adventures in childcare ADVENTURES IN CHILDCARE adventures in childcare

Going back to go forward

For generations, the elders of a community, wise and adept at communicating important life-lessons, were the ideal teachers for the members of a clan or family. Combining knowledge and first-hand experience with myth and philosophy, they then devised profound ways to impart this invaluable information upon the youth. These methods of instructing and strengthening the minds of young people has worked extremely well. But these invaluable stories, lessons and anecdotes are quickly being lost and distorted amidst the fast-paced, self-important lifestyle that people on every continent now subscribe to.
I am not an elder. I have been actively involved in many children's lives and I am acutely aware of the need to bring new methods of teaching into our children's lives. Our children need to be given a maleable template of how to cultivate a positive relationship with themselves. That template requires the active involvement of inspired and unrelenting parents, foster-parents and grandparents. I am a person with faults and short-comings just like everyone else. I am also an inspired parent who wants to see the children we bring into this world be given the tools to make this world a better place to live for ALL the inhabitants of this jewel we call the Earth.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Losing The Faith

When parents put the children in the middle of ongoing quarrels the outcome is always a negative. We as adults have a hard enough time dealing with our own emotions and habits, imagine how a six year-old is going to process all the venom and spite that some parents repeatedly force their own kids to be a part of.
I've seen a very smart, happy five year-old reduced to wailing and sobbing tears with snot and spit drooling out of her for over twenty minutes - uncontrollably. Why? That morning, the weight became too much. The parents refuse to have anything to do with each other and instead rely on the children as go-betweens for all the messy interactions that must happen.
That morning, a mom proved that she's far more important than her daughter or her son.
Please don't use your kids as pawns in a game of "hurt your ex". In chess, the pawns are usually the first ones taken out of the game.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Daycare Doubts

So you're not happy with your daycare?
Who's to balme?
Well in my opinion, there's more apathy than integrity when it comes to parenting in this twenty-first century. We can blame the government, who's self-righteous financial transactions are inane and maddening. The very possibility that they even consider foresight in their calculations of where to mete our money means we rarely meet with it. But we can also blame ourselves. And it has nothing to do with being the ones who vote our "representatives" in. The people watching your kids have been taught. But have they been parented?

I've been employed in childcare for almost three years now. I have no degree. I haven't taken any special classes. I have almost single-handedly raised my hearing-impaired son for the past four years. And I do take my job very seriously. I also read... a lot. My resume might not quite stand up to the resume of someone fresh out of university. But I'm telling you now - it doesn't matter a whit. I am a person who knows the significance of my chosen profession: Child - care.
It's not baby-sitting. It's not child-minding. People are spending more time with your children than you are and they were raised by parents too. How your neighbourhood child-care worker interacts with your child is more dependant on how they were raised than by what they've been taught.
Do you care if the people caring for your kids don't seem to have much to say about your children's day? Then say something. I personally don't mind if you're the kind of parent to ask me how Jack did today. If I don't know then I'd better know tomorrow, right? But I will know. Because I care about his development. I care about him. I also know that I really want the same kind of insight from the person that takes care of my own son. It shouldn't be interrogation. I just want a simple acknowledgment of what my kid has been up to for the day. If she can't give me a personalised account then she doesn't know my son. So if Susan can't give you a personalised account of your own son's behaviour for the time she's with him, each day, for a whole week then she's probably not watching him at all.
I'm not trying to make my self look good in the examining eye of "education". I just feel the need to point out the fact that I see a deadening of ambitions when it comes to the enabling of children to become REAL adults.

It is as much OUR problem as it is our daycare's.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Further Reading

We all aspire to help our children learn to read. And in case you're not aware, the surest way to accelerate their abilities is to flex your own ability. Reading is one of the most powerful tools we have to strengthen our brain "muscle". And with the various and impending crises unfolding on the horizon of this dear (and life-giving) planet, we're all gonna have to flex our muscles pretty hard if we want to extract some viable and life-saving solutions.
As some books will state: If you want your child to read on his own; read on your own. Your child needs the ability to teach herself what her school barely alludes to. The ability should reside in the behaviour of you, her parent. So go find some books that reveal unanswered questions you've had in your own head.
The problems that we all face are ours, our children's, our children's children's, and even their children will be affected by our problems. However, the sooner we realise that there's already some scaffolding in place, the more timely and progressed will be the solutions. The scaffolding refers to individuals who are actively sharing their compounded knowledge through books, media, business, and activism itself. The idea is that all of their information will be further refined and expounded upon by us - the readers. It's been happening for millennia, so why stop now? :)

