Susan - posted on 05/16/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )
My son is 5 years old and has been going to the same in-home daycare since he was 1 (I also have a 2 1/2 year old that goes there as well.) There is an 8 year old boy that goes there as well and has been "picking" on my 5 year old. The other day, my 5 year old (Rob) had new shoes and was asking the 8 year old (Austin) if he liked them. Austin wouldn't answer him, so Rob kept asking. Austin finally, very meanly, said, "No. I don't like your shoes." This, of course, upset my son. The daycare provider told my son, "It doesn't matter." My son took it to mean that his feelings don't matter, and was almost in tears that night. We talked through it and he wanted to tell the daycare provider that his feelings were hurt. So we went the next day and he started to tell her, and she again said, "It doesn't matter" (in front of me this time). My son was almost in tears again, so I spent several minutes comforting him and holding him. After I was sure he has calmed down, I left and went to work. This is the e-mail that was waiting for me from our daycare provider:
"Hey...I know you're not one that likes to receive parenting advice but since our time is limited, I figured it wouldn't hurt. You really cannot coddle him through life like you do or he will never learn how to handle things on his own. I know you're going to tell me he's only five, but life lessons start very young and if you let kids live and learn a bit on their own, they are better set up for the many challenges life will throw at them.
This whole thing with Austin - who really cares? Would you care if someone told you they didn't like the type of shoes you wear? That is just a little thing that should not affect you at all, really. You know that, why are you making it such a big deal to Rob? He's in school now, kids will always be nasty - I promise you that. And you (as his mom) can't do anything about most of them - trust me. Our girls both came to us early on with some story of someone saying this or that to them. Do you know what we told them? 'Who cares? We love you, you are awesome - that's all that matters in life.' Now we don't hear these issues anymore...that doesn't mean they went away, it just means they (the girls) now know how to deal with them.
Austin is a boy and he's 8. If you remember, Cory did the same types of things. And guess what? Rob will to. He's already told Kota that he doesn't like something...remember that first day that happened? It happens - they ALL do it. If I hear that happen while they are in my home, I will (and have) tell them to be nice, don't say those things. I did NOT hear any conversation yesterday about Rob's shoes. Do you know what Rob does all day long? He asks everyone if they like his shoes or his shirt - over and over. Austin (being an 8 year old boy) got tired it and told him no. Oh well...who really cares, right? You shouldn't care and you shouldn't help Rob carry it on for so long. He's going to have a really tough life if you continue to make such issues out of such little things.
I know you are mad at me, I'm guessing it's because you don't think I handled that issue properly. How do you want me to handle it? Do you want me to tell Austin's mom that he told Rob he doesn't like his shoes? She will just look at me and laugh - seriously. In the big bad world, that is nothing - you will soon learn that. Your boys are still very young...just wait.
I'm not saying that I am some sort of expert on the issue of kids and parenting, but I will say that I've dealt with a lot of kids and parents and I feel that I do know a thing or two about raising kids - even boys, yes. Of all my parents, you are my first mom that over thinks EVERYTHING like you do. I am also an over thinking mom...but you are way over the top. You have to let your boys (especially Rob) live a little. It only hurts them in the end if you don't. I wish we could see the future...if something doesn't change for Rob - he's really going to have it tough. I worry about TONS of things with him. You are setting him up for that kind of life. I know that's hard to take, but that is what I (and many others) see.
Sorry about this email, but after all these years together, I feel that I needed to tell you these things. I know I won't be the last one to do so."
Is it just me or is this a totally inappropriate and unprofessional e-mail? PS - I have already given notice and we are changing daycares within a couple of days.