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: 04-22-2005
Tue, 02-10-2009 - 9:50am

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True - one should never underestimate a toddler in *anything* (especially their ability to reach something that you think is out of reach, LOL).

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2005
Tue, 02-10-2009 - 9:54am

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Mmm, not quite. The issue is that I want to work full time, but I don't think that it's appropriate for my toddler that I *start* being away from him 35 hours a week at this age. My infant won't know any different, but my toddler will, and he's not old enough yet to understand why.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 02-10-2009 - 9:56am
Why do you assume that it is traumatic for him to be away from you?
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2005
Tue, 02-10-2009 - 9:59am
Not traumatic, but stressful. And I "assume" this by watching him hyperventilate over the closed-circuit television.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-07-2003
Tue, 02-10-2009 - 10:00am
Really? Samantha started daycare at 2 and really gets a lot out of it. I don't think that would have been the case if she had started at 3 months or so.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 02-10-2009 - 10:02am

For how long is he unhappy after you leave? It is a change, sure, and change is challenging. However, it is still not a given that absence of mom is the problem. The problem is most likely simply something along the lines of "I am not used to this and right now that is freaking me out a bit."

That kind of stress is not necessarily bad. That is how little kids, big kids and adults grow and learn, in part anyway.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-29-2002
Tue, 02-10-2009 - 10:06am

It is very possible that your particular child is stressed out and unhappy when away from you. A ex-neighbor had such a child and ended up delaying kindergarten by a year because he was well over the age of 5 (this was in Switzerland where kindergarten starts at 4) before he could handle being away from his immediate family at all.

It is also possible that 2x per week is just not enough of a routine for your child to become comfortable in the environment. Until you try the experiment of putting him on a more regular schedule (and my suggestion would be to start out with 3-4 hours per day max, 5 days per week, when trying this out), I don't think it's really possible to determine whether he is suffering because he is away from you or because the schedule is too inconsistent.

What I really don't understand is why you are making blanket statements about what is best for all toddlers.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2005
Tue, 02-10-2009 - 10:07am
The first one is your usual brief drop-off fit that goes away quickly, but he has sudden meltdowns periodically throughout the day.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-20-2007
Tue, 02-10-2009 - 10:07am

Not traumatic, but stressful. And I "assume" this by watching him hyperventilate over the closed-circuit television.


Well what are you going to do when you go into labour and are in hospital?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 02-10-2009 - 10:12am
Then my suggestion would be that you try to help him feel more secure and comfortable in his daycare. Laura's suggestion sounds very good, i.e. putting him in every day, but for shorter hours. Were it me, I would also be drawing him out at home about his day. I would ask him what his favorite toy is at daycare, with whom he plays, which teacher he likes best and why and so on.

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