHAT BENEFITS?!?!
I'm asking genuinely, what do people mean when they say these things!
Hearing this kind of makes me feel better haha- I'm a SAHM and DS is 18 months and to be honest, we don't get out with other people much. My gut feeling is the same as what you're saying- I don't think that's a necessity at this age- but sometimes it makes me wonder if I'm doing him a disservice somehow by us being so isolated. But, i'm not worried about his social development. He is shy at first in social situations but for the most part, quickly adjusts after a few minutes and loves to engage people. In fact he can be quite a flirt lol. The only times he has seems truly terrified are when he's around his cousins- they're twins and not quite 2 1/2 and totally loud and rambunctious, not something he's around at all on a regular basis and he usually just stares at them with wide eyes and hangs back.
The only "social" thing I really do with him is take him to the toddler story time at the library. I think its perfect for his age, not overwhelming, and he has a blast. I am also thinking about joining a local playgroup and getting out with them- I figure it will be a good way to introduce him to social situations with other kids but more importantly, get ME out of the house, lol! But I don't think either of those things are the same as sending him to early pre school just because I think he "needs" it.
But anyway, yeah when they're real young I don't think lots of socialization is very high on the list of importance. I think what they get out of interacting with family members on a regular basis is what's most important then.
Jessica & Daniel
My kids have been in day care since they were 3 months old. I know they love their friends there but you also have to deal with the kids that are mean and can physically hurt (scratches on my daughter's face come to mind) at an earlier stage. I'm not saying my little angels haven't bitten, scratched, or pulled hair because they have and not always in self defense
When kids learn to deal with other kids dynamics (ones that aren't as controlled) at day care they are just learning it at an earlier stage. I don't really think earlier or in Kindergarten really matters and I'm sure they have both pros and cons. The only benefit I can really see is that they learn how to interact in a classroom environment, listening to the teacher, lining up, etc. But these are all skills that are taught in Kindergarten also so it probably doesn't really matter. As long as they have their basic skills needed to enter Kindergarten they'll probably be ahead of 1/2 their class anyways.
I also think, my neighbor is coming to mind with this one, that for kids that don't come from a structured/disciplined family it can benefit them more to do preschool. But then again maybe not since once they go home the structure is gone.
I think most of these people are just trying to justify their decision when really they just need to be comfortable with their decisions and let you (general you) be comfortable with yours.
I'm with you on this one! I think that once they are older, or if you have a shy kid maybe try encouraging it but honestly it's not a big deal. My 2 1/2 year old is very social! Not at church lately for some reason, i think it's a little bit of separation anxiety. But for the most part he is great! He loves playing with other kids and he is very happy and will wave, smile, talk to about anyone.
But at some point in their life I do feel they need social interaction, but that's what school is for IMO. My DH was home schooled and never really interacted socially with anyone till he was about 12 and he still has a really really hard time interacting with people, and reacting properly to certain situations because he never learned how to at a younger age.
For some kids like this the structure is a saving grace for them because of all the disorder at home. Some kids do need the socialisation, a child at the playgroup I was going to comes to mind, he was terrible to the other kids and starts school this year, but has no social skills whatsoever and just bullies other children. I think if a parent is aware and teaches a child social skills through other interactions (church, family gatherings, even just when up town etc) early kindy or pre school may not be needed (obviously each child is different), but if a parent isn't aware or is finding their child needs some more structure to learn about interacting with other children early kindy or pre school might be appropriate.
I'm going to put this disclaimer out before I go on: I do not think kids should be in daycare. I disagree with the way people justify putting their kids in daycare. I think moms should be at home with kids. I think it's important for kids to have their mom home. I do understand having to work, I did it with my oldest, I had to, there was no other choice for me at the time. I quit as soon as it was possible though and I don't plan to go back unless it becomes necessary again. If you have to work, you should find a smaller setting, like a family friend or relative to care for your child. This is my opinion, an opinion I, in general, keep to myself.
HOWEVER, it is what it is in today's society. I do NOT force my opinions on other people. If you ask, this is what I will say, but in general, I do NOT berate other people for their decisions. I may try to gently sway someone to be a SAHM, but that's it, that is as far as I have ever taken it. This is the first time I have even really said what my opinion is to anyone other than my DH.
