Overbearing grandparents

Megan - posted on 01/08/2016 ( 4 moms have responded )

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First let me start by saying I love my parents and am incredibly lucky that they are so supportive and loving. I have a 16 month old daughter, both myself and my husband work full time so our parents spilt the week watching our daughter while we work. My parents have her three days a week. My mother feels like our daughter doesn't get enough social interaction with other children her age so she is pushing this day care / preschool type place where I would have to pay $120 a month for my daughter to go play with kids for 2 hours 2 days a week. My initial reaction is NO, she gets plenty of socialization between going to both grandparents house, there are 3 kids at my mother-in-laws home ages 6-8 (her cousins), and I take her to the park pretty much every Saturday. Plus isn't she a little young for a preschool like environment? It sounds like a waste of money right now.
Of course like every parent I am second guessing myself and see the positives of her going like learning social skills and getting a head start on preschool. I'm really torn.

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Jodi - posted on 01/08/2016

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From the sounds of it there is no real advantage to your 16 month old attending this day care. Children don't NEED social interaction with children their own age at this age. Social interaction in general with others is fine.

Research has demonstrated that under the age of about 3, as long as the child is receiving stimulation in their care environment, whether with a parent, grandparent, there is little difference with regard to their development. Children this age don't play "together" anyway - beside each other, yes, but not together.

Research also indicates that the ONLY children who actually end up benefiting from child care under age three are generally those coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. That is not to say the child care is BAD for your child, just that there may be little to no advantage, especially if you currently have free childcare and suddenly have to pay for it.

One more research finding - that children in daycare under the age of 2 tend to have more behavioural difficulties. But I am not sure whether this is ANY kind of care away from the parent or just larger daycare environments (where your child will not be getting the same level of attention because of the carer - child ratio).

Anyway, I wanted to just assure you that your child would not be missing out if you didn't go ahead with this, and in fact, is unlikely to gain any advantage. I would reconsider when she is a little older to get my bang for my buck.

Just as a personal anecdote (aside from the research - which you can find online), my daughter didn't have any daycare or playgroup until she was 3. I worked part time at home, she had older siblings who spent a little time with her, I had friends who had kids of similar ages or older. That little girl is now almost 11 and copes just fine socially (in the sea of pre-teen girls.......), she always has. Even at age 3, she was only in daycare 2 days a week until she entered pre-school at almost 4....and that was 3 days a week.

If you can afford it, great, but if you can't, she won't be at a disadvantage because of it. I'd consider saving the money toward something else.

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/08/2016

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Are you planning on home schooling??? She will be in this environment eventually....

He cousins are school age? Then they are already exposing her to all the germs and nasties you don't want her around. Going to the playground, or out shopping does it also.

Social interaction is priceless. You don't want to do it, well don't. It isn't necessary, but it is a great way for her to meet other kids her age, and do fun activities, and learn new things.

Megan - posted on 01/08/2016

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Exposing her to sick kids and strangers not friends or family taking care of her. Are my two main ones, I also just don't see why I should pay to have her play with kids, is it really necessary?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/08/2016

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WOWZA that is CHEAP! Go for it!! They are never to young for social interaction with children their own age. At this point, they usually play along side each other and not really with one another, but this is a great start for her. Why NOT do it?

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