T Nation

Long-Term Daycare Problems

Is this really a surprise to anyone?

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,261141,00.html

What do you expect will happen when you dump your kids into a part-time orphanage every day?

Daycare is a scary thing to get into when you’re a new parent. I heard all kinds of horror stories about them when we were researching who we wanted watching our daughter.

We were both in the Navy, and they only allowed my wife to stay home for a short time.

We interviewed a few people who were on a list given by the military, and even though they have random, unannounced inspections, there was still stupid shit going on.

On lady wasn’t shy about admitting she was taking care of more children than the state allowed (I think it was 3 infants per adult, or 5 toddlers per adult).

Just when we think we picked a good one, my wife gets out of work early and picks up our daughter…only to see the lady’s 10 year old in the kitchen doing his homework…NAKED!!

We had to rush to find someone else, and informed the other families who were trusting her to watch their children, but they didn’t seem to think it was a bid deal.

Our next child is getting a hidden recording device attached to him/her.

[quote]SWR-1240 wrote:
Daycare is a scary thing to get into when you’re a new parent. I heard all kinds of horror stories about them when we were researching who we wanted watching our daughter.

We were both in the Navy, and they only allowed my wife to stay home for a short time.

We interviewed a few people who were on a list given by the military, and even though they have random, unannounced inspections, there was still stupid shit going on.

On lady wasn’t shy about admitting she was taking care of more children than the state allowed (I think it was 3 infants per adult, or 5 toddlers per adult).

Just when we think we picked a good one, my wife gets out of work early and picks up our daughter…only to see the lady’s 10 year old in the kitchen doing his homework…NAKED!!

We had to rush to find someone else, and informed the other families who were trusting her to watch their children, but they didn’t seem to think it was a bid deal.

Our next child is getting a hidden recording device attached to him/her.[/quote]

Scarry stuff.

The best thing parents could ever do for a child is for one to remain home until the kid is in kindergarten. Personally, I hate to see kids put in day care just so that BOTH parents can work. I understand that single parents have different constraints, but parents owe it to their children to do WHATEVER it takes to be there for their children.

Forego the new car or big house or ski trip in the mountains or cable TV. Children should be raised by parents, not employees.

I firmly believe that if this nation quit pushing the “working Mom” ideal and pushed the “stay at home Mom”, there would be less problems with kids (and eventually adults).

[quote]PGJ wrote:

Scary stuff.

The best thing parents could ever do for a child is for one to remain home until the kid is in kindergarten.[/quote]

Unless the parents are abusive, in which case, a public caregiver or educator can be instrumental in identifying the issues and other state employees can be equally valuable in repairing any damage done. Additionally, state established education (employee caregivers) is how they standardized the study. You saying everyone should forgo ‘public parenting’ until their children get to kindergarten is like using a tape measure to find your biceps measurement, but only if your bicep is bigger than 17" in dia.

[quote]Personally, I hate to see kids put in day care just so that BOTH parents can work. I understand that single parents have different constraints, but parents owe it to their children to do WHATEVER it takes to be there for their children.

Forego the new car or big house or ski trip in the mountains or cable TV. Children should be raised by parents, not employees.[/quote]

Do you have even one kid? Are you married? Do you have a job? Because I think you’re talking about some mythical or minuscule subpopulation of working parents here.

First, given the trivial possibility of the amount of money you suggest (one vacation a year), we’re presumably talking about <$15K/yr. jobs. These parents can’t afford not to work and probably aren’t going on ski trips or living in big houses.

Now, many of those more towards the middle class (annual vacations, new cars) who move into bigger houses do so so that their son and daughter can have separate rooms and that mommy and daddy can have their own bathroom. They also work to pay for their kids’ college educations and to retire comfortably (so as not to burden their children or grandchildren).

As for the class that spends exorbitantly on vacations, big houses, and new cars…if they’re sending their kids to daycare, they’re probably not sending their kids to ‘low quality daycare’.

This is ridiculous.

First, you’ve taken data that says “You get what you pay for.” and have turned it into “Everybody needs to be good parents because good parenting is better than bad daycare!”

Second, your ‘people should be good parents’ message is about as effective as an ‘everyone should be rich’ message and doesn’t even really follow from the evidence presented. The parents’ (lack of) desire for offspring is the number one indicator for social pathology for children. And forcing kids to be around parents who either don’t want or marginally want them around in the first place doesn’t improve the situation.

If you want to be a great parent, good. If you want others to be great parents, lead by example, misplaced admonishment and condescension aren’t doing anyone any good.

[quote]lucasa wrote:
PGJ wrote:

Scary stuff.

