Tag Archives: daycare

How to Train Your (Little) Dragon

30 Apr

a couple of weeks ago, my family took a trip to ikea.  if you are a parent of young kids, ikea is probably one of your favourite places to bring your kids.  they not only have babysitting service (for older kids), but their washrooms even come with diapers and kiddy toilets for babies and kids.

my daughter has been throwing tantrums lately and her whining and crying has gotten so much worse than before, that her dad and I are afraid to take her outside.  whenever we go out, she often “acts out” in public and in all honestly, it’s darn embarrassing!

so, at ikea… she decided to go on this full-on tantrum. first, she lied down on the floor… and she waved her legs and arms as if she was making a snow angel.  then, she flipped over and started to ‘swim’ on the ground, as if she was in a swimming pool.  all this, while screaming and crying at the top of her lungs.

everyone’s watching.  i’m tempted to pick her up and soothe her to escape from the embarrassment.  however, i don’t want to encourage this kind of behaviour and i know that picking her up and soothing her is exactly what she’s asking for.  so, i didn’t give in.  i kept calm and asked her to stop and of course, she didn’t even hear me.  i told her very firmly to get up.  after repeating myself for awhile, i told her i’m going home and she can follow me if she wants to.  then, i turned and walked away.  meanwhile, everyone’s eyes were on us.  i prayed that she would follow me and if she does, i was willing to hug her and comfort her.

less than a minute later, i turned around and i saw her get up.  she stopped crying.  she looked at me and smirked.  then, she ran the other away.

OH MY….. i was beyond mad.  how can this be?  she’s only 16 months, not even 2 years old and she is already acting like this??  what is wrong with her??

i eventually ran after her and held her tightly, which caused her to begin her cries again. she tried her hardest to squirm out of my arms.  eventually, ikea ice cream was able to calm her down.

yes, one thing after another.

toddlers from 13 months to 18 months are very cute and they will make you laugh and smile.  i have often heard many parents say, “awww, that’s a good age!”  it is, in a way that they are starting to experiment with new things and imitate you.  they learn so much and they will show off what they’ve learned and it will melt your heart.  however, because they are getting smarter… they will test you.  they will push you to your limits, little by little, until you throw in the towel.  after a ‘battle’ with your child, you are mentally, emotionally and often times physically exhausted!

oftentimes, i think… are all kids around this age this difficult?  or is it just my child?  am i doing things wrong?  if i become a strict and disciplining mom, would this trouble go away?

one thing i would hate is to have a spoiled, undisciplined and bad-mannered child.  i do not want to be a helicopter mom or a ‘yes’ mom, who spoils their kid.

after much thought and much observation of my daughter, i have learned that she was ready to understand her limits and ready to be disciplined.  at first, i had a talk with my husband to make sure he was on board with me.  when i discipline, he was not to interfere or to comfort her saying daddy will make it all better.  i got his agreement.

the next day, later at night, her tantrums began again.  nothing i did was satisfying to her and she wanted more and more.  she wanted to watch tv, eat while lying down and even then, she wanted me to turn on a different video every minute.  anything other than that, she ran around crying and screaming.  so for the first time, i turned off the tv, took away her food and told her until she behaves, she wasn’t going to get anything.  she understood everything i had said and so her screaming got louder and she cried so hard that her cries were silent.  she was very angry and she tried and tried to get her way.  i didn’t give in, nor did her dad.  then, she wanted to be held.  i walked away a couple of times saying that she needed to calm down first.  after a while, i held her and explained once again, why it’s not good to behave the way she did.  shortly after, she was calm.

omg.  after that incident, she became an angel.  she behaved so well the rest of the night and she even went to bed without a fuss and fell asleep within 10 minutes.  no resistance, no crying.  she tossed and turned, trying to fall asleep and she fell asleep all by herself.

the next day, she listened to us much more than she ever has.  for the first time, when you told her no, she actually listened.  then, monday began and once grandma spent a day with her… back to square one.  i had to be firm with her once again on monday night and tried to set boundaries again.  she must have been so confused, but i was hoping that she would learn some consistency, at least with me.

anyways, after this crazy experience, i thought… perhaps, it’s time to send her to a good daycare or nursery school.  maybe being with grandma isn’t helping her to learn limitations, manners and independence.  i felt that she’s now entering to an age, where she needs to learn acceptable social behaviours and independence.  perhaps, i’ll need some professional help – someone who is educated in teaching her these things, in the most constructive way.

thus, started my search for a good nursery school, once again.  we found a great private school.  yes, it’s gonna cost us an arm and a leg, but i feel like it’s going to be worth every penny.  from their curriculum, the teachers, the facilities, their teaching beliefs to organic lunches and snacks… it would be worth it.

i guess our next step is… can we afford it (for years to come, since the price will only increase as she moves up to higher grades)?  is she ready to go and spend a whole day without grandma or mom?  if she goes to this school, she has to wean her pacifier; can she do this?

much discussion and decision making will take place in the next few weeks.  on top of packing and getting ready for a new house… the work never ends!

