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  1. #1
    Shy Beanie's Avatar
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    Maybe i'm old school in thinking this....

    I'm unsure how to even put this as to not be hated on for my style of caregiving.

    I was born and raised on a farm where self exploration, supervision, and responsibility was what any upbringing in the country would be. My mom was always around the house, feeding the animals, cleaning the house, making dinner, whatever else needed to be done....We as children grew up in a daycare setting as my mom watched other children and fostered as well. As i grew older i helped out with the daycare and now 25 years later here i am doing the same thing as my mom, and I love it! .

    I really feel like i'm a great provider that offers so much more than daycares that just stay in the home all day and have a very structured day in terms of time and scheduling (and theres nothing wrong with that, its just not my style). We do awesome activities, crafts and go out in public often but never is it planned or scheduled it is for the most part child led. The parents know this and I tell them in the interview that we go tons of places. Obviously to the park, play groups, and library, but also to lots of other places like the grocery store, post office, walmart, out to a restaurant for lunch ect.....general outings, doing everyday stuff. The kids love these field trips and it helps them better understand the world around them, something i feel is a very important lesson and experience for them when their young (again, i mention this and talk with parents before hand about what we do and where we go and more importantly WHY i take the kids to all these places) .....to the point....I have had a few parents recently and some over the past couple of years (some after a year + of time with me and on to their second children) concerned about how i manage this "out and about with 5 kiddo's in tow".....totally understandable, not discrediting their worries whatsoever!! I just manage it well, i always have, its in my nature. I don't stress, and i let it happen as it happens. I'm very relaxed, have a non rushed view of our days events, I take it as it comes, it changes often and I never plan too much as to how its going to unfold. Some days we simply go out in the morning on a nice day and see where it takes us, most of the time the children choose where they want to go and we go, often its a nature walk in the woods or to their favourite park, or shopping at the grocery store to get a special treat!

    I don't drive with the kiddos so we walk everywhere (in a quad stroller with one walker or on a tricycle) I guess what i'm discussing or rather asking is that some parents i find now a days are "hover type" parents, babying their children to an extreme and holding them back developmentally and physically out of fear that something might happen to them. Do you as a provider have parents like this? How do you put their mind at ease that their children are fine and well cared for and they need a chance to learn and grow on their own sometimes? Some parents ask how I "watch all of them" at all times. And to be honest (this is where i'm worried i'll take some flack for my style) I don't directly supervise THEIR child at all times, every second. Out and about in public of course, without question they never leave my eyesight, any of them, at any time! i'm constantly doing head counts at the park and playgroup, but within my home or backyard I do allow free play where i'm not constantly directly supervising them or correcting behaviours. For example, I put out a bin or an activity and let them explore amongst their peers, and yes, of course sometimes they fight and take stuff away from others and aren't very nice and I just watch from the background and don't run in and intervene right away. Their toddlers and these are normal behaviours and they are trying to work out their emotions about. Sometimes, I run upstairs to grab sippy cups or grab a quick snack for them. Sometimes I take a toddler to the bathroom and we do one on one potty training while the others are in the playroom around the corner. If a baby falls asleep on the walk to the park i let them sleep in the stroller when we get there until they wake up while the other kids and myself go play on the play structure always within hearing distance and always have my eye on them but i'm not directly standing beside them at all times. Is this wrong? Parents are starting to make me feel like i'm not doing as they like and its making me feel discouraged that i should just stay home and sit in the playroom at all times, all day long with them. I have never felt like it was wrong or bad, or that i was putting a child in harm or danger but parents seem to not like or disprove of this, as their child's feelings might get hurt by another child, they could wake up and cry for 30 seconds before i get to them in the stroller, or that at times, I don't always reprimand the child that took that toy away from their child and just watch to see how they as a 2 or 3 year olds handle the situation themselves and correct them afterwards with a "thats't wasn't very nice to take that away from suzy like that, you made her feel sad"

    Over the years I find parents are more and more very uneasy about the other children in care, and this "going out in public". There is tons of questions regarding supervision, where we go and how i manage outings right from the first email I receive from potential clients. It makes me feel like my style of caregiving and this career choice in general is not the right fit for me anymore as parents of today aren't as they were 20 years ago. I don't want to be that provider that stays at my home all day for the parents piece of mind that they are not out and about. Is this a general trend in parenting that you have seen as well? I could see these types of questions and fear towards a daycare centre that takes care of 25+ children but i suppose as my experiences in the past years of daycare that i assumed that in a home daycare setting I wouldn't have these types of parents.

