Cynthia Dunsford posted such a great comment on this site that I felt that it should be seen more easily. So I have posted it in the main part of the blog here. Thanks Cyn.
I heard a CBC radio interview on the issue of daycare for children...
One mother was praising the idea of daycare because it gives her child a chance to be away from her and her husband, so her daughter can learn how to socialize and get along with other children. Play with the toys. The daycare her child goes to has an indoor gymnasium, which she prefers. Maybe she thinks it would be safer and more clean, unlike some of the city parks where kids get hurt all the time and are exposed to dirt.
I think this is an honest slice of where we are as a child rearing society. How did we get from being raised by parents, to this? It seems to be a paranoid, self-seeking approach to child rearing. There are many things missing in today’s approach. The idea of parenting as a responsibility and obligation is still strong, but the intention has been skewed somewhat.
We are at a place where it is acceptable to want to send our children away to be taken care of, and perhaps for some children this is the preferred alternative. Perhaps, though, part of the reason there are so many troubled youth, is that they do not feel connected. Their foundation is based on achievement in an outside world, a world that is still foreign to them. A world their parent(s) know too well, possibly know better than their child’s world.
I think today's parents make many of their decisions based on guilt. They instinctively know that being away from their children all day does not feel good and they try and make it up by over-indulgence, over-protection, over-eating....over-everything. What would happen, for instance, if their child got hurt while playing in park while they were at work and not there to help?
It’s easier to play inside then, to play in an indoor gymnasium with the latest and safest of games and toys.
It seems socialization of children is becoming more of a challenge than ever before. Why? Isn’t daycare supposed to help with that? Perhaps daycare is, in fact, giving children too many tools at too early an age. Are they able to take in so much socializing? Is the idea of socialization of children through daycare just assumed because it’s a large number of children in one room and therefore socialization occurs? Who is monitoring this? What have been their conclusions?
I am doubtful that wanting your children to learn how to socialize is reason enough to send to them daycare. Socialization can occur in the front yard with the other neighbourhood children, it can occur at the grocery store, it can occur at home sitting on the floor with siblings.
It is possible that we are confusing ‘early childhood development’ with ‘early mother/fatherhood development’. Is all this energy in keeping our children busy, in fact, an effort to help relieve our guilty feelings we have from working outside the home, or just an excuse to fill time.
What remains true, in general, is that children will always have a need to feel connected to someone, something, something bigger than themselves, as adults do. Chances are far greater that they will struggle with ‘connection’ if they have little experience with the most basic of relationships, that with parent(s).