Dragon Snow Angel

Daycare vs Homecare

4 Mar

one of the biggest hinderances to my decision in returning back to work was child care.  who will take care of my child, while i’m at work?  i’m very lucky and thankful that i had an option to have my parents take full-time care of our little girl, which made my decision much easier.

it was an answer to my prayer.  being able to have a job, my daughter being taken care by someone who loves her as much as i do and also to help my parents financially, which i’ve been wanting to do for quite a long time.  if all of these points didn’t work out, i would have been a stay-at-home mom, whether i liked it or not.

although my child care option was going to be grandma’s home care, my husband and i still contemplated daycare/montessori/nursery school options.  one of my husband’s close friends referred a great nursery school that his mother-in-law works at and also sends his son to.  we were pleased that it was a nursery school where they have programs to teach kids different development skills, and not just a daycare,.  we visited this place and we liked it.

we considered this nursery school because we wanted our daughter to develop social, language and other skills.  however, since our girl doesn’t do so well in a new environment and with new people, we didn’t really want to make her go there.  they did have part-time options, so we considered it, but the school highly recommended a full-time option because with the part-time option, we would not see much improvement.

my husband and i gathered all the information and started to research and brainstorm to see which option was best for our daughter.

i read some of the studies done by different early educationists on the effects of daycare (centres) on child development. different research found one consistent result.  they found that the children who attended daycare were much more advanced in language, reading, writing and mathematical skills than children who stayed home with a family member or nanny.  however, they also discovered that the earlier a child goes to daycare and the longer hours they stayed in the daycare, the more social/behavioural problems they found later when the kids went to school.  they did find that the academic advancement and behaviour problems averaged out by grade six and there weren’t many differences between these children.  (sources: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/01/national/01child.html?pagewanted=all, http://www.familyfacts.org/briefs/43/the-effects-of-day-care-on-the-social-emotional-development-of-children, etc)

i believe that every parent/family has different parenting goals and values.  no one can judge or tell a parent how to raise their kids.  for us, even before our daughter was born, we agreed that we would put a higher value in character, morals and happiness over intelligence or academics.  in another words, we want to discipline our child to become a good-hearted, honest, responsible and happy person, rather than disciplining her to become a lawyer or doctor or scholar.  if becoming a scholar makes her happy, we will support her in that, but our hope is not to influence her to focus only on academics.

so with these sorts of goals and values we hold, we decided to have my parents take care of our girl full-time.  as much as we want our daughter to grow (well) in her development (which nursery school would definitely help with), we thought she needed love and care, more than anything else.

now that it’s been 3 weeks, are we happy with our decision?

there is always good and bad.  i don’t think there is a perfect situation.

the good; she is loved and cared for… probably more than what she needs. 🙂  she’s been sick for a couple of days and i was very relieved that she was in good hands.  i knew my mom would take care of her well and i didn’t need to take days off work.  there are countless good things… i can’t write them all!

the bad; she’s gotten very spoiled and has become much more whiny.  my mom picks her up as soon as she cries and makes sure that she gets her wish.  by friday night, my daughter doesn’t feel like my own daughter anymore, because she’s become so spoiled and undisciplined.  i try to be firm and discipline her during the weekend and by sunday, she’s gotten much better and i feel like she’s back to her old self.  however, next friday rolls around and it’s back to square one.  the inconsistency worries me since consistency is the key to discipline.  however, i think my daughter has learned some consistency in that she knows that she can get her way with the grandparents, but not with mom and dad.

before i returned to work, we took our daughter to the nursery school for a couple of hours for a tour and during this time, the principal/owner lady taught/conditioned my daughter on how to sign for ‘more’, as in i want ‘more’ food.  it took 2 tries and my girl learned ‘more’ right away and she continues to use it everyday.  even now, she doesn’t have much vocabulary that she can speak, but one of the words she knows is ‘more’ (sounds more like ‘mow’).

seeing such rapid learning, i wondered if my decision to have her at home was the best option for my daughter.  perhaps, she will reach her full potential if she was put into a nursery school… i don’t know.

for now, i’m happy with our decision and i’m thankful that i can have peace of mind while i’m at work.  i never really worried about my daughter’s development, maybe more so because she was fast at everything, but in any case, i hardly push her.  i want her to take her time to grow and develop.  i was a late bloomer.  i didn’t know how to add until i was in grade 3 or 4 and i turned out fine.  i ended up excelling in math and in science, so i know that my daughter will be just fine too.

and i really don’t think in the future, she will challenge my decision to not put her into nursery school… so, it’s all good.

maybe when she turns two and shows interest, we might consider putting her into a nursery school for a half day… but… i really don’t mind having her at home until she goes to JK.