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Are Daycares Really Safe?

Lately, I have been debating whether I should work part-time or something after my baby is born. It would be nice to have some expendable cash and have a reason to get some time out of the house regularly (not that I already don’t have a reason like getting some much-needed “mommy time” to keep me sane). However, the cost of daycare and wondering how safe it is really makes me think that I should look at other options.

Recently a video came to me on Facebook through something someone had shared and it really had me shaken that it could actually be possible in a childcare facility where there’s usually a lot of people so you would think your child would be protected from anything serious happening to them. Well, in this video I learned that that is not always the case.

In the video, a little boy probably about  seven or eight years old is violently attacking the children in the daycare, no more than 2 years old. By attacking I mean he is punching them in the face, kicking them, and biting them. Most times the adults are in the room but he stops and pretends nothing is happening so they seem to be oblivious to it. I guess they think the children just mysteriously begin to cry around him because they are…tired (I mean what else could it be?). After seeing this video, I am livid that this could happen and have so many questions:

  1. Why is the little boy there watching the children? Why isn’t he in school?
  2. Why is he alone with them long enough for anything to happen without an adult present?
  3. Does the parents know that he is there with their children?
  4. How in the world can the teachers/daycare providers not hear that he is doing something to them when they are in the room? I know I can always tell when my boys are fighting, even if I leave the room for a second.

More importantly than ever, I think this boy needs some serious counseling and this daycare needs to be shut down or replaced with responsible caretakers that are actually TAKING CARE of the children.

Share your thoughts and please share this video. Violence like this needs to be stopped!

UPDATE: I know this is a little late but I found the news video on this story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGPpkwZ85NY. The daycare provider was arrested for neglect and it was being decided whether charges would be pressed on the child and his parents. Apparently, one of the parents of the little girl kept seeing her come home with a busted lip and he said he was told that no one knew where it came from.

End Your Baby Frustrations with Sign Language!

So as I posted last week, I have been having a little trouble potty training my 18 month old son, Poopy (maybe the nickname has something to do with it!).  I am determined to get him to at least give me one poopy in the potty before his new baby brother is born. I feel the main problem with this is communication.

So after I put the kids to sleep, I was watching the new episode of Tia & Tamera’s reality show and Tia was talking about how she couldn’t understand some of the things her son, Cree was trying to say and that she would like to. So her friend mentioned during mommy class that she had tried baby sign language and it had worked wonders for her son. So Tia took Cree to a class so they could learn it together and communicate.

I got so excited about this idea because I think it is brilliant. Not only can it lessen our potty training frustrations but it would definitely end the one-sided conversations.  I feel so bad for my poor baby when he’s babbling something and afterwards staring intently as if he wants me to answer and all I can say is, “I’m sorry, Poopy. I don’t know what you’re saying” in my don’t-be-mad-at-mommy voice.

However, since I can’t afford to take him to a specialized baby sign language class, I started researching the main words that I use with him and am going to start using them during conversation and hope that he begins to learn it and use it. I feel really proud to want to teach my baby sign language because it’s not at all a normal thing and no one I knows has done it. In fact, I think one of my challenges is going to be to get my family on board and support me with it. But I figure once I show him some signs and he begins to communicate with me, there will be no debate.

Plus, when I researched the basics on The Baby Sign Language website, these were the benefits they mentioned of baby sign language:

  • Bonding: Research on baby sign language has confirmed that signers enjoy a stronger parental bond. In fact some early childhood education programs have started teaching baby sign language to infants and their parents to help get their relationship off to the best possible start.
    • Poopy and I had a really strong connection while I breastfed and I was never uncomfortable with him being with anyone else because we were both pretty attached to each other. I think we both knew that these people were temporary but we would always be together and, the funny thing is, that didn’t change when I began to work full-time. But, after he turned a year old and began to become a little independent, our connection started to change. It’s not gone but maybe not as strong as before so I would so love to have that back! 🙂
  • Reduced Fussiness: Research confirms that signing babies have fewer temper tantrums. Perhaps not surprisingly, the adults feel better too – with the parents of signing children reporting feeling more positive about their child.
    • Ok, I think all moms can vouch for the frustrations that arise when your baby is crying about something and you can’t quite figure it out. When Poopy is moody and wants something and I can’t figure it out, he DOES NOT want to be touched, held, talked to…NOTHING. So it kind of hurts to feel so helpless and I think it will be a great thing for both of us if he could just tell me what he wants.
  • DevelopmentStudies shows that babies who have early exposure to signing, have larger speaking vocabularies earlier. They even do better years after they have stopped signing. One study showed that eight year olds who learned baby sign language as infants had an average IQ 12 points higher than non-signers.
    • This one was a big plus! Who wouldn’t want their kids to have a higher IQ and a bigger vocabulary? …Need I say more?

