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Considering Daycare? Consider the Pros and Cons

When you're a parent it's a difficult decision to know whether to send your child to daycare or not. We have provided many of the pros and cons of sending your child to daycare for your consideration. In our opinion, nothing replaces the day-to-day interaction that you can provide with your child. We also believe that some interaction with other children either through occasional daycare, part-time, or through play-groups and other educational learning programs are invaluable. We also recognize that Mom or Dad also needs to have a break and occasional daycare can provide that for them. What we don't believe in is a baby or toddler being in someone else's care for eight hours or more a day everyday! That's not fair to your child. So with all that in mind, please consider the pros and cons listed below. And may you make the right decision for your children and yourself.

UPSIDE of Daycare:

· Always more than one person available to watch, care for, supervise, and feed your child

· Interaction with other children

· Develop social skills at an early age

· Kid's days are pretty much scheduled, routine, and consistent

· Daycare centers don't call in sick

· Kids receive a lot of mental stimulation

· Your house stays neater (although my son can make a mess in minutes)

· The kids enjoy the change of scenery and toys

· Cost is less than for a nanny

· English-as-second-language kids have more exposure to English

DOWNSIDES of Daycare:

· Nighttime baths vs. possibly every other day

· Laying out their clothes

· Packing nutritious lunches vs. fast food snacks

· Morning rush to get out of the house on time

· Allow extra time to make the stop and drop-off

· Your child screaming, "Mommy don't go!!"

· The guilt and bad feelings because you're leaving them behind

· Less one-on-one attention from caregivers

· Potential personality conflicts at the center between parents and staff

· Potential personality conflicts between the children

· Ethics taught are the centers or the caregiver

· Values taught are the centers or the caregiver

· Possibly no ethics or values taught at all

· Political influences are those at the center/school

· Less bonding between parent and child

· Child learns early on that you won't be there for them when they need you

· You don't get to see and experience all the "firsts" that your child goes through

· You can NEVER recapture those things you miss

· When your child has a boo-boo you're not there to make it better

· When your child is excited about what she/he has learned, you're not there at the moment they want to share it with you

· When they're not feeling well you leave them to someone else to care for them

· When they're sick no one will baby them like you will

· More exposure to health issues: ringworm, lice, and colds/flues

· You're not there to kiss away their tears

· You're not there to waylay their fears

· You're not there to set their wild ideas back on track

· No opportunity to have a spontaneous day

· No time to do "nothing at all" together

· To experience the joy of holding and watching your child sleep for hours (hopefully)

· You're not there to teach them to climb a tree

· To explore the bugs and insects

· To plant a seed and watch it grow

· Playing "what do you see in the clouds"

· Less time to go to the beach, woods, hiking, swimming, biking, skating, etc.

· No time to just "play"

· To be your kid's playmate

· To experience getting to be a kid all over again with your child

· Seeing and experiencing life through the eyes of your child

· No time to make pancakes in the morning

· No time to bake real cookies

· Not there to put a band aid on the invisible oweee

· Not get to see your child's imagination develop

· Not get to see their personal development as much as you could

· Don't get to see them beaming with pride at their BIG accomplishments

· Infants and toddlers spending 6-8-10 hours a day away from Mom or Dad

· The cost of daycare is an added expense: financial and emotional

When you work, at the end of your day, you just won't have the energy, patience or the time to spend with your child in the manner you should or would like to. Your job becomes the first priority and the child the second. They get what's left over if there is anything left to get. How do you like it when you are second fiddle to someone you care about and love?

Parents say, "Oh, they don't mind. He likes the babysitter a lot. He'd rather I went to work." That may be true, but chances are he's never experienced having you at home full-time to know what that is like. There can't be a comparison! Children so love unconditionally, they will put up with even the worst of circumstances and still love their parents. Because children only want to be loved, cared for and valued themselves.

Ask yourself this question: "If you chose to continue working when you have a choice not to, why did you have the children if you didn't want to raise them yourself? I know some people truly don't have a choice. But many choose to continue working even though they could make do on one salary or move to an area where they could manage financially. Our society has become so accustomed to having two incomes; we no longer think we have a choice not to work. Imagine this, in one year; if you spent five dollars less per day you will save $1825. That's one less cup of special coffee per day. If you spend ten dollars less per day, you will save $3650 per year. How much do you spend per day on lunches in your family? A large delivered pizza can easily run close to $20. One fast food meal for a family of four could easily be close to $25 or more. Where could you save money? The question is, are you willing to for the sake of your kids?

Add up all the possible costs of day care and compare to the costs and benefits of working. The most important cost of all to consider is that special time spent with your children. What is the cost to them? In a recent interview of Jane Fonda with 60 Minutes', Lesley Stahl, Fonda said, "I was not a good mother. And then, you end up paying for it later."

According to 60 Minutes, Jane created a school program to persuade teenage girls not to get pregnant, and to teach girls who are pregnant how to be better mothers. She created this program because of the mistakes she's made in her own life, and because of the mistakes her parents made raising her.

"If you don't have a parent or an adult, a teacher or a mentor ? really see you, really love you, 'Yes, there are things you do I don't like, but you're fantastic, you're good enough. I love you.' If that never happens to a child, the child assumes it's her fault and tries to compensate for it," says Fonda.

Don't make the mistakes you have experienced or you have seen others experience just because you don't look far enough ahead. Look at the bigger picture, look ahead ten years or so and imagine what life will be like with your children later on.

I say this, "If you don't have time for your children when they're young, they won't have time for you when you're old."

Copyright 2005 Eln Albert

Best known for her expertise in Interpersonal Communications, Eln Albert works with those that want to be at their best when influencing others. Eln is a Professional Speaker and Author.

For more information on how to be the best influencer as a parent or a boss go to http://www.ElnAlbert.com. Check out other articles by Ms. Albert and subscribe to get her free "The Magic of Influence" e-newsletter. In addition, she also offers free teleseminars and free team building exercises.

You have permission to publish these articles electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the signature box is included.

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