Lovely. This Is How Folks Think Today

Hi Readers — Sent by one of you, from a Facebook exchange:

KM: Today I toured a “preschool” that makes the kids (4/5 year olds) nap for 2 hours everyday. Lights out, kids laying on cots in the dark for two hours! WTF! AND it cost $140/week.

MGK: Um, kids should never be left in the dark at any daycare. Sadly predators will take any chance.

KM: There was a teacher in there flipping through a magazine. The place was really small and the doors locked.

MGK: Even worse. One teacher, alone in the dark with a child/children and the doors locked. How is this legal?

JLB: … as for M’s comments, that is exactly why I am so scared of babysitters and home daycares…at least “in” a school you think it’s safer. I teach {my son} that nobody is allowed to touch him, not even me, our generation they only taught us to watch for strangers not our f*ing family members that were hurting us…sigh…

MGK: My mom is a supervisor at the CDC at ____ and I took her with me to tour daycares when I was pregnant. She gave me all the ins and outs of what to look for. On base they are not allowed to have the lights down or the doors locked just for that reason. Background checks do not include people who have never been caught or first time offenders.

Lenore here again: Now, I agree, we don’t want our kids molested. But I think we also don’t want everyone so freaked out about predators all the time that, my God, we have gotten to the point where we trust NO ONE to touch our kids, including — can it be? OURSELVES! That is so beyond paranoid and into whatever comes AFTER paranoid (what does?) that I am practically shaking. It’s like we’ve taken some sort of craziness pill that makes us see everyday life like a horror movie: “Coming, this winter: Predator IV. Whatever you do…don’t go into the pre-school.” — L

87 Responses

  1. A day care center where the kids couldn’t be hugged by the teacher would be the worst day care ever. Those kids would be horribly messed up by the time they got out of there.

  2. What Mike said. Also, per JLB, when I discovered a tick had bitten my toddler on his scrotum, should I just have handed him a pair of tweezers (the toddler, not the tick, though each was probably equally qualified) and told him to remove it?

  3. I love it when I take my kid to school and he runs and jumps into his helper’s arms and gets a big hug. AND he’s a guy. A nice burly guy that hugs my little boy. I’m not an ignorant mom – I’m a licensed social worker and a mandated reporter. But people have got to lighten up and not see the boogyman around every corner.

  4. Haha wow. Funny conversation.

  5. Good grief. The daycare my kids go to, my daughter hugs her friends all the time (and they hug her back). Heck, she gives them kisses too…harmless pecks on the cheek and sometimes lips. She’s too young to know what kiss is other than you sometimes give people you love a kiss, and that’s what she’s doing. But wait, get this! Sometimes when she leaves she gives the teacher a hug too!

  6. If my daycare prohibited touching the kids, I’d find another daycare. Good Lord.

    I wonder how they would apply that principle to the lessons my kids take at preschool – karate, gymnastics, swimming, etc.?

    And, what do they do if a kid craps on himself? Send him into the bathroom with a wipey?

  7. I’m new to the blog, but some of this stuff is just outrageous. As I reflect on my own behavior I find that I am probably too paranoid and thanks to these stories I’m trying to lighten up (and thankfully nothing to the extent of the situations I’m reading here).

    One thing strikes me about this blog and topic – how did we arrive here as a culture? Are we so affluent that we have nothing better to do than helicopter around being paranoid and afraid of everything? Is this a marketing issue with major corporations telling us we need to be scared of things to sell us protection?

    I’d be interested in hearing a sociologist’s take (and if there are prior postings discussing this I would appreciate a link)

    Thanks for the great discussion!

  8. I was sad to see that they were required to have 2 hours naps instead of running around. I would want my kids to be nice and tired when they got home.

    That being said, I’ve recently been looking for infant care and was amused by the number of places that have curriculum for their infants. Apparently eating, playing and pooping are no longer enough. The place I ended up choosing does have a lock on the door, but as far as I can tell parent’s just get a keycode to punch in and I even had one parent let me in so I could go talk with the people who run the place. They also let kids outside in the snow🙂 It seems like a pretty good low-key place to me.

  9. Oh my. Sadly, I hear this sort of paranoia frequently among mom friends. I try to inject some reason into the discussions but fear and emotion are hard to reason with.