So this is my next journey and I can’t wait to see where it leads us…anyone else in for the ride? Think sign language is for you and your baby or that it’s completely stupid? Tell me your thoughts…

The Poopy Diaries

With the arrival of my new baby boy in about 6 weeks, I have been trying to potty train my 1 year old, Poopy. You’d think after potty training one boy, I would be able to do this one with no problem but that is definitely not the case this time around…

Every time I put my son on the potty, he gets up every 5 minutes and I have to keep putting him back on the potty. Then, when he finally gets the urge to pee, he stands up and just pees on the floor! I guess he figures he’s not supposed to pee on a chair so why would he be expected to pee on this little seat with a hole in it. I think I may have to seriously tie him to the chair to make sure he’s actually seated when he gets that urge.

(NOTE: IF you are eating or have a weak stomach, you may want to stop here…this part is definitely not for the faint of heart!)

If that’s not enough, he has begun to explore himself, if you know what I mean…SO, if he poops and he has his pull up on and I don’t catch it fast enough, he will literally play with the poop. Disgusting, I know. I seriously never heard or saw any other child do this before my children were born. I’m starting to think they may have inherited this from their daddy (my husband is no where near the dainty little princess in this house)!

What’s worse is he will play with the poop and smear it all over his playpen (which is usually where he is when he does it) and whatever else he is near. That includes my walls and my closet. (Trust me, I clean and sanitize it very thoroughly after so you don’t have to be nervous if you stop by my house ;))

It was a little funny the first time he did it, honestly, because it reminded me of that scene on Dumb and Dumberer where Bob Saget shouts, ‘There’s s*^$ everywhere! Dammit! There’s s&%$ on the windows! Look what he did! He s@%^ all over the walls’!

SO as you may be able to tell, my days have been very full and busy and I imagine it will continue to be for the next 6 weeks. (Which, is when it will most likely get worse) All I can do is continue to potty train him and hope my poopy menace will finally take that next step to kidhood!

I Don’t Want to Spank My Kids Because…

Lately, with the heat being unbearable in our area and me being 8 months pregnant, going to the park and playing outside much has been extremely difficult for us.  I make sure I let them exercise whether that is with a video or just dancing to music and have been trying my best to allow them to burn their energy however they need to. Despite all of that, my sons’ behavior has been challenging to keep under control. It has been a real test for me to not spank them (well, at least the 5 year old) but I am trying to make a strong effort to do this.

This is a parenting decision that I have come to be strong in enforcing due to how I view “spanking” or “beating”. Sometimes it can be hard because people in my circle aren’t necessarily fond of not spanking their children and feel they have to enforce their rules. But all I hear is “force”. To me, spanking is not a means of discipline or “enforcing” your rules, it is a way to control the child and have them fear you.

People argue that if it is not done in anger that it will serve its purpose and getting your child to do what you want them to do or expect them to do but still allow them to know that you love them. I find that incredibly hard to believe. How can you hit someone you love without anger? Then, what bothers me all the time is when my son comes to me and asks why it’s not OK for him to other people when they do something wrong. Do I say it’s because I am your parent and I love you so I am only doing that to make sure you do the right things? That’s exactly what I have said in the past and I had to ask myself…does that even make sense? Would I want my husband or friend to hit me because I was doing something that would eventually lead me down the wrong path? Of course not. So why should it be OK for my children?

I have found that removing spanking from my methods of discipline has changed the way my sons treat me already. Whereas they usually didn’t listen to me and at times, seemed to completely ignore what I was saying, now they actually follow my rules and give me less defiance. I was told that the reason they didn’t listen in the past was because I didn’t beat them enough but I know now that that is not the case. Deciding not to spank my kids has changed their responses from, “Ok, ok, ok, I won’t do it again this time” to “Ok, mom” in just one week.

Trust me it is definitely not easy to make this decision but I have found the reason it’s most difficult is because I had a problem with controlling my own temper when things didn’t go my way. Spanking, for me and others, was a means of getting my demands heard and executed quickly but I realized it was doing the opposite in what I wanted it to do in terms of building the character that I want my sons to have as adults.

I’m aware that this is a very controversial topic and I will probably be argued down by many of my friends and relatives but I know it is the right thing to do for me and my sons. It will be a journey to make it a daily process but I am determined to turn things around for my family.