The best thing parents could ever do for a child is for one to remain home until the kid is in kindergarten.

Unless the parents are abusive, in which case, a public caregiver or educator can be instrumental in identifying the issues and other state employees can be equally valuable in repairing any damage done. Additionally, state established education (employee caregivers) is how they standardized the study. You saying everyone should forgo ‘public parenting’ until their children get to kindergarten is like using a tape measure to find your biceps measurement, but only if your bicep is bigger than 17" in dia.

Personally, I hate to see kids put in day care just so that BOTH parents can work. I understand that single parents have different constraints, but parents owe it to their children to do WHATEVER it takes to be there for their children.

Forego the new car or big house or ski trip in the mountains or cable TV. Children should be raised by parents, not employees.

Do you have even one kid? Are you married? Do you have a job? Because I think you’re talking about some mythical or minuscule subpopulation of working parents here.

First, given the trivial possibility of the amount of money you suggest (one vacation a year), we’re presumably talking about <$15K/yr. jobs. These parents can’t afford not to work and probably aren’t going on ski trips or living in big houses.

Now, many of those more towards the middle class (annual vacations, new cars) who move into bigger houses do so so that their son and daughter can have separate rooms and that mommy and daddy can have their own bathroom. They also work to pay for their kids’ college educations and to retire comfortably (so as not to burden their children or grandchildren).

As for the class that spends exorbitantly on vacations, big houses, and new cars…if they’re sending their kids to daycare, they’re probably not sending their kids to ‘low quality daycare’.

I firmly believe that if this nation quit pushing the “working Mom” ideal and pushed the “stay at home Mom”, there would be less problems with kids (and eventually adults).

This is ridiculous.

First, you’ve taken data that says “You get what you pay for.” and have turned it into “Everybody needs to be good parents because good parenting is better than bad daycare!”

Second, your ‘people should be good parents’ message is about as effective as an ‘everyone should be rich’ message and doesn’t even really follow from the evidence presented. The parents’ (lack of) desire for offspring is the number one indicator for social pathology for children. And forcing kids to be around parents who either don’t want or marginally want them around in the first place doesn’t improve the situation.

If you want to be a great parent, good. If you want others to be great parents, lead by example, misplaced admonishment and condescension aren’t doing anyone any good.

[/quote]

Yes, married with a 6 and 9 y/o. My wife has a college degree, but we decided she would stay home until the kids were both in school. Sacrificed a lot of potential income in order to raise our children. It was worth it.

So, kids are better off in daycare than with parents because some parents abuse their children? Quit nitpicking. As a general rule, kids ARE better off with their parents. You dug really deep to provide examples of how my theory won’t work.

American society pushes the “working woman” as the norm to the point where it’s almost an insult to be called a “stay at home Mom”. We have to get over that. I REALLY don’t understand how anyone can argue against the case for parents raising their own children.

[quote]PGJ wrote:

Yes, married with a 6 and 9 y/o. My wife has a college degree, but we decided she would stay home until the kids were both in school. Sacrificed a lot of potential income in order to raise our children. It was worth it.[/quote]

This is what bugs me about parenting, lots of vague suggestions and arbitrary rules. Literally predominated by old wives’ tales. At six and nine, you can’t possibly say the costs have been worth the benefit, except in complete intangibles.

I needn’t dig deep.

Erik and Lyle Menendez were raised by their mother. Theodore Kaczynski was as well. Tim McVeigh’s mother wasn’t employed…

There are legions of examples on both sides. Overwhelmingly successful kids from daycare and horribly rotten kids raised by their parents. Normal kids who escaped abusive homes to daycare and brilliant kids mentally crippled because of their parents inabilities or tolerance (Do your kids believe in evolution?).

Communal child-rearing is not a new concept and is not inherently inferior. As a key point, daycare workers are restricted as to the ratio of children to caregivers, while apathetic parents can reproduce relatively uninhibited. As the article indicates, inferior childcare produces inferior children, no more, no less.

I don’t see how anyone can argue one way or the other, especially based on this limited data set and the vast array of factors involved in child raising and the subjective ideas of successful parenting.

For example, if you and your wife have two kids who grow up and contribute enough to society as to support four people each. And I and mine have six kids who go to daycare and grow to contribute enough for three people each (given our two incomes our kids are more likely to got to college and earn more money but I’ll even throw this your way). Who comes out ahead? How about if we add in an apathetic single-mother of six for your or my children to take care of?

I wouldn’t presume to insult housewives for what they do, nor would I presume to insult daycare workers. You, on the other hand, have clearly identified whom you believe to be inherently inferior.