  10. OMFG. Really? REALLY??

    Look, awful things can indeed happen to kids at daycare. Just last week there was an awful incident at an (UNLICENSED) home daycare in the next city over from where I live. But it was big news, huge news (now somewhat superseded by the police sergeant killed yesterday by a carjacked snowplow) because it’s *incredibly rare*. (and incredibly awful. But not, sadly, any more awful than many cases of children physically abused by their own parents.) And I think a daycare where the kids were never hugged, patted on the back, helped with their snowsuits, held by the hand, cuddled, or held in a lap would be about the last place I’d ever want to send my kid. (or any kid. But especially my kid, the touch-a-holic.)

    I’m on the fence about the original napping comment — I think at that age I’d want “quiet time” to be an option, but I certainly wouldn’t object to a nap — but I have to ask, have these people ever tried to get a large group of small children to nap *without* turning down the lights? Good luck with that.

    As for the mom who says she doesn’t touch her son … I’m really hoping there’s something missing from that statement, like she really means she told him no one is allowed to touch certain parts of him, not even her. Because otherwise, wow, I have no words for how messed up that is😦

  11. This is hilarious!!! Wow, it makes for some really good satire. Unfortuantely, it’s true.

  12. I thought this was a joke at first, like a sarcastic parody of today’s society. And I was amused. Then I realized people actually think this way and now I’m appalled/scared for what this world is coming to. Wow.

  13. Kelly, our daycare requires naps and quiet time. Many kids need it until kindergarten. In fact, I know one parent who bemoans that her son no longer gets down time now that he is in school. He needs the rest and is a basketcase every evening because he’s so tired. But in our daycare if the kid doesn’t want to nap, and ours sometimes doesn’t, they can play a quiet game, draw, or look at books.

    But don’t worry. The other hours our daughter is there she spends playing and learning and running around outside. She comes home plenty tired, even with a rest period.

    And, more to the point of the post, she gets lots of hugs, too. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m not a fool, though. We talk daily about what she did that day and whether she likes her teachers. Casual conversations that mean nothing to her but would help clue me in if something was amiss. Nothing is ever amiss.

  14. My daughter (age 4) would be a total basket case if she couldn’t be hugged/touched or hug the other kids. Good lord, they’re kids. When she kisses one of her friends goodbye, it’s not sexual, it’s not “dirty”, it’s two kids showing affection, and I think it’s so sad I have to be concerned that she’s going to be labeled a ‘predator’ because she shows other kids affection (probably because my family is very touchy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way).

    Someone else made the comment, too, that it’s almost a form of narcissism, this constant belief that everyone is after MY kid, because my kid is obviously so special/unique/wonderful/desirable. I love my daughter, I’d do anything for her, but I’m well aware of the fact that I’m her MOTHER, and I’m probably the only one who feels that way. To everyone else, she’s just another kid, not this amazing little piece of perfection that they just must have in their life.

  15. I’m GUESSING when she said “touch” she meant “BAD touch?” That said, I’d be curious to see how outraged these same parents are when a preschooler wanders out of school. Don’t you know with small children doors should be locked to prevent escape at all times!!? If the doors aren’t locked a preditor could walk right in!

  16. (@Greg) — My opinion (and I have lots of em, just don’t air them too publicly sometimes🙂 is it’s a combination of local news reporting all the bad stuff all the time, the Internet, and information overload. All of that combines with the difficulty in rationally determining the probability of something happening and suddenly there’s bogeymen everywhere, because that’s all we hear about.

    For the nap stuff, my kids (ages 3.5 and 1.5) get them, and I’m glad for it…otherwise they’re grumpy little people!

  17. JLB’s kids are going to be so screwed up. As to the day care, by the time I was five my parents were of the view that daytime was when you should be outside playing!

    I now know it was part of a larger plan so that I was ready for bedtime early🙂

  18. I think one of the best things we can do as FR Parents is to thank places that DON’T think this way. If you have your kids in a school or pre-school that lets them have touching, recess, etc – go to your principal and let him/her know that you appreciate the way they are running things. If they hear from enough parents who enjoy the fact that their children are growing up as human beings, then when (I’d say if, but I think when) a helicopter parent (read: paranoid person) comes into the room squawking about molesters and such, the principal will recall how many other parents DON’T feel that way and treat it for what it is – paranoia that doesn’t need to be pandered to.

    I have told my children’s teachers and principal that I’m proud of the fact that the school doesn’t interfere with my children walking to and from home. They are happy with themselves for doing something they see as right, I’m happy knowing that they’re hearing a voice of reason instead of the voice of fear.

  19. when my son was about 4, i’d taken him to the playground during the week. the moms already looked with suspicion at me, but the best part came when it was time to go.

    my son had been playing with a little girl about his age, and i told him to tell her goodbye. her mom was hovering over her as she played, and my son walked back and said bye (mom glancing suspiciously from me to my son), gave her a hug (mother’s eyes widened), and then gave her a peck on the lips. at this point, the mother started freaking out, “no no! we don’t kiss! we don’t kiss!”

    i felt bad for the little girl.