Give me your thoughts on this? Are you for or against spanking?

Our Kids Are Already Messed Up…

Ok. Not literally…well, maybe just a little bit.

This was actually taken from a post I read a few days ago from Help 4 Your Family. The writer is a therapist who works with families and children that have been diagnosed with mental health disorders that she’s supposed to “fix’ (whatever that means). But, before you say, ‘that doesn’t apply to me’, hear me out…

Last week, I posted about one of my dilemmas with parenting which is discipline. As I mentioned then, I didn’t really have a good (in my opinion) example of that as a child and so, I’m always striving for ways to change that as well as beating myself up for when I don’t do it the right way. So she mentioned that parents are always coming to her to tell her about these fears and this is what she said she tells them, ‘Do not worry.  Your children probably are already ”messed up.”  If they are not yet, they will be soon.  Just like the rest of us. ‘

This had me laughing a little for a second until I thought about what she said. Her statement was so simple and yet, reading it was like a light bulb going off in my head…”Nobody is perfect”.

I think it’s much easier to learn from someone that is more relatable then it is to learn from someone that is trying to be “perfect” all the time. In fact, it may even make you want to do the opposite of what they tell you because what they are saying seems so out of reach.

All of this is just to say that if you’re a young mom or even an older mom and you constantly beat yourself up because you hollered at your child or told them you didn’t feel like hearing a story at the moment, do not think your child is ruined. They will most likely not remember it and will just see that you are not a robot!

Look at it this way, the fact that you even care so much shows that your child has the best parent they could ever have!

What are we feeding our children?

No. Not that kind of food. I’m talking about the mental stimulation we are giving them to think and grow into the wonderful adults that God called them to be.

I was thinking about the way I parent and handle my children recently since my past teacher, Connie Grier came out with her first book called, The ABC’s of Mentoring: A Bi-Weekly Road Map for Uplifting Youth. In her book, she talks about the tendency for many people to equate gifts for the vital things that children need to stimulate their minds and give them the extra push they need to succeed.

This statement brought me back to my childhood and the way I grew up. My father, at the time, was not around very much so, for the most part, my mother raised me alone. Her tactic for when my brother and I did something wrong was to holler and give us spankings. Even though we knew she meant well, after a while, we became numb to it all and I think the message she was trying to send, was often lost.

Now that I am a mother, I try not to follow her methods but, regretfully, that doesn’t always work. After reading blogs by other moms and talking to other moms, I know I’m not the only one. (Here’s one for example: http://www.theyoungmommylife.com/2012/07/02/idontspankmychild-because/)

I strive to be a better parent but it doesn’t always work out that way. Time-outs, distraction, and talking to my sons doesn’t always seem to work. For me, I believe it is a lack of knowledge with how to actually execute different methods of parenting.

Researching and getting other tactics from moms like me would probably be the best bet for me in beginning to change that. Another thing is joining a mommy and me group, which I think is really beneficial for any mom.

What are some of your disciplining techniques and ways to steer your child in the right direction?

The Neverending Struggle of a Young Mother

February 27th of 2007 was the day I looked my first son in his eyes after birthing him. It was the best day of my life but also the day that would change my life forever in a way that was different from other first-time moms. The difference was I was a high school student in my senior year. Many people told me that my life was over and that I could never be anything despite my “smarts”. All the people who had confidence in my abilities due to my skills and drive to be successful, lost their belief in me the minute I became pregnant.

Being ostracized and pinpointed in that way made me believe what they were telling me. That I had ruined my life. That EVERYTHING, all the good that I had done in the past, was nothing now. That..I was NOTHING.

Now that I will have my third child in less than 10 weeks, many will look at me and say that I proved them right. I’m not “on the path to success” in their eyes. I don’t have several degrees. I don’t have a great career.

However, the difference is that I have something that no one, especially those that believe this, can take away from me. I have a drive to succeed and a determination to follow my dreams despite my obstacles. And for once, I DON’T believe what they have to say about us young mothers. I could go over my list of why I know I will be different and how I will beat the obstacles but…for what? I have no one to prove anything to but myself.

You may ask me why I am ranting on about the struggles of a young mother and I will tell you it is because I am just so sick of mothers putting each other down if they’re not EXACTLY the same as themselves.

“Oh, you’re just a young mother”. “Oh, you don’t feed your kids organic foods?” “Oh, you work all those hours away from your children?”  Where does it end?

Something tells me it won’t but that should never stop young mothers or anyone else from fighting for their dreams.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. Eleanor Roosevelt

I would love to hear your take on this…what do you think?