What ever happened to kids paying their own way through college or university? Its what I did, what my sister did. The only help my parents gave was that if we were going to school in the same city as they were living, we could live with them for free. I worked my whole way through university, saying that both parents need to work so the kid con go to uni is bullshit. There are too many other ways for it to be payed for.

[quote]lucasa wrote:
PGJ wrote:

Yes, married with a 6 and 9 y/o. My wife has a college degree, but we decided she would stay home until the kids were both in school. Sacrificed a lot of potential income in order to raise our children. It was worth it.

This is what bugs me about parenting, lots of vague suggestions and arbitrary rules. Literally predominated by old wives’ tales. At six and nine, you can’t possibly say the costs have been worth the benefit, except in complete intangibles.

So, kids are better off in daycare than with parents because some parents abuse their children? Quit nitpicking. As a general rule, kids ARE better off with their parents. You dug really deep to provide examples of how my theory won’t work.

I needn’t dig deep.

Erik and Lyle Menendez were raised by their mother. Theodore Kaczynski was as well. Tim McVeigh’s mother wasn’t employed…

There are legions of examples on both sides. Overwhelmingly successful kids from daycare and horribly rotten kids raised by their parents. Normal kids who escaped abusive homes to daycare and brilliant kids mentally crippled because of their parents inabilities or tolerance (Do your kids believe in evolution?).

Communal child-rearing is not a new concept and is not inherently inferior. As a key point, daycare workers are restricted as to the ratio of children to caregivers, while apathetic parents can reproduce relatively uninhibited. As the article indicates, inferior childcare produces inferior children, no more, no less.

American society pushes the “working woman” as the norm to the point where it’s almost an insult to be called a “stay at home Mom”. We have to get over that. I REALLY don’t understand how anyone can argue against the case for parents raising their own children.

I don’t see how anyone can argue one way or the other, especially based on this limited data set and the vast array of factors involved in child raising and the subjective ideas of successful parenting.

For example, if you and your wife have two kids who grow up and contribute enough to society as to support four people each. And I and mine have six kids who go to daycare and grow to contribute enough for three people each (given our two incomes our kids are more likely to got to college and earn more money but I’ll even throw this your way). Who comes out ahead? How about if we add in an apathetic single-mother of six for your or my children to take care of?

I wouldn’t presume to insult housewives for what they do, nor would I presume to insult daycare workers. You, on the other hand, have clearly identified whom you believe to be inherently inferior.[/quote]

You are impossible. You could argue that the sky is not blue. Here’s my point:

  1. kids are better off being raised by their own parents. There are extreme cases of parental abuse, but not enough to promote the benefits of day care.

  2. MANY mothers work so that the family can afford a better house, or new car, or some other possession. Two of our neighbors are two-income families. One just moved from a $600,000 house to a $1,000,000 house. He’s a anesthesiologist, she is a therapist. Neither are ever home. They have 3 kids (13, 9, 7) and all come home to an empty house. When they were younger they went to daycare. The second family has two very young children. Both parents work. They have no life insurance, but they have 2 Xboxes, 1 360, PSP, iPod out the ass, 2 plasma TV’s and every other sort of electronic gizmo out there.

  3. Women have been pressured to join the workforce. I have no problem with this, but it is at the point where “stay at home Mom” has become an insult.

Don’t throw that Menendez Brothers crap at me as an example of why daycare is great.

In general terms, would you prefer your kids be raised by you and your wife or in a daycare?

[quote]PGJ wrote:

You are impossible. You could argue that the sky is not blue. Here’s my point:[/quote]

I understand your point and your painting with a very broad brush.

No, they are only better off being raised by their parents if their parents care in the first place and are morally upright people to begin with.

I agree, I live by a women who stays at home and sends her kid to daycare. Parents not caring is parents not caring. It doesn’t mean caring parents can’t find a good, involved daycare provider and still work and raise good kids.

I don’t know what you’ve been reading or paying attention to but, as I said, I’ve not downplayed stay-at-home parents and my understanding is that relative salary would be enormous compared to the average professional.

Fine. If it’s to stark and sensationalist an example, how about evolution? Are you going to teach your kids that or is the state? If you were Mormon, would you be teaching your daughter subservience to men?

This is my point, it’s not generally that simple. In my case the question is more like:

‘Would I prefer my wife to stay home and raise my kid(s), which would prevent us from paying for his/her/their college tuition?’ or ‘Would I prefer my wife to stay home and raise my kid(s), which would mean that we have a two bed/one bath house in a ‘less than favorable’ neighborhood?’