  20. My in home daycare person is LOVELY! She hugs and kisses them! She absolutely turns the lights off for nap. Oy!
    Right now, she is going through inspections to be reapproved for a license. She was told by her “inspector” that she could not keep the baby swings. They are not safe. That is bull. They are about 13 in off the ground, they have buckles, they are attached to the basement level (underside) of an incredibley sturdy deck that on a house less than 10 years old.
    I told her to ignore that inspectors and tell her now. Then I called the health department and anonymously described the issue and was told there Is absolutely NO law, rule against outdoor baby swings. So I reported that to my daycare person. She was very surprised. She trusted the inspector to be truthful. And I told her if the lady gives her grief, I know the other parents and I will be willing to write letters defending the swings.
    What a crazy world!

  21. I meant “tell the inspector NO” (not “now”)

  22. When I first started reading this I thought it was about the naps. My oldest girl stopped taking naps before she was three. She was at home all day with my wife, so she could have laid down on her own bed and everything. She just didn’t want to. Requiring a nap with the lights out is too much for kids like mine.

    Oh, and the rest of the conversation was just too crazy to respond to. Insanity, as a rule, doesn’t listen to reason.

  23. I meant “tell the inspector NO” not “Now”

  24. Hey, I know just the place for the children of these people – orphanages in Russia! They didn’t touch the kids, the lights were on, no hugging or even talking to them! (You know that you have to talk to them to groom them, right?) Keeps the kids perfectly safe, right?

    I worked at a large preschool when I was in college. We hugged the kids, we changed clothes and diapers when needed. Kids under 6 had rest time every day, and the vast majority of them really needed it. One child even was put behind a screen to sleep, because if didn’t get a nap he was a monster the rest of the evening, and wouldn’t go to bed until late. A teacher stayed in the room with the kids, and the curtains were drawn, but by no means was it pitch dark.

    Occasionally we had a parent with unreasonable expectations. Like the one who sent a can of soup, a full sandwich, pudding, and an apple, and expected the child to eat every bite of everything! Ah, those were the days.

  25. 2 hour naps for 4&5 year olds? My kids gave up naps at age 3, and nothing I tried changed that. Believe me, I tried, I wanted those naps!

    As for no touching rules, what a way to make kids hungry for affection. I really hope that means no inappropriate touch. Hugs are necessary!

    My kids know what is considered inappropriate, and the few situations where it might be necessary to touch an otherwise inappropriate area, such as at a doctor’s office with the parent also in the room. They know they’re to tell us if anyone else does it.

  26. KLB, many states have laws/licensing requirements that state that children up to kindergarten be provided w/ a nap/rest time. That said, my daughter stopped napping at two. In her 3-4 preschool class, they let her play quietly in the corner. In her pre-K (4-5) class, they forced them all to lie down–didn’t even let them look at books in their cots. Not my favorite part, but at that point it was too late to switch…

  27. Whoops, sorry, that was meant for Kelly.

  28. My only take away from that conversation is that I would LOVE to find $140 per week childcare in Chicago! It’s $350 here…

  29. a few years ago, when my daughter was 4, she fell in the school canteen, she was messing around and had climbed on a bench, and feel, hard, straddling the thing and grazed her buttock right on the edge of it.
    The school called me and asked me to come and see to her because she had hurt herself in a place where they could not look/touch. It took me twenty minutes to get to the school and when I got there she was standing in a corner by herself, still crying, maybe wondering why she was being treated like a leper. I was given an antiseptic wipe by the teacher and told to take my little girl in to the bathroom to see how madly she had hurt herself, they hadn’t even looked, it was against the rules.
    What a departure from the lovely homey school where I went as a child, where if I hurt yourself ANYWHERE! the teacher would sweep me up in her arms and hug me and say, “let’s get the magic cream, is it” (magic cream could seriously fix anything!)
    I am so sad that my kids will never have that experience of school.

  30. oh… the typos! sorry.
    feel=fell
    madly=badly
    yourself=myself

    *sigh*

  31. I would be concerned that a 4/5 year old was required to take a 2 hour nap and not because of predators. Surely children that age should engaged in activities. In some parts of UK they would be in full time school.

  32. For naps, home and school are different. My child never naps at home but frequently naps at school. They have a one hour quiet/nap time in pre-k (4-5). They don’t make the children sleep but they do make them lie down and rest.