The problem I have though is that in general is seems to be okay for someone to say, "Daycare and preschool provide the socialization that kids need." Even though that statement completely negates what I believe as a SAHM. It's not appropriate for me to say that staying home with your kids is so important to their development, because it might hurt the feelings of a working mother. You can do what you want, and if that is sending your kids to daycare and having a great career, that's fine with me. I really don't care. I have plenty of friends whose kids go to daycare and the moms work, we get along fine.
I disagree with the statement that kids need to be socialized. They will learn how to interact with other people from you, their parent. When you take them to the grocery store, they will learn how to make general conversation by the way you converse with the cashier. They will listen to you talk about other people, if it's kind, they will learn that, if it's not, they will learn that also. If you help another person, they will learn that. THIS is what will affect how they interact with other people and how they do in social situations. In daycare they will meet other tiny people with questionable and developing social skills that will scare the crap out of them or hurt them and they will feel the need to defend themselves. Kids don't know how to socialize, they are in the process of learning. So, how is it a good thing that they learn from each other? If you want your child to learn to share, teach them how to share.
For those that disagree with me, give me one example of something a child learns at daycare that they cannot or do not learn at home. I'm not trying to be vicious or mean. I must just be feeling argumentative today
And yes, Cindy, I think the reason people say it is to justify their decision. I don't think it's necessary though. It's a roundabout way to put down what I am doing as a SAHM, insinuating that because my kids aren't "socialized" I'm somehow doing them a disservice. If you want to work, then work (not you specifically Cindy, just in general).
My son only goes to daycare b/c I work 3 days a week, and while I think he has learned a lot there, I doubt he would be lacking if I was a SAHM and kept him home. That said, you are probably teaching your kids things (even if not formally) and setting a good example socially. So are there benefits to going to daycare, school, etc? Sure but there are downsides to it/benefits to staying home. As long as you (general you) are raising/parenting them they will learn things, especially social things. Hope that makes sense...I work with kids and see so many families ihn which the parents just don't parent or set poor examples...that is where you would get a pack of wild animals for kids; -)
I agree with you Lauren, it's how the home life is more so than whether they stay home with a parent or go to day care.
momW - If it helps you feel like you aren't the only one being judged I get comments from my MIL stating how I shouldn't be a mother and work full time. A lot of them have been very hurtful. I've also gotten (from my SIL) the "I don't want anyone else raising my kids" comment. It baffles me because I would never say anything hurtful to these women about being a SAHM, I think it's great if it's what works for them and is what they want. It goes both ways and it's too bad because we all receive enough judgement as is.
I always feel like I'm being judged or put down for being a stay at home mom. I feel like people are blaming me that we have to run on a tighter ship than "they" do because I am un-employed. It really aggravates me that people, especially moms, do this. In truth being a stay at home mom is one of the hardest, but most rewarding jobs a woman can do and those that work because they want to, IMO, are the ones that are shirking their responsibilities as a mother, because as I have seen it they use their job as an escape from the kids and "dealing" with them.
For those that choose to work remember that i'm saying this from what I have seen from mothers surrounding me and what they have said. I do know that there are some great moms out there that choose to work, though they don't have to, BUT they make time to spend as much time with their kids as possible. They are amazing moms too. But my experience with working moms that I associate with is that they do it as an escape from the family life.
It just seems more socially acceptable for people to openly say something along the lines of kids need to go to daycare to learn social skills. Like I said before, I would never tell anyone else they are screwing up their kids by not staying home.
Another question! If a child has poor examples for parents, does daycare actually make them a better kid or do they learn from being in the daycare? I mean, maybe they act acceptable there because they are expected to, but do you think it carries over after they leave? For example, a child that is a bully because that is the behavior he picks up at home, goes to daycare and it's not an acceptable behavior, so he learns to not hit other kids or whatever he was doing before. He leaves daycare and goes to school where again, it's not acceptable behavior. Sometimes, he still does it because it's what he sees at home, sometimes he doesn't. He leaves school and gets out in real life. Has daycare/school made such an impact on his life that it overrules what he learned at home?