    I fear for the children of the future and their inability to problem solve on their own and discover the world and things around them that interest them. Maybe this is more of a rant about parenting styles of today than a direct question to any of you but thanks for listening

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  3. #2
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    I agree! I've been doing Childcare over the past 12 years and in the past 4-5 years I've noticed a MAJOR change in parenting styles. Of course, these types were likely always there but it is now becoming the norm to be a "helicopter parent". While it may work for some, it's not my style and I tell parents this during interviews. Their child will be given opportunities and encouraged to free play. I'm always within a hearing distance but not always a visual one. Like you, during outings, my supervision is focused and on the children as I don't want mishaps!! But in the safety of my home and backyard,they are allowed to play without me always hovering around! (These are the times you hear the best conversations between them too lol)

    I also don't always plan my outings and quite often decide the day of what we're going to do depending on the children's behaviour and interest in a certain outing. My parents are all on board with this but there are a few outings that I'd like to do but I have one parent that I know would be unsure of it. (Too far and hwy driving) I understand her concerns so we don't go on those outings. She likely would give permission but I know she wouldn't be comfortable with it so I don't even bother. I don't want to put her in that situation where she feels she has to say yes just because others are okay with it. She's admitted that she hovers over him, it's quite funny to watch her as her son plays on the play structure actually! And it's the 8 in 1 little tykes so it's not even high...sigh, haha

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  5. #3
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    To funny u posted this!! As I literary was just going to post the exact same thing. Hahaha.

    I totally agree with you and it's frustrating and upsetting especially with the outings. My mom also did daycare and still does over 30yrs later. I have five siblings so I'm used to having lots of kids around me and I actually prefer that. I dread the days the kids call in sick and I only have two or three. Obviously it's a nice break and an easier load but mostly I want the full five kid days every day. I love going out with all of them and can handle it all very well. I get endless comments like look how great they are acting, look how well they are holding hands, etc but mostly when we just go out to playgroup or the park. I get sooooo many comments at other places....how can u do it with five, I can't even handle my one, or two. Wow your brave coming here with five. I'm just like well I'm sure I can't do your job well but I'm used to having many kids around me and it's natural for me, I don't find it hard at all. I'm always self -Conscience about ppls looks and comments, thinking r they going to report me being out here with my five kids?

    There's a new gymnastic centre that opened across the street for me and they offer FREE drop ins three times a wk for two hrs in the morning. A few wks in a row I only had two kids so we went every wk. we loved it! Soooo fun. Then I had four kids and I didn't go I was nervous about what ppl would say but one wk I went anyways. It went really well, I just stood at one spot where I could see the whole rm and constantly head counted. But I got some many comments, wow I can't believe u have four, wow ur brave, wow how do U do it, are all these kids with U? Sigh. I was upset. I feel like if the kids are all happy, all clean, all safe then whats the big deal. Just because u can't handle ur one kid doesn't mean I can't handle my four. I now have five kids everyday and we don't go anymore because I just dread the looks and comments. Or if something did happen, they say see u shouldnt be out here with his many.

    It's really sad these days. The kids are so hovered over and it's just going to do them more bad then good in the long run. I have a mom at every time she drops off she constantly praises her daughter. Good job for taking your boots off I'm so proud of you. Wow good girl for taking your hat and mitts off, ur mommas good girl. I'm like really??? I don't get it. Lol what do they think it's doing for them? When they go out in the real world and in school and especially work they think they'll get the same postive praise? Good job filing, wow great good cleaning up ur desk, I'm so proud of you! Lol I think not!

    Lucky none of my parents have questioned about me going out with five. I have always just been asked how we get around cuz they wondered if their little one would be walking a lot. I don't drive. So it's stroller, wagon, etc. But im very open in my interviews and I feel that the hovering parents if they don't like it they chose another daycare that stays home all day and that's fine with me cuz that's soooo not my style.

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  7. #4
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    I think all you can do is explain in detail before they sign a contract and then when they bring things up reassure them quickly on how you do things and leave it be. They need to either accept it or find a hover daycare.

    The world is wonky these days and kids are really kept on a tight leash. And i laugh as i write this as while they are on that tight leash (of being hovered over and suffocated) the exact same kids are running the show, ruling the house and running wild in parking lots because parents can't say no. Gahhhhhh

    Maybe just tell them that kids act differently with a caregiver versus parents and kids act differently in a group setting versus alone with parents. you can't help but expect them to be worried you have 5 kids out with you when they can't handle one child.

  8. #5
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    I think I am pretty chill with my own kids but maybe a bit more vigilant with the daycare kids as I don't want something to happen. That being said, I don't hover.

    I agree that parents are very different nowadays. I let my own kids play by themselves upstairs (daycare is in the basement) or be alone upstairs on the couch/their room when they're sick and I've had parents questions this.

    As a parent, I wouldn't be comfortable with my provider driving my kid in their car. I don't think this makes me unreasonable, it is just a risk I don't want and I would pick a different daycare. I don't think this makes me a helicopter parent, I just would have concerns as I don't know what kind of driver they are etc.

  9. #6
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    It was very reassuring to read this, thank you very much!

  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by torontokids View Post
    I think I am pretty chill with my own kids but maybe a bit more vigilant with the daycare kids as I don't want something to happen. That being said, I don't hover.