    My kid’s daycare allows hugging but does discourage kissing. Since the daycare is kinda anal about germs and not about other innocent expressions of children that could be construed by hyper-perv minds as sexual, I’m guessing that the reason is germ warfare rather than the “sexual” nature of kisses.

  33. What I’m wondering is, the chat started off like they were talking about a preschool ripping parents off by charging $140/week, and they kill extra time they could be using to educate the kids by making them sleep for 2 hours. Then the perverts start talking about the kids getting assaulted. W..T…?!

    From now on, ANYONE that comes across to me like these paranoid dummies, is THE pervert in my eyes. And I will tell them so. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. So when you start talking about children getting kidnapped and sexually assaulted, you just proved to me what goes on in your head. And that because you bring it up so much and so passionately, you must think of it quite often. Anyone who thinks about children being molested often, is not right in the head. Proving that they are the perverts.

  34. In about 1972 when I was in kinder, we had rest time and had to lay down for 30 or so minutes every day. I can’t remember if we could look at books or not.

    When my daughter was in kinder 5 years ago, they did not have “time” to wash hands before snack.

    The change was not a change in children’s needs, but rather a change in the amount of work that they were expected to do. Everyone (adults too) benefit for a bit of down time to read a book, mediate or reflex. Resting the body and brain is a good thing. If nothing else, it teaches children how to amuse themselves instead of having to be entertained all of the day.

    The preschool I was at had to have rest time for the kids according to law. That said, the kids could take books to their cots, and ones who had not fallen asleep after a bit were allowed to get up and watch an educational video.

    My kids did not attend preschool or daycare, but did have a rest time in their rooms each afternoon. One needed naps until 4, one until 3 and one until almost 5. The reason we did not do preschool was economic and I could teach them what they needed at home. Not because I was afraid of perverts!

  35. I agree with some of the other commenters…my first ‘WTF’ moment in reading that was at the 2 hour naps for 4 & 5yos.

  36. I love the way they work at topping each other (or themselves) with paranoia: children alone in the dark = bad; teacher alone with children = worse; no one touches my kid, not even ME! — damn, howmi gonna beat that one? Got it — Background checks do not include people who have never been caught or first time offenders = Slam!

    @Cheryl W — excellent analogy with orphanages

    @chris — that story is mad bad crazy. And, as you point out, just so sad.

  37. I hated naps in preschool, but it was more because they were stupid and boring than because of te horrifying fear of being assaulted in my sleep.

    I really hope these people are exaggerating. If they really do live by the rules they’re ranting about, then they’re neglectful parents. Children need touch. People need touch. A kid who never gets physical contact is going to be lonlier, more fearful, and less physically healthy than a kid who grows up being hugged and cuddled and played with. This attitude is harmful to the kids’ mental health

  38. I thought I was reading a rip off on the blogess Ill-Advised column from the stir…

  39. Our kids gave up naps early, and the requirement to be quiet for an extended period of time was especially tough on our 4-5 year old boy.

    But, he is smart and quite manipulative; he learned to play the game. If he made noise, the assistant teacher would come over and play with him to keep him quiet. So, he got exactly what he wanted–an extended period of one-on-one time with the very nice assistant every day.

    I find it ridiculous that there are state laws requiring every young kid to be quiet for an extend period every day. For some kids that simply torture. Most teachers of young kids know that a number of their charges need a rest period and will provide it to ensure some sanity in the room. But they also know their kids and know which ones need it and which don’t.

  40. My only thought reading this is how lucky the kids are to get a full nap! My niece doesn’t even have a half an hour nap in kindergarten, and she sorely needs it. Instead, I have to put her down when she gets home, which greatly interferes with family time.

  41. I used to work at a day care where I wasn’t supposed to have kids on my lap. Tell that to the three year olds.
    I agree that it’s important to protect kids from predators, but no one seems to realize that these “measures” don’t keep anyone safe. Real predators will not be deterred by rules that say they can’t pick kids up/let them sit on laps in the classroom, because they are finding ways to get a kid alone outside of class.
    You need to train children NOT to have blind trust in authority, to leave situations that scare them, even if they don’t know why they are scared, and to tell you if someone makes them uncomfortable. Trust that anything a “grown up” does must be good is what we need to eliminate – not contact with adults!

  42. you know, i’ve worked at a daycare and a preschool and both jobs left me too tired to molest my fiance, much less do anything actually sinister.

    and not hugging the kids? if a 3 yr old falls on the playground, a hug is in order. but i guess in their world, the playground is crawling with e.coli and mrsa, so it’s clearly off-limits.

