There are experiences of children that manifest their effects in daycare. Providers are confronted with different issues on children dealing with problems of divorce of their parents. Others are experiencing problems with a stepparent.
One typical example is my experience with one of the children in my daycare. His name is Ben whose parents used him and the daycare staff as cause of their fights. I was then teaching in St. Michael’s Early Fives and the children are using A Beka curriculum in phonics and math. It was approaching the end of school year and there were still unfinished worksheets so we decided to let the children take these home for them to work during summer.
That same day, Ben’s father went to daycare to get him and they also brought the worksheets home. That was the time that Ben’s mother regained custody over him in time for our annual “Graduation” ceremony for the Pre-K students. That morning Ben’s mother went to daycare looking for me or my colleague. She was profusely apologizing and said that her ex-husband told her that their son could not make it for the graduation ceremony. This is because Ben failed to finish the unfinished worksheets in the book. Ben’s mom forced him to finish by letting him stay late until 11pm at night before the affair but he did not finish. She said that she will keep Ben working the whole day in daycare to finish his task if that is really part of their requirement for graduation. To her surprise, we said that those worksheets are assigned to the children for them to have something to do during their free time on summer vacation.
This is a clear incident of miscommunication between parents where children oftentimes suffer. In this case, Ben suffered physically and emotionally. As a result, he was irritable and tired for the whole duration of the ceremony.
The lesson learned in this is that providers must know and understand the individual issues that each child experiences. Providers must avoid disciplining in a collective manner because the behaviour of each child is a manifestation of what had happened at home. But any inappropriate behaviour must also be addressed. In the case of Ben, any misbehaviour that particular day is understood because those are the effect of misunderstanding of his parents.
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