    I agree that parents are very different nowadays. I let my own kids play by themselves upstairs (daycare is in the basement) or be alone upstairs on the couch/their room when they're sick and I've had parents questions this.

    As a parent, I wouldn't be comfortable with my provider driving my kid in their car. I don't think this makes me unreasonable, it is just a risk I don't want and I would pick a different daycare. I don't think this makes me a helicopter parent, I just would have concerns as I don't know what kind of driver they are etc.
    I agree. I would not want my children driving with a daycare. I am car seat safety anal and I know that most people are not and having up to 5 kids to strap in leaves a lot of room for error. This isn't about hovering. I understand that no matter how safe of a driver we are there are idiots out there speeding about in broad daylight drunk and our only means of minimizing the damage they can cause is to properly secure or children each and every time they get in a car.

    I am very lax about supervision in my home. My 2.5yr old disappears for upwards of an hour at a time and I rarely check in on her. She comes to me for help and i have video monitors in the playrooms if I hear something and need a quick glance to know what it was. But I am anal when out, hands are held in parking lots and on streets, I expect good behavior, listening to instruction and cooperation.

    There is a big difference between hovering and expecting children to learn and abide by rules of safety.

    My sense with the OP was she is taking all the safety precautions one should but parents are just concerned with having kids outside of a locked house.

  11. #8
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    I don't think it's necessarily a case of parents not trusting their daycare providers to look after their children when they are out. I find that a lot of parents like daycares that go out on outings, and that's why parents come to you to begin with. But I do wonder if it's more likely that they are concerned about not knowing where their children are at any given time. It's just like when schools give notice that they are taking the kids on a school trip. Most parents don't question it at all. However, if the school let the parents know after the fact that they went somewhere that day, there would probably be a lot more concern and questions from parents about where the kids went, with who, how they got there, etc. There's just a sense of comfort when you know where your kids are. I think because I have two little kids under 5 years old myself, I get it. I certainly don't consider myself a helicopter parent. I'm not watching over them every single minute of day and I want them out doing things. But I do like to know where they are and have the opportunity to say "no" if it's something I'm not comfortable with for any reason. And as a daycare provider, I want to keep this in mind with other parents as well.

  12. #9
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    I completely understand parents concerns with hwy driving and that is why I haven't done any outings outside of the city.

    However, I'm a realist and recognize that there is danger in any situation, not just driving. We've had more close calls walking across the street than in the car. Just yesterday a dcm almost got hit crossing the intersection to come to my house! Thank goodness she was on her way to pick up and didn't have her daughter with her yet!

    I've had lots of parents tell me they chose me or want to be on my waiting list because of the outings we do. I'm glad that it is a selling point for me because I love getting out of the house. For those that don't want their child going in the vehicle, I'm not the dc for them and that's ok to my knowledge though, it's never been a negative thing which is a good thing because other than parks and one summer restaurant, we aren't within walking distance to anything and I prefer taking my own vehicle with car seats vs the bus. I can only fit 3 in my car though and have considered the bus however for when all 4 are here. The safety of it concerns me though lol. If you use the bus, do you like it??
    Last edited by 5 Little Monkeys; 12-10-2015 at 07:16 PM.

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MommaL View Post
    I don't think it's necessarily a case of parents not trusting their daycare providers to look after their children when they are out. I find that a lot of parents like daycares that go out on outings, and that's why parents come to you to begin with. But I do wonder if it's more likely that they are concerned about not knowing where their children are at any given time. It's just like when schools give notice that they are taking the kids on a school trip. Most parents don't question it at all. However, if the school let the parents know after the fact that they went somewhere that day, there would probably be a lot more concern and questions from parents about where the kids went, with who, how they got there, etc. There's just a sense of comfort when you know where your kids are. I think because I have two little kids under 5 years old myself, I get it. I certainly don't consider myself a helicopter parent. I'm not watching over them every single minute of day and I want them out doing things. But I do like to know where they are and have the opportunity to say "no" if it's something I'm not comfortable with for any reason. And as a daycare provider, I want to keep this in mind with other parents as well.
    I understand this. But I also think that the parent should have trust in the caregiver and know that the caregiver isn't going to go anywhere where she would put the kids at risk or leave them with anyone she wouldn't trust. I'm a parent as well and have worked as a nanny longer then home daycare. And I have always told the parents that I am child led....I don't always have my days planned out. Or if the weather changes from rain to sun we change activities from indoor playgroup to a park or something. So I don't always know what I am doing first thing in the morning for the day to tell the parents. I just expect the parents to trust me, as they picked me to use my care. And know that even u don't know where we are trust that I wouldn't bring your children to a bar over a park. All my parents trust me in this way. I give a general idea of what we may be doing but most of the time they find out when they pick up. And ask so what did u guys do today, anything fun? They also always know I have my cell on me at all times. So they always have access to their child at any time regardless where we are. And if they want to know where we are they can text and I reply immediately

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