  43. Wow Chris. If they saw blood would they have done something or still waited for you?

  44. This is madness.
    OTOH, forcing 4-5 year olds to naps is also madness. Some need it, sure: some don’t. My kids all dropped the afternoon nap around age 3.
    My mother, 40+ years ago, had to pick me up at daycare every day at 2pm because, try as they might, they never managed to get 3-years-old me t be quiet enough to let others sleep.
    I think it’s lovely that kids have the opportunity to take a nap and I also wouldn’t mind such a chance myself at work🙂 but forced naps? Bleah.

  45. And to think I was thinking that she was offended that they makes the kids be still and not play for 2 hours straight at 4 and 5 years old. at 2 and 3, yes they need 2 hour naps, but 4 and 5?

  46. RE: naps — My daughter (now 8 ) went to the same daycare centre from age 13 months (end of my mat leave) to 5 years (start of SK). The babies napped when they needed to; the toddlers napped for 1.5-2 hrs, after lunch; and the preschoolers napped if they needed to, but could read or play quietly if not. It seemed to work well (and DD kept on napping at daycare long after she quit napping at home …).

  47. Once again, I am forced to ask a question that reminds me a bit of “But why isn’t the Emperor wearing any clothes?”

    Why are people sending their kids to a small institution* where they think it’s likely that people may be employed who cannot be entrusted not to molest their children unless the lights are left on and the doors open?

    *I added the small institution part because in a larger place like a public or larger private school, it’s not as likely you’d be able to check out and gain a sense of trustworthiness for all the people your children might encounter. But in an expensive preschool? Why would you send your kids to an optional, expensive place like a preschool unless you trusted the people who work there?

  48. Oh, and besides the obvious problem, the silliness of JLB’s comment is that teaching kids “don’t trust even me” is pointless, because anyone trying to get away with anything would encourage you to trust them, not teach you to be suspicious. So you might as well teach your kids to trust at least you since, after all, you’re their mommy, and kids actually need to be able to trust somebody.

  49. my kids stopped napping at 2 no matter how hard I tried. Now after a 2 year gap my 4 year old is sleeping at school !! (those cheeky kids!)

    However I have asked for her to be woken early (which they do – very nice of them) as she was staying up till almost 10pm on the days she had kindy when she usually goes to bed around 7pm 7:30.

  50. @ Robin, I’m not sure, she was bleeding a little, but it wouldn’t have been evident unless you looked. I think, knowing that teacher (young, just out of college and eager to do everything by the book) that she still would have waited for me to get there. The teacher my daughter has this year is older, quite grandmotherly and seems to go with more of a common sense approach to things, i think that maybe she would have reacted differently… i hope so anyway.

  51. In Korea (where I train teachers), “skinship” is a fundamental part of the ECE curriculum. All educators are expected (not that they need much prodding) to LOOOOOOOOOOOVE their young charges, and to show it with exuberant, loud, gleeful hugs at the start and end of every day.

    I’m staying here.

  52. Can you imagine their attitude to – gasp – boarding schools?? OMG – I was at risk for every night for 5 years and didn’t even know it!

  53. I wasn’t saying that naps are bad for everyone, but a required 2 hour nap at that age seems a bit long.

  54. Rose, you have a point with teaching kids to not go along with things that adults ask unilaterally, unfortunately, there are some adults in our schooling system who shudder at the thought that a child might think for themselves and not take their word as akin to that of the Almighty. Kids are supposed to do exactly as the adult says, or forget it – he/she is a troublemaker! And, because they are kids, it it just fine to treat them worse than the dog, to shame them and “make examples” of them.

  55. I must be really naive. I thought the discussion was going to be about 4/5 yr. olds still taking naps, I never thought it was going to be about molestation! BTW many years ago I worked at a daycare and we did naptime the same way. Lights out for 2 hours. As a parent I probably wouldn’t be to happy about it, but as a teacher it was my favorite time of day🙂 All of us teachers would sit around and snack and talk.

  56. I’m confused about the lights being off. Say there’s a predator standing in the hallway, just waiting for his chance. He will enter a darkened room, where the children are still supervised by a teacher, and easily snatch a child..because the lights are off. But same room, same kids, same teacher will be safe as long as the lights are on?

  57. I’m so grateful that my daughter attends a parent co-op preschool where she gets hugs, tickles, and lap time with wonderful dedicated teachers AND wonderful dedicated parents who spend their time in the classroom. And I hug, tickle, and sit with their children when it’s my turn to work. It’s a play-based preschool instead of a fear-based one!

