10 quotes from the people who take care of your kids
Ever wonder what the people who care for your kids while you’re at work really think? I polled some friends who are child-care and day-care providers and teachers, and they gave me some terrific insights.
These insights (some of which may sting) serve to help you understand and communicate with the other adults in your kids’ lives. No matter your situation, work to develop empathy for caregivers, and strive to communicate well so that they feel empathy for you, too.
1. They love your kids so much.
“At its best, working with the parents of young children is this symbiotic relationship in which you are developing a human from scratch. But when the child is struggling, you worry and cry and generally curse the impotence of your position in this kid’s life, whom you love desperately and are watching suffer.”
2. They truly see you.
“Sometimes we are part priest. I think parents like having someone to confess to when they feel like they’ve done something they shouldn’t have and appreciate the opportunity to hear that they are seen. We know they are doing their best.”
3. Your kids tell all.
“We definitely know more about your life than you might be comfortable with—kids tell us all your secrets.”
4. Sometimes they wonder why you get frustrated.
“Everything in a preschool is set up for kids, so teachers can get arrogant and be like, ‘Dude, I do this with 10 kids. You only have one.’”
5. They get paid so little.
“Parents say sometimes, ‘It’s not even worth it; I’ll just stay home.’ And I always think, ‘Wow, must be nice to have that choice.’”
6. They feel your urgency at pickup and drop-off time.
“We are cramming this intense partnership and trust with parents into the 10 minutes before or after school, usually while trying to tend to other students or find kids’ shoes and get them to stop screaming for cheddar bunnies.”
7. They were humbled when they had their own kids.
“I thought I knew so much about kids until I had my own. I didn’t empathize well when some parents just seemed all over the place. I didn’t know about the middle of the night. I didn’t know about the scrambling to get in a full workweek. I didn’t judge their choices; I didn’t really think about the choices parents have to make before having my own, even though I worked with parents all the time.”
8. They crave a balanced life for your child.
“There’s a delicate balance between parental involvement and a child’s growing independence. Overinvolved parents are the ones who, with middle or high schoolers at least, throw blame when anything goes wrong—but never at themselves and seldom at the kids. They won’t listen to reason or acknowledge facts if those things don’t mesh with their agendas. Underinvolved parents won’t support any schoolwork being done at home and don’t require their kids to attend school. The really sad ones are the folks who are working so hard that they never see their own kids.”
9. They appreciate small talk.
“What really got my goat were the parents who dropped off their kids every day and did not know me from another adult at the center (or wandering in off the street). They did not know my name, they did not know if I liked my job or their kids, and they did not know if I was a complete ass. It did not seem to matter.”
10. They’re all learning as they go along, just like you.
“I’ve worked with kids and families all my life. But I learn more every day. Every year, I realize how little I actually know.”
No matter what, always remember that the people who get to hang out with your kids all day care for them. Their job is challenging, just like yours, and if you understand and appreciate each other better, it can benefit both of you.
Image via Shutterstock.com
Stephanie Land, has a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from the University of Montana. She and her two daughters live in Missoula, Montana. Read more of her story at stepville.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @stepville.
Please feel free to contact us with any comments or questions.