35 hours in school vs. in daycare

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2005
35 hours in school vs. in daycare
188
Fri, 02-06-2009 - 2:03pm

I was trying to think why I've been having such a hard time with the idea of going to work full-time in the fall and yet I don't have any problem with my kids going to school for the same amount of time when they are school age. I know that we've asked the question a lot "Why is it okay to put them in school for 35 hours but not in daycare for 35 hours?"

My toddler doesn't understand WHY Mommy is gone. He doesn't appreciate the difference between Mommy going to work and Mommy just disappearing all day. A 5-year old does. I think that until they are old enough to truly understand the purpose and necessity of the separation, those 35 hours are going to be experienced very differently.

Discuss.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2006
Fri, 02-06-2009 - 2:57pm

So basically the seperation issues woud be no different for a very young

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2006
Fri, 02-06-2009 - 3:09pm
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Fri, 02-06-2009 - 3:10pm

You're describing normal separation anxiety that is experienced to some degree by almost all toddlers, whether their moms work or not. It's a developmental phase. This is a gross oversimplification, but basically your child is starting to realize that he is a separate being from you, and this causes some stress.


I think this is why it's so important to put a child in programs like MDO or daycare or some kind of othercare for a few hours, just so that he will see that you always come back. It's healthy for the child because he learns that his mother is trustworthy. In time, he will learn to enjoy the program and look forward to it.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2006
Fri, 02-06-2009 - 3:12pm
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-29-2002
Fri, 02-06-2009 - 3:22pm

"Mine seems awfully distressed that I'm going, and there isn't any way for me to explain to him where I'm going or why. And this is just two mornings per week at Mother's Day Out"

I hope you don't mind if I go out a bit on a limb here and suggest that it is quite possible that the problem is not that you leave him sometimes, but that 2x per week at an MDO is not actually enough time for him to feel comfortable with othercare. I know a number of people who tried this routine with children, and it usually didn't work out very well. It was too little time every week for the child to feel settled and at home in the environment and get used to the providers as trusted adults in his/her life, and the schedule seemed to feel too unpredictable for the kids. You may find that the switch to more days per week will actually work better for him.

Both of my kids started in dc as toddlers and, barring the first couple of weeks they needed to get used to the place, they never seemed distressed about me being gone. Dc was fun, their teachers were lovely adults they trusted, and they got to play with kids their own age (or thereabouts) all day. In the case of dd, we actively planned for her to be in dc at least 25 hours per week, even though I only worked 20 hours per week in the beginning, for 2 reasons: 1) she seemed to do better with a schedule that was consistent on a daily basis and that included lunch at the dc, and 2) children generally need at least 25-30 hours per week exposure time to a language in order to pick it up effectively. We opted for shorter days every day, rather than fewer days with longer hours.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-07-2003
Fri, 02-06-2009 - 3:25pm
I started working full time when Samantha was about 13 months old, but she was at home with her dad and didn't seem to have any problems adjusting-- or if she did, I don't remember it. When DH started his PhD program this past fall with a teaching assistantship, we put her in daycare for 30+ hours a week a couple weeks after her second birthday. At first she was sad when we dropped her off, but she got used to it fairly quickly. Now she has some transitioning problems, both from home to daycare and daycare to home, but overall she loves it. She has learned so many new things, it has been amazing for her language development, and she even asks sometimes to go when she's been at home with boring old mom and dad for several days in a row. I understand (I think) where you are coming from, because I felt the same way when she started going to daycare. But honestly, it's been really great for her to be around other kids and fun activities all day.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-29-2002
Fri, 02-06-2009 - 3:26pm

Ds started in dc when he was nearly 2; dd started when she was about 2.5 years old. Both did just fine and quickly came to love their dc and dc providers. The hardest time to start dc with kids is between 6-12 months (height of separation anxiety), as far as I can tell. It's very common for Swedish kids to start in dc between 1 and 2 years of age. Very few have problems transitioning. The vast majority get used to the routine fairly quickly and really enjoy the experience.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2000
Fri, 02-06-2009 - 3:31pm

When Dylan was old enough (somewhere around age 2) to question why I was gone (the same time he was asking the why of everything), he also knew where I went. He had already been used to visiting the bridal shop and spending some time there. He prefered being at dc to the bridal shop. For him (and me), going from dc to school was no big thing.

Chris

The truth may be out there but lies are in your head. Terry Pratchett

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2000
Fri, 02-06-2009 - 3:36pm

But if you had been gone from the beginning, then he would be used to it and consider it "normal". This is just a new routine that both of you need to get used to.

Chris

The truth may be out there but lies are in your head. Terry Pratchett

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2009
Fri, 02-06-2009 - 3:40pm

exactly.


I also stopped along time ago explaining 'why" i went -- I just went.

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