I have been debating all week whether or not to write about this. Some of the wonderful ladies that work at the daycare read my blog, and I didn’t want to upset anyone. But I have decided to post it. It really is no secret to them how I’m feeling. I need to discuss this. And most of all, I would like some feedback. So here goes…
Ever since Rylie was 1 and moved out of the infant room at daycare, she goes through phases during which she has separation anxiety when I drop her off in the morning. She will be fine for a few weeks, and then we’ll have a week or two where she cries when I leave. I never used to consider it a problem. Sure, I felt bad for her, but I knew she was OK and would stop crying shortly after I left. Her teacher, who is also the one that is with all of the kids for breakfast, has always been great about trying to redirect her attention. I’m very thankful for that, and I admire her for the patience and dedication she has with those kids.
Rylie’s latest phase of separation anxiety started a couple weeks ago. It was the usual situation where she would cry for a minute or two after I left and then she would be fine. Then last week it escalated to a level that I had never seen before. She was actually HYSTERICAL when I left. Her teacher would hold her and she would just be screaming and reaching out for me, basically begging me not to leave her. Now, I didn’t mind so much leaving her when she was just a little fussy, but I can’t tell you how hard it was for me to leave her like that. I cried all the way to work most days last week.
I found out last Tuesday that Rylie was basically being put in time-out as soon as I left. She told me on the way to school that Ms. _____ puts her in the “library”. This is an area in the corner of the room that has a bookshelf and a couple bean bag chairs. Using a “library” as time out is just wrong on so many levels, but I won’t even go into that here. Anyway, when I asked her why she was being put in this “library”, she said “because I cry.”
I have seen the fussy kids in the library before. I always just thought that they went over there to sit on their own, and didn’t really pay much attention to it. Now I know why they are in there.
I spoke to the Center Director on Wednesday afternoon after Rylie was hysterical again that morning. I told her that I don’t agree with punishing a child for having separation anxiety. I told her that I realize that Ms. _____ believes in “tough love”, but that is not what we practice in our house, and I didn’t want my daughter punished and isolated for being upset when I leave. Thursday morning Ms. _____ told me that the reason Rylie cries is because I hold her. I guess I’m just supposed to walk her in and turn right around and leave. Yeah, whatever. I nicely let her know that I didn’t agree with her. Well, she has not spoken to me since. Hell, she hasn’t even looked at me!
The Center Director followed us in Monday and Tuesday and took Rylie over to see the fish when I left. (That is their usual mode of distraction and it works wonders!) She has been on vacation since, so her teacher has done the same thing yesterday and today. Rylie hasn’t really cried all week. And I can tell she is trying so hard not to. She tells me in the car “I’m not going to cry today.” So apparently they are listening to my wishes for my child, but yesterday and today another child was put in the library for being upset when his mom left. It is just really hard for me to see that. I wanted to pick that little boy up and give him a big hug.
Does anyone think that what they’re doing to these kids with separation anxiety is a GOOD idea? Because the people at the daycare seem to think it is OK. I mean, they are taking a kid that is already upset because their parent just left them, and putting them in isolation to be even more alone. I think that comforting the child and redirecting their attention on to something else is a much better way to cope with this. Or am I just way out of line here? I have no problem with them putting Rylie in time-out if she is being mean or defiant, because that is what we do at home anyway, but I do NOT want my child punished for being upset.
So now I have a dilemma. Even though this week has been better for Rylie, how long will it last? How long will someone make sure that she is being comforted when I leave? And since Ms. _____ will not even look at me, there is no telling how Rylie is being treated. I doubt she is being deliberately mean to her, but if she is ignoring her like she is me, that isn’t good either.
I am going to visit a few other daycare centers tomorrow. I am seriously considering moving the kids out. I have had some other issues, and I’m sure every daycare has issues here and there, but this is kind of the last straw for me.
I am really struggling with this. Rylie has been there since she was 2 months old. She is loved by *most* of the staff there. She is pretty much the teacher’s pet of a lot of the teachers. She gets treated very well, other than this crap in the mornings. I have built relationships with the teachers there and I am happy to call them my friends. But I can’t have my child in a situation where she is afraid. I want her to enjoy going to school, and not dread it. And I don’t want to support a place that punishes a child for an emotion they really have no control over. BUT…will another place be better? What if the same thing happens? I just don’t know what to do.
I am torn, and so upset over this whole situation.
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