For someone else the specifics are going to be entirely different.

[quote]lucasa wrote:
PGJ wrote:

You are impossible. You could argue that the sky is not blue. Here’s my point:

I understand your point and your painting with a very broad brush.

  1. kids are better off being raised by their own parents. There are extreme cases of parental abuse, but not enough to promote the benefits of day care.

No, they are only better off being raised by their parents if their parents care in the first place and are morally upright people to begin with.

  1. MANY mothers work so that the family can afford a better house, or new car, or some other possession. Two of our neighbors are two-income families. One just moved from a $600,000 house to a $1,000,000 house.

He’s a anesthesiologist, she is a therapist. Neither are ever home. They have 3 kids (13, 9, 7) and all come home to an empty house. When they were younger they went to daycare. The second family has two very young children. Both parents work. They have no life insurance, but they have 2 Xboxes, 1 360, PSP, iPod out the ass, 2 plasma TV’s and every other sort of electronic gizmo out there.

I agree, I live by a women who stays at home and sends her kid to daycare. Parents not caring is parents not caring. It doesn’t mean caring parents can’t find a good, involved daycare provider and still work and raise good kids.

  1. Women have been pressured to join the workforce. I have no problem with this, but it is at the point where “stay at home Mom” has become an insult.

I don’t know what you’ve been reading or paying attention to but, as I said, I’ve not downplayed stay-at-home parents and my understanding is that relative salary would be enormous compared to the average professional.

Don’t throw that Menendez Brothers crap at me as an example of why daycare is great.

Fine. If it’s to stark and sensationalist an example, how about evolution? Are you going to teach your kids that or is the state? If you were Mormon, would you be teaching your daughter subservience to men?

In general terms, would you prefer your kids be raised by you and your wife or in a daycare?

This is my point, it’s not generally that simple. In my case the question is more like:

‘Would I prefer my wife to stay home and raise my kid(s), which would prevent us from paying for his/her/their college tuition?’ or ‘Would I prefer my wife to stay home and raise my kid(s), which would mean that we have a two bed/one bath house in a ‘less than favorable’ neighborhood?’

For someone else the specifics are going to be entirely different.
[/quote]

This is like trying to argue with Alan Colmes.

I say something like “kids should be raised by their own parents”

You say “yeah, but what about so and so who abused their children?”

I ask a simple yes/no question.

You answer with a definitive “depends”.

[quote]PGJ wrote:

You answer with a definitive “depends”.[/quote]

My apologies, as a conservative, I have trouble deciding how other I should raise other people’s kids.

We just refinanced to take my two youngest out of daycare. Not only does health and mental well-being factor in, but the expense was cutting so much into what my wife was making it was stupid in that regard as well.

[quote]lucasa wrote:
PGJ wrote:
I ask a simple yes/no question.

You answer with a definitive “depends”.
[/quote]

The answer is “it depends.” It’s NOT a simple question and it depends on the situation.

I will say that I definitely think that pre-kindergarten daycare, not necessarily full-time, is very good for children for social development. The social settings of a daycare prepare a child for the school ages and other social interactions for years to come.

Yes, this social preparation can come from other places, but few mimic school the way a daycare does.

And, yes, most kids will eventually adapt, but some take years to adjust and be comfortable in large social settings.

I’m not suggesting what anyone does with their kids, though. Feel free to keep your kids at home; my kids are spending at least a few days a week in daycare.

[quote]malonetd wrote:
lucasa wrote:
PGJ wrote:
I ask a simple yes/no question.

You answer with a definitive “depends”.

The answer is “it depends.” It’s NOT a simple question and it depends on the situation.

I will say that I definitely think that pre-kindergarten daycare, not necessarily full-time, is very good for children for social development. The social settings of a daycare prepare a child for the school ages and other social interactions for years to come.

Yes, this social preparation can come from other places, but few mimic school the way a daycare does.

And, yes, most kids will eventually adapt, but some take years to adjust and be comfortable in large social settings.

I’m not suggesting what anyone does with their kids, though. Feel free to keep your kids at home; my kids are spending at least a few days a week in daycare.[/quote]

My specific yes/no question to him was would he put his kids in daycare. He gave a long-winded “maybe” answer.

Of course I understand that everyones situation is different, but if you put your kids in daycare so the wife can go to work simply because you want more/better stuff (and I’m willing to bet a majority of working moms are in this category) you are missing the point of parenting and rasing children. Many parents are so career-driven that the idea of quiting their job to raise their children is unthinkable. “Just put the kid in daycare” is the easy answer.

