Before becoming a parent, and even before my wife was pregnant, one of my future worries was who was going to take care of my child while my wife and I both worked. Once my wife was pregnant, and I realized I wasn’t hitting the lottery or finding millions of dollars under my bed or in my closets (although my wrestling action figures may be worth millions someday, especially since they’ve all been out of their packaging since the late 80’s early 90’s), I faced the reality that there was a potential my son or daughter would have to go to….daycare….
I wrestled with a nanny or daycare for months and months, and I lost plenty of sleep over it. Probably too much especially cause once my son was born I lost even more sleep. When it came time for my wife to go back to work we wound up going with daycare over a nanny. I’ll probably do the comparisons in a different post, but I wanted to actually talk about the positive things about daycare in this post. There certainly are negatives, definitely, but I’m feeling positive today, so let’s get into it:
*I will put a disclaimer though and say that he only goes for a half day and my parents watch him the other half (shout out to them for helping me sleep better at night knowing he’s only there a half day instead of a full day).
Daycare Provides a Stable Schedule:
It’s extremely important for children (of any age) to have a schedule. Heck, I even have a schedule and do the same things mostly every day. During the week I even eat basically the same thing every day for breakfast and lunch..things get crazy for dinner…shout out to my morning Cheerios and lunchtime protein bar..it keeps me jacked and looking like a mix of Leonardo DiCaprio and Brock Lesnar (okay that’s a strange mix). Anyway enough about my eating habits. What was I talking about? Oh right schedules. Having a child on a set schedule every day like going to daycare helps them to know what to expect every day, and keeps them a little more disciplined. If you’re like, eh, I don’t think my son or daughter really needs a schedule, try letting them do whatever they want for a week and you’ll all be bouncing off the walls so much your house will look like a bouncy house.
Daycare Teaches Them How to Interact With Other Children
For all of you first time parents out there, your child right now is most likely interacting with their parents and other adults, maybe some other kids here and there depending on your families but for the most part, they don’t have the amount of exposure that they would if they were at daycare with other kids. It may sound a bit overwhelming worrying how your son or daughter is going to handle playing with others, and hey maybe they’re going to bite or smack a kid here and there and it happens. It’s much better for them to get the experience when they’re young because if they do those types of things when they get older the consequences get worse and worse. In fact, try biting or smacking a coworker now and see what happens. I’ll guarantee your boss isn’t going to call your mom or dad and tell them they need to work with you on your biting habits. Anyway, all joking aside, having your child learn how to play with other kids, share toys, and interact are important skills that you will see make a huge difference in their development.
Daycare Teaches Them Independence
When you’re at home especially if you’re the parent of an only child, you tend to give them 100% attention 100% of the time. You might glance down at your phone here and there to check on your Fantasy Football team, but for the most part you are always there with your child. At daycare, they have time where they may not be receiving the full attention from the teacher because there are other kids to tend to and they have to learn how to play quietly. As long as your daycare isn’t letting them run around in the street unattended or playing independently with animals (in that case you may want to check into your daycare) it’s good for your child to get some independent play time. At one point or another you’re going to need to have them play for a couple minutes on their own, whether it’s to flip a burger you’re making for dinner, or turn away a Jehovah’s Witness at the door (sorry Jehovah’s Witnesses you guys need to come up with a better advertising strategy. Sorry now I hope the takeaway from this post isn’t Joe vs. Jehovah’s Witnesses. I like you guys, it’s just the door to door thing has to stop). Anyway I completely lost track of what I was saying. Oh yeah, independent play time is important and your child will get these skills from daycare.
Now I will say, many of these things happen in the toddler classes at daycare, I will get in to what I think about infant through 12 month classes on a different post because it’s a little bit of a different story.
All in all though, if you are on the fence about your son or daughter going to a daycare, there are actually a lot of positives and this is coming from a guy who acted like he was sending his son off to Alcatraz the first day of daycare (and Alcatraz right now doesn’t sound that bad right now, at least they have a hella fine Merlot…definitely stole that from Train, I wish I thought of that myself). Anyway the morale of the story here is if you are on the fence with daycare, at least try it for a month and then if worse comes to worse you can re-evaluate….I’d be interested in the comments to let me know what you’re experiences are.