Lately my 18 month old son loves to talk. A few weeks ago, he dragged me to our family bed and started to blah blah with his cute voice. He changed his tone from happy to sad and his facial expressions followed. I wish I knew what he was telling me but I had no clue. However, with my facial expressions I showed him concern and empathy because he seemed to be telling me that something was bothering him. When he was done, I hugged him and he seemed satisfied. He got off the bed and went to play with his favourite truck.
In this scenario, my child experienced how to communicate and learned how to listen. These are two major social skills. Now, let’s imagine he was in daycare and had the urge to talk, would someone be there to listen? Probably not! The teacher is constantly busy attending basic needs and can’t afford to sit down and talk. The children are focused on themselves and don’t have the skills to listen or communicate.
He would have tried and been rejected. He would have learned that his feelings are not important. Plus, would he have been able to play with his favourite toy? Again, probably not! Instead, he would have been fighting with another child to play with it.
I don’t believe in the myth that kids learn to be social in daycare. At this age what they need the most is mommy. It’s fun for them to be around kids but not everyday and not necessary kids of the same age. In fact, they learn more from adults or older kids. Kids in daycare might be less shy around strangers but that’s about it. They don’t necessary learn proper behaviour.
What kids learn in daycare is that they need to fight for their basic needs. They need to fight for toys and attention. They are not special when they are in daycare. They are one of many. They spend so much of their energy fighting for attention instead of doing what’s natural for them. Children need to play freely for a healthy emotional development.
Mommies who think that their kid is better in daycare are not thinking like a child. Kids don’t understand this scary world, so they need to feel safe. No matter how busy you are or if you feel that you can’t provide your child with what they need, it’s still better than daycare. At least they know that mommy is here and don’t have to stress about whether or not she is coming back. The best environment for a child to grow and develop to his/her full potential is at home with mommy. Their biggest fear is to be away from her. Why have them live their deepest fear every day? No money, job, house or lifestyle is worth that.
I feel so blessed that I was present in this moment that my child needed to talk. If he was in daycare, I might have never known about this moment and he would have never tried again since he learned that his feelings are not important to share. But I was present so he learned that his feelings do matter. He learned that someone is there to listen when he needs to talk. Communicating and listening, the most important social skills learned at home with mommy. It’s as simple as that.
Let’s take back motherhood, the most important job of all.
What’s your opinion on this topic?