The point of all this: I'm creating a side-bar of some of my favorite books called Further Reading. The list is not in any certain order, but they are all either pertinent, scientific, hopeful, funny, helpful, inspiring, revealing, well-written, and even all of these things together. In verse and in trust, for the benefit of all humankind. Please check some of them out and, belive me, the first one you should buy is The Post-petroleum Survival Guide & Cookbook. It could end up being a textbook by the time your son or daughter is in secondary school ;)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


One major key to a secure bond with your child is doing what you say. Making a promise to your child doesn't have to involve the words "I promise". Telling Danny that you're going to a movie on Friday means that unless something very important to you, or important to Danny comes up, you WILL be going to that movie.
If you have to change plans then let Danny know ASAP and have a good reason. Apply it in a way that he'll understand. If you forget that you told little Dan about the movie and he's informed around the time you were supposed to be going to see the new Spiderman movie, you've just had strike one.
Or maybe it's strike seventeen. Which is really too bad for Danny. And it makes your relationship tenuous at best. By now he doesn't even get his hopes up too much. And when you do go out with him, he's rowdy and obstinate because he didn't expect to be going anywhere. His emotions are all mixed up and he feels like testing your nerves, since his were stepped on so often.
We take for granted that we get to make the laws. Think about how you would feel if your boundaries were arbitrarily limited. Everything you wanted to do was tempered with the sense that you would get into a lot of trouble if you pushed too far. All this, while you were witnessing "big" people doing whatever they wanted.
Give your children the greatest gift you can offer: Treat them like an intelligent and deserving individual. They are not stupid. They know when they're put in last place. They know when you're lying. They also learn to be a hypocrite from the very ones they look up to. In other words, tell Danny that you'll pick him up at 4pm and then back out one too many times and he'll make you pay for it. When you do finally get some Danny-time, he'll ask for a treat at every store you pass because he senses your guilt.
He will probably also misbehave more intensely because he's finally getting some attention and he does not want to lose it. He's lost his sense of importance too many times already. Why not whip the towel at the very individual who's thrown in the towel on him? All I'm saying is - ALWAYS try to keep your promises!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Ever tried to get a child to share something when they clearly do not want to? Nope, it's not easy: "I had it first!"; "I just want to do something with it"; "She didn't want it"; "But it has to stay on the castle"; "No!". There's lots of good kid-reasons for not sharing and it's one fight that's hard for you to win. If you force Jessica to give Kelly the Bratz doll, you risk being on the receiving end of Jessica's wrath. But if you can't find a way to get Kelly that doll (that she deserves), Kelly may begin to plot villainous consequences for Jessica. Kelly may also begin to see the power Jessica has over you and begin using the same tactics; double trouble.
To alleviate a disagreement between children, knowing each child's personality is paramount. You also need a reasonable understanding of the circumstances. Without a clear picture you're better off letting the kids sort it out themselves. If you do know the situation, there's a way to make both Jessica and Kelly happy - most of the time. It's called diversion.
You can distract Jessica with a different toy. You could distract Kelly with a different toy, or you distract them both with something completely different. You may even have to force them both to clean up and play somewhere else. Ideally, you give them a common enemy or goal. You can become a "monster" who wants to chase them. You could tell the girls that it's time to play a card game, or read a favorite book. Or maybe it's the perfect time to go for a long walk.
It is not, however, the perfect time to go shopping with them ;)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


This is the first thing you should know about your children: They ARE smarter than you. Mostly in ways that you may not recognize. If you often find yourself at the mercy of your child's will, they've got you. They've got you figured and they've also got the tools to sustain the control they have over you. A child doesn't spend a lot of time thinking about the various ways they can exert control, but they do attempt to get what they want by using different tactics. And whether they find a tantrum that works, a plea that's successful, or that guilt reaps great rewards, children will repeat the behaviour and augment it to fit a specific need. Don't doubt that your child's got you figured out - until you become wise in the same way. Figure your child out so that they get what they need, not what they want.
Most children don't even know why they want something. They are slaves to feelings and emotions, as we can be also. But adults have years full of triumphs and gritty mistakes to account for and lots of time to ponder and assess the results. Jimmy may want candy, a hug, a toy, to not brush his teeth, to watch one more movie, or your attention. But do you give Jimmy a toy because Sam has the same one? Or do you talk to Jimmy, explain the benefits of waiting, or choosing a different toy that might be a little more in line with what you'd prefer Jimmy to have. Know what Jimmy needs and you'll find a way to show Jimmy why he'd be happy with what he needs, not what he wants.