A much better review of the study than what has been reported in most major media outlets:

[quote]Tony Schwartz wrote:
A much better review of the study than what has been reported in most major media outlets:

SOme good points.

Long term daycare - bad

Short term daycare - no big difference

This article was hardly written from an objective point of view. The author admits to sticking her kid in long-term daycare at a very early age.

[quote]PGJ wrote:
Of course I understand that everyones situation is different, but if you put your kids in daycare so the wife can go to work simply because you want more/better stuff (and I’m willing to bet a majority of working moms are in this category) you are missing the point of parenting and rasing children. Many parents are so career-driven that the idea of quiting their job to raise their children is unthinkable. “Just put the kid in daycare” is the easy answer.

[/quote]

We probably hang around a different demographic, but most working mothers I know, do it because they need the income to survive.

As far as parenting, I think good parents will be good parents regardless if their kid is in daycare or not. Good parents will make and spend time in the evening, weekends, or whenever.

On the other hand, bad parents will be bad parents whether they are home 24 hours a day or 4 hours a day.

I’m sure there are potential dangers and consequences of long-term day care, but I believe strong attentive parenting will offset them, unless of course, the daycare is harmful or dangerous in some way. I think we will both agree that parenting is the key.

Like I said before, I believe the social interaction of a daycare is good for a child. I used to work with elementary school age kids and I could usually tell which kids were in daycare(or some other similar social settings) and which weren’t.

[quote]malonetd wrote:
PGJ wrote:
Of course I understand that everyones situation is different, but if you put your kids in daycare so the wife can go to work simply because you want more/better stuff (and I’m willing to bet a majority of working moms are in this category) you are missing the point of parenting and rasing children. Many parents are so career-driven that the idea of quiting their job to raise their children is unthinkable. “Just put the kid in daycare” is the easy answer.

We probably hang around a different demographic, but most working mothers I know, do it because they need the income to survive.

As far as parenting, I think good parents will be good parents regardless if their kid is in daycare or not. Good parents will make and spend time in the evening, weekends, or whenever.

On the other hand, bad parents will be bad parents whether they are home 24 hours a day or 4 hours a day.

I’m sure there are potential dangers and consequences of long-term day care, but I believe strong attentive parenting will offset them, unless of course, the daycare is harmful or dangerous in some way. I think we will both agree that parenting is the key.

Like I said before, I believe the social interaction of a daycare is good for a child. I used to work with elementary school age kids and I could usually tell which kids were in daycare(or some other similar social settings) and which weren’t.[/quote]

Agreed. Sometimes it can’t be avoided. I see a lot of two-income families living in beautiful 3,000-4,000 sf houses and have kids in daycare all day. It really pains me to see mothers put newborns there.

I truly don’t understand the mindset of “I prefer my career over my children”. Most of the families I see use daycare simply to make more money, not out of necessity. On your deathbed you will never say “I wish I worked more”.

“bad parents will be bad parents whether they are home 24 hours a day or 4 hours a day.”

Very good point, and a lot of parents equate money and posessions with good parenting. “We need more money to have better things in order to be good parents”.

[quote]PGJ wrote:

Many parents are so career-driven that the idea of quiting their job to raise their children is unthinkable.[/quote]

As I said originally, I believe this population to be so small and the “damage” so insignificant that you’re missing the forest for the bark on the trees.

Hardly;

The study found that kids who went to high-quality day-care centers had an edge over all the other kids on vocabulary scores. This association didn’t decrease as the kids got older.

More intelligent kids who talk back to their teachers? Heaven forbid a kid learn new words or question authority in any way. I hope it’s not a case of the kids being bored and misbehaving because they’re being held back by the kids who were raised by their parents.

In any case, it’s too complex to limit to a simplistic ‘Daycare bad!’ philosophy (Did your mother raise you?).

[quote]lucasa wrote:
PGJ wrote:

Many parents are so career-driven that the idea of quiting their job to raise their children is unthinkable.

As I said originally, I believe this population to be so small and the “damage” so insignificant that you’re missing the forest for the bark on the trees.

Long term daycare - bad

Hardly;

The study found that kids who went to high-quality day-care centers had an edge over all the other kids on vocabulary scores. This association didn’t decrease as the kids got older.

More intelligent kids who talk back to their teachers? Heaven forbid a kid learn new words or question authority in any way. I hope it’s not a case of the kids being bored and misbehaving because they’re being held back by the kids who were raised by their parents.

In any case, it’s too complex to limit to a simplistic ‘Daycare bad!’ philosophy (Did your mother raise you?).[/quote]

You like to argue. Go ahead and let your kids be raised by strangers. I think we can at least agree to disagree.