Monday, March 16, 2009
Drop-Off Mentality: My Plea For Parent Licenses
A good friend of mine sent pictures of his newborn today. I was really excited, as I always am about kids. I am definitely a kid person. I understand that not everyone is, and that's fine. Some of my closest friends are not kid people, and they know that. They live their lives without having children, or even interacting with them that much. This shows self-awareness, of which I am most definitely in favor. My problem is when people are not aware of what it means to have children, then have them anyway.
I'm slowly leaving my job because of these people. There has been an influx of parents not interested in the attachment parenting model that many of the parents were interested in when the organization started. This is one of the big mistakes that I made getting involved with the job. I should have looked for a coherent philosophy. It had previously run on trust, faith that we agreed on general principles of childcare and parenting philosophy. We didn't all necessarily follow a rule book. (I do time outs, for instance: I still consider myself an attachment parenting proponent.) I am not concerned with parents all having the same philosophy; but understanding the way the daycare works would be a plus. Instead I am forced to compromise my beliefs in order to appease parents, which I cannot do.
I am concerned that I work with kids that I think are poorly treated. Some of the parents I work with are amazing, and do everything they can to raise a healthy child. We may disagree, but it will be respectful, and I understand that they are doing what is right for them and their family. A few, however, are drop-off parents. They think they can outsource the raising of their children to providers like me, or family. I don't mean they work, and need daycare. I depend on the need for daycare in order to pay my bills, and I support it. I mean they use it as a substitute for being involved, and want the child out of their way so they can get the real work of being themselves done.
I don't pretend like I do everything right. I certainly don't imagine that I know how to be a parent and others don't. I learn a lot from my friends with kids, and I frequently go to them for guidance. But I will be present for my kids. They will be clean and well-fed, with nutritious foods. They know that either me or Jaime will be there when they have a problem or an issue that needs resolved. It's what I signed up for by having children.
I'm sensitive when it comes to kids. Seeing kids treated poorly, even a little poorly, stabs right into me. I would do absolutely anything for the kids in my care, and it is painful to see that not all of the parents would.