  58. Yikes! If my kids at that age had had a two hour nap in the middle of the afternoon I they would have been up all night! The rest of the conversation is pure crazy.

  59. I took my then 9 month old son to the CDC, miltary day care centers, once for two hours. They lost him. Or as the women at the check in desk said “it seems he has been misplaced” like he was a diaper bag. We found him a few minutes later but for a day care center that has the most insane rules about locks and lights and touching and what not you would think that not “misplacing” a child would be a bigger priority.

  60. I don’t understand the “absolutely NO touching” policies most of these places have. I don’t know about other people, but my kids are extremely affectionate (as my mom was with us, and her mom with her, etc…..). My 4 yr old tells me at least 20 times a day that she loves me, and I get countless hugs and kisses from them both daily.

    My daycare lady is a woman I worked with years ago who, at 50, became pregnant (I KNOW!!) and decided to start an in-home daycare. I took oldest there at 6 weeks old, and couldn’t imagine having my kids anywhere else. She is also very affectionate. She encourages the kids to give hugs after they have a tiff, she kisses and hugs them a lot and tells them that she loves them. Guess what? She actually does love those kids! (Shocking, I know…) My daughters always give her a hug and kiss when I pick them up at the end of the day. I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. I would be worried about the daycare worker that is cold and stand-offish with children!!

  61. About naps – my kids’ daycare (infant thru KG) turns off ALL the lights for at least a couple hours after lunch, and they play soft music and everyone keeps quiet. I know some kids don’t “need” a nap at age 3+ (I didn’t) but I think the kids just go with the flow because that’s what everyone else is doing and they’re used to it. At home, my kids (age 4) only nap if they’re short on sleep or if they have a strong incentive.

    When kids get hurt at our daycare, the teachers have to fill out an “incident report.” The form is very detailed and includes fill-in-the blanks for “what the teacher did for the kid.” Along with band-aids, ice, etc., hugs are included on the list of remedies. As well they should be! I believe this is a standard state form.

  62. “KM: There was a teacher in there flipping through a magazine. The place was really small and the doors locked.

    MGK: Even worse. One teacher, alone in the dark with a child/children and the doors locked. How is this legal?”

    You have got to be kidding me. This teacher is flipping through a magazine, enjoying the quiet, taking a “break” (technically she’s on nap supervising duty) in a day caring for OTHER PEOPLE’s kids, probably has half an hour to rest before setting up lunch, cleaning up the toys, prepping for the afternoon’s activities, all that good stuff, and these idiots see her as plotting her next assault?

    Turn off the friggin TV and go learn for yourself how people actually behave, you nitwits.

  63. I’m not surprised at this Facebook exchange. I’ve quite a few young mom “friends” on my facebook account and if someone posts anything about their children being hard done by, there will be an explotion of responses trying to best each other in how safe they are as a parent. It becomes a contest of who the best parent is based on the most ludicrous thing they can think to happen to their child and then how they as wonder parent have taken previously unthought of precautions to protect poor kid from this ever happening.

    I’ll even set a dare: Post something on facebook about an under 3 year old in a forward facing car seat. The list of gruesome deaths that COULD happen in forward facing as opposed to rear facing(none of which ever documented HAVE happened, by the way… BUT THEY OUCLD!), is endless and one can nearly hear the heart palpataions it causes mothers of toddlers.

  64. See, if that conversation had come up in my facebook news feed, I’d have added a comment about how great MY kids’ daycare is- each child is placed in a plexiglass cell, brightly lit, with several “educational” toys (with no sharp corners or cords- duh! If no one can get hurt, then no one needs to touch them!) for the entire day- fully-organic snacks and meals are slid into each cell through a doggie door. If a child has to go to the bathroom, a team of four staff members takes the child from the cell and to the bathroom, though no one goes IN with the child- they’re all just there to make sure no one else does. And then they each fill in a bathroom report where they mention any suspicious behavior on the part of the other staff, like talking to the kid. No one ever touches the children, and communication is all via speakers so that everyone can hear what every adult is saying to every child. You know… JUST IN CASE! Also, children are picked up one at a time at 5-minute intervals so that they don’t risk children coming into contact with other children’s parents. It’s SO freaking safe!

    …and then I’d be short a few facebook friends. I don’t think I’d be sad to lose them.

  65. Wow. If I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have believed that you could get so many people to read that exchange as saying that people shouldn’t hug your kid in pre-school. But you did. I think it shows how easily people can be led to see what they want to see based on pre-conceptions.

