A friend wrote to me recently asking for advice on the big ‘daycare’ debate. That is – when someone you love (and who loves your children) strongly urges you to enrol the ‘stay-at-home’ child in kindy or daycare.
I enrolled my son in daycare numerous times to pull him out each time for the same reason: I felt he needed one-on-one care and nurturing, and I could see negative effects on his usually vibrant, happy personality after each daycare experience.
Every parent has the ability to telepathically communicate with their child and read their needs. I know I made the right decision for my son – and yet it’s not a suitable decision for many other families. For those mums and dads out there who, like me, intuitively know that their child loves being at home with you, this is my advice:
1. Change your beliefs and the words you use about your daycare problem. Say to yourself repeatedly and with a smile that you are confident in your choices and you trust your intuition and the messages you receive. Put a wish out to attract new friends and new attitudes (in existing friends and family members) towards you that SUPPORT the stay-at-home environment you are giving your child.
2. Being confident in your choice may mean you have to take small mental action steps to overcome any niggling fears you have – like worrying that you are stimulating or educating your child adequately, or giving them enough opportunity to socialise. (If others say these things to you, it is most likely your own fear being reflected back at you.) What are you afraid of? What is so bad about keeping your child out of daycare and in the home environment? And what’s so bad about that? And what’s so bad about that? Remember, you and your child are already ‘enough’, and you always will be. You are already perfect and living out the perfect life, as it is meant to be, for you, now. You are not supposed to fit a mould.
3. What can you do with your time instead? Treat your child as an individual and consider their own instinctual tendencies. You know better than anyone else how your child responds to various activities and socialisation situations… So choose activities that your child will appreciate. As it did with me, testing different activities may reveal your child changing in strange ways (as they deal with emotional securities). If they are insecure, pull them out of the awkward situation and enrol them in something that lets them grow creatively, intuitively and comfortably.
Our week is so busy with all our extra curricular activities and they are bringing out the best in my children – so even after being offered a place at the long daycare preschool we’ve been on the waiting listed for (for 2 years), I feel confident I’m doing the right thing by saying ‘No, thank you. Not yet.’
My son now attends holistic family daycare 2 days per week, in an environment that supports his emotional needs and encourages creative expression. I put my wish out loudly and clearly, waited patiently, and the contact numbers for these services literally landed in my lap.
Trust your instinct, think and speak positively, make it clear to yourself and the universe what you want (not what you don’t want) and wait. And start feeling confident that you know your child best. I’ve written before about the physical signs our children give us that they are not coping in an earlier blog – trust your intuition that these signs show your child needs extra care. You don’t need to explain these signs or your intuition or decisions to other people – just show them that you are happy, confident, and inspired by your decision (even including the few days where you are exhausted and need a hand. We all get tired sometimes, even parents using daycare need extra help to overcome tiredness sometimes.)
There are so many mums and dads who choose to keep their children out of daycare, you just need to start attracting them to you. It certainly helped me when I found friends who felt the same way that I did – but the most important thing was feeling that my son was happy. That counted most of all, and always will.
Day by day we aim to repair our bodies and have trust, faith and optimism for the future. You can join me as I walk to wellness in the private facebook group Joanna Haley Homestead (Journey to Wellness)
Joanna Haley, Author