Kids in childcare have more temper tantrums and a worse dose of the “terrible twos” than other children, according to an Australian National University study.
News.com.au reports “A study of more than 5000 toddlers has found behavioural problems equivalent to an 11-month developmental delay in children aged two and three who are in childcare for more than 20 hours a week. Behavioural problems include frustration, moodiness, screaming and the inability to play consistently with one toy.
On the flipside, however, daycare children were also found to be more sociable and outgoing with strangers.
Nicole McInnes is a corporate marketer and mother of two and her son is currently in daycare. She writes:
Many people have told me that sending your child to long day care is good for them. GPs, paediatricians, other mothers and a plethora of forum contributors are quick to rattle off the benefits without a glimmer of doubt in their voice. I mean it’s a popular stance, especially if your mortgage is forcing you quickly back to work or like me, you’ve been a driven career-woman for most of your life.
My two-and-a-half year old has been at kindy, as we call it, for nearly two years and if you ignore the endless viruses that plague him in winter, he has thrived in this, his own little community. He has gorgeous carers that love him and get excited as he hits each milestone. He has new friends that he’s made all on his own without the encouragement of a doting parent. And his understanding of the world is being constantly extended through early learning frameworks, activities he doesn’t really get to do at home, and most importantly, having to navigate fitting in to a group with all its written and unwritten rules. Add this to the growing amounts of research that seems to point towards the neutral to positive effect on children in quality care, and you have a pretty compelling argument for attending.
Nonetheless every time I watch my son’s little hand wave at me from his car seat as he leaves for morning drop off, I feel this ache in the pit of my stomach. None of this evidence has moved from my brain to my heart it seems and I have to do everything in my power not to chase off after him like some crazed lunatic.
At first I thought it was just the guilt driving me quietly mad; guilt that I was not being a full-time Mum; guilt that he may feel rejected; guilt when he’s gotten sick or hurt. But I realised, as I hid my pain behind another animated farewell, that it wasn’t just guilt, it was my own grief as well.