    It was pretty clear to me that “touch” was shorthand for “touch you anywhere, but particular on parts of your body we consider very private, in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable.Not even your Mom.” Because you know what? Moms really aren’t allowed to molest you just because they are your mother, nor is your father, or your uncle, or that nice neighbor next door. Hence the rest of the comment about how our generation was only warned of “strangers” when it wasn’t always, or even often, the strangers who were abusing children.

    I thought this was what free range kids was about: you tell your child he can be responsible for himself and you trust him to be.

    It’s one thing to say that kids don’t get hit crossing the street as often as the media wants us to think. It’s another to say, “I won’t bother to teach my kid to look both ways before he crosses, because, you know, what are the odds?”

  66. “When kids get hurt at our daycare, the teachers have to fill out an “incident report.” The form is very detailed and includes fill-in-the blanks for “what the teacher did for the kid.” Along with band-aids, ice, etc., hugs are included on the list of remedies. As well they should be! I believe this is a standard state form.”

    My daycare has that too. The “treatment” portion always says something like “Ice and lots of hugs” (kid’s allergic to band-aids). I can’t imagine having my child in a place where the teacher wouldn’t hold her on her lap for a cuddle after she is hurt or when she’s upset about something.

  67. Funny if it wasn’t so damn scary.

    I for one am delighted that the carers at my daughter’s nursery cuddle her and show that they care. Caring touch is so important to young children.

  68. @Kelly: our state licensing requires that 3-4 year olds be offered 2 hour naps in a standard daycare setup (which a full-day preschool has to be licensed as) and 4-5 year olds, 1 hour naps. It’s when they enter kindergarten (5 by Sept 1) that the schools are allowed to eliminate the nap period.

    My kid stopped napping when he moved into the 4 year old preschool this fall, and apparently concluded that 1 hour wasn’t enough for a good nap. It SUCKS because it means that he is so tired falls asleep for 15 minutes in the car on the way home and then is a completely grumpy bear until bedtime. On weekends he still sleeps for 2 hours in the afternoon, and still goes to be at the same time, and is just a far more pleasant kid on that schedule.

  69. It was pretty clear to me that “touch” was shorthand for “touch you anywhere, but particular on parts of your body we consider very private, in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable.Not even your Mom.”

    Given that these people were panicking over the concept of preschoolers taking a nap in the dark (the semi-dark, because the teacher could read a magazine) with a locked door, who knows WHAT they meant?

  70. Honestly, when I read the locked door bit, I thought there would be concerns for fire safety (Oh, the door’s locked, how’ll the kids get out? They’re just little, may not be able to undo a simple lock.) This whole thing made me laugh. I was hugged by teachers all through elementary school.

  71. Uly,

    Meh. I don’t like the arrangement myself. It puts kids at risk for no benefit. What good reason is there to keep the door locked? “Well, we don’t bother to supervise the kids and we don’t want any of them wandering off while we are ignoring them.” Great.

    And why not leave some lights on? “Well, then the other kids might see what was happening when the sole attendant starts messing with the little girl in the corner. One of them might tell his or her parents.” Fabulous.

    Is it likely? No. Do we need to announce to our children, “Kids we are leaving the lights on in case Paula is a child molester.” No. Our kids don’t need to know anything about it. But a locked door and a single attendant is a sign of a facility that is cutting corners. If my kid loved the attendants and seemed perfectly happy, I might not take her out of the facility, but if I were looking for someplace to take care of my kid, this wouldn’t be the first place I picked.

  72. Exactly what “risk” does it put the kids at? The teacher is IN THE ROOM with them, the way I read it… which means it’s also NOT THAT DARK. (And even if it was – yes, you typically turn off the lights at naptime so everybody can sleep.) You’re actually concerned that “the sole attendant” might “mess with the little girl in the corner”? This, this is your concern? It’s not just unlikely, it’s absurd. (And would the lights being ON actually stop them?)

  73. I don’t know, Uly. As I said above, I let my kids cross the street on their own and they’ve walked to school on their own since first grade. But first I taught them to cross the street safely.

    My kids went to pre-school, too. But first I checked that they were licensed and that the ratio of adults to children was below the legal limit, and you know, stuff like regular handwashing happened because I didn’t want every single virus in the known world keeping my kid home sick. Call me crazy, but I think there are professional standards for childcare facility and if they didn’t meet those standards, I wouldn’t pick that place for my three year old.

  74. I went to sleep away camp. There were 3 age groups

    Subdebs Lower elementary
    Junior Debs Upper elementary/JH
    Debs high school

    We had a rest period from 2 – 4 pm. Subdebs were required to sleep. My Mom got calls because I refused to nap. My Mom explained I hadn’t taken a nap since I was 2. They explained that they required it because of the large amount of physical activity that kids were not used to.

