Size six: Things not to say to your childcare provider
During the long, cold months of the the winter I spend a majority of my days helping to manage a drop-in childcare facility at a swanky ski resort. My section of the facility hosts children from the tender age of eight weeks up to 15 months. Yes, there are people who are willing to entrust complete strangers with the well being of an infant for the opportunity to indulge in a powder day on the slopes. For the most part our staff gets great feedback from these parents who hail from all over the world, but sometimes we get a remarks that send our heads spinning and leave us wondering why it is exactly that we do this job. Following are a few of the comments we have found to be the most shocking this ski season:
- "My kid doesn't like any of the staff. I like you but my son definitely hates you." This, especially when said in front of other parents, is not only disrespectful but better left unsaid. Many children are none too happy to be handed off to complete strangers. As care providers we understand this and make the best of efforts to help the children adjust.
- "Little Alexa is exclusively breastfed but we thought this would be a great opportunity to start weaning her. So I won't be in until the end of the day to nurse her Good luck with the formula and bottles!" Oh, dear. I don't think I have heard of a professional weaning service. That is a job for parents.
- "I have never left James before. He is only ever held by her father and me. Could you please make sure he does not cry at all during the day?" Again, I don't know of any facility promising cry-free days.
- "Yep, so here's the kid. Gotta go, the slopes are calling me!" This sort of parent is the antithesis of the above mentioned scenarios, though I find them to be equally as baffling.
- "I would like you to document every 10 minutes of little Anna's day. I want to know exactly what he does and when he does it." Like any other mother I am always curious about the activities of my child's day, but I sometimes wonder if these parents need to know so much detail that maybe they should skip the daycare part and spend the day with their small baby.
- "Ugh, how can you do this job? I would go nuts! Better you than me." That one is wrong on so many levels. Although I could spend 20 minutes explaining to this type of parent that I need this job for my health insurance, the free season passes for my kids, the free ski and snowboard lessons and even the small paycheck, I don't think they really want to hear it.
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.