    Mom explained their “schedule” was actually light for me (arts and crafts mixed with horseback riding, swimming, BB gun , and archery). If I was home I would be swimming from 9 am till 4 pm with a break only for lunch. They started letting me read during rest time.

    Junior Debs had to stay in the cabins, we read, wrote letters, and socialized. I don’t know what the Debs did, but I think they were allowed to be out an about. They were on the other side of camp.

  75. Call me crazy, but I think there are professional standards for childcare facility and if they didn’t meet those standards, I wouldn’t pick that place for my three year old.

    And does the standard actually require that the kids take a nap in a highly-lit room? Does it actually require that no doors are locked for any reason?

  76. I’m not understanding the issue of the locked door. My kids have a classmate who is a little monster, and one of the things he does is run out of the room at unauthorized times, into areas where there isn’t a staff person to supervise him. I could totally understand if they locked his classroom door. I don’t think they do, but if they did, I wouldn’t think “child molester!” (They do have windows you can see thru even if the door is locked, though.)

  77. Hope,

    My child’s daycare is a “center of distinction” in my state – meaning it has gone through extensive review and certification and EXCEEDS state standards. Naptime is one teacher (other teacher takes a break) with all the lights off. The door isn’t locked and there are Windows so it isn’t pitch black. I’m just not seeing what the problem is. Getting 20 small children to nap is not the easiest thing in the world with the lights off, it would be impossible with the lights on and why have 2 adults wasting time watching children sleep?

  78. Well, there you have it. Door not locked, room not pitch dark. Works for me.

  79. Nothing in the original post said that the room is pitch black. As a matter of fact, the worker is reading so that indicates that it isn’t. As for the doorlocks, my daughter’s prek classrooms aren’t locked but some of the younger rooms are locked all day to prevent escape. By 4-5, I’d expect kids to stay in the room without locks. But I remember having to lock and unlock the doors to get in and out of the toddler rooms. The state has no problem with it.

  80. Of course, the parents on that Facebook thread might not be telling the truth about their own attitudes, just too scared to buck the trend for fear of being seen as less than perfect:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-12192050

  81. My boys (6 & 10) went to a day camp at a local elementary school last summer, and I was told by one of the camp counselors that the boys needed to have spray sunscreen if they were to help with the application, because they were not allowed to touch the kids. So it’s better that the kids burn to a crisp rather than be touched by anyone? What is this world coming to?

  82. I didn’t read all the comments – but I wanted to just chime in and say that in the state of Maine, it is required that all children under age 5 have a “rest” time built into the day if they are there more than 4 and a half hours. The reason is many children need this rest. The problem is that it is very difficult to find a way to run nap time smoothly. At the center I worked at we were expected to complete paperwork and planning in this poorly lit room. There were obvious rules of not allowing yourself to be unseen by other staff members, just in case. But we were allowed to lay down beside the children and rub backs as long as we were not under the blankets.

  83. I worked at a preschool a few years ago where all the kids aged 2-4 took a two hour nap with the lights down every day. Scandalous, apparently. While I was there the father of one of our two-year-olds died suddenly, and his little girl started having nightmares during nap time. The only thing that would calm her down was for her favorite teacher to lie down next to her and hold her. At the time I found it both tragic and adorable. I think now about how it would have looked had one of these paranoid helicopters walked in: a grown woman lying on a cot in the dark with her arms around a wimpering child. MGK would have tried to make a citizen’s arrest.

  84. I worked at a day camp for 3-6 year-olds when I was a teenager and yes, we weren’t supposed to put sunscreen on them. And there wasn’t really any spray sunscreen widely available. So parents were just supposed to put sunscreen on kids at the beginning of the day, say, 7 am, then trust it to last through two swim sessions and an entire day spent outdoors (there was limited indoor space and it was only used by the three-year-olds, really). Just so that the 16-year-olds staffing the camp couldn’t have the opportunity to “molest” the children with sunscreen. Absolutely ridiculous.

  85. wow, it went straight from “I’m not paying good money for naps” to “the darkness is when they molest!” and “locked doors mean they’ll all burn to death!” In the daycare centers where I worked, the 2 hour nap was required by state law. Not sure what the big purpose of it was, but for us it was how the 2 teachers running the classroom got in their lunch breaks.

  86. I think that is rediculous! Our children our the most precious things we have, I would never enroll my child in a preschool that mandated 2 hour naps!

  87. I found this site if anyone is interested in preschool reviews from actual parents:

    http://www.preschoolpilot.com

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