Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Kids and Childcare

I've been around children for as long as I can remember. My  little brother is 8 years younger than I am and I was babysitting him all summer long from the time I was 13 until I got a job. I have two kids of my own and I run a small daycare. I've pretty much seen and heard it all.

If I had a chance to give all the parents I know a few words of advice when sending their children into the care of others, I already know what I'd say.

For the love of all that is holy, watch what you say and do in front of your children. Kids repeat EVERYTHING.

Just because they can't speak doesn't mean they don't hear. I can't even begin to tell you how many different children I've had here that say things they really shouldn't.

Recently, I had a child here who used to say t-w-a-t  all. the. time. He was only 1 and had no idea what it meant of course, but it got a reaction. That was fun. Taking a child to the park to play and having him call other kids words that you never want to hear from a child. Good times.

Yesterday, the same child  called his mother a different very bad word. He's 3 now. He knows better, but he heard it somewhere, and like I said, kids repeat EVERYTHING!

Kids don't just repeat words, they repeat actions too.

I have a 2 year old here who picked up a Nerf dart while ago. He held it between his fingers and said, I'm smoking. And he was. He's also picked up a toy phone, pretends to smoke while talking in mostly fast baby gibberish but every once in a while he'll throw in a colorful word to mix it up.

Its not always bad things. Kids are super funny, anyone who has ever spent time with the under 5 crowd knows this. I've had a potty training child tell me his pee-pee was like a squirt gun and he had to shoot the potty with it. Hey, what ever works!

It can be fun to watch kids in the dramatic play area because they come up with some of the most random and silly things. I never really know what they are going to say, but you can sometimes get a sense of what goes on at home by the way they play.

The kitchen center for example. One child with be the mom and pour herself a glass of wine and then bring me a glass with pretend beer because I'm the dad and we've both had a hard day. Or a child will pretend to be mom while cooking dinner and mumble something about not being a restaurant. Things that I know all moms have said at one time or another.

So just remember, kids will copy you. They will act like you. And that's not always a bad thing really. Because you want your kids to follow your good example, right? That's what we strive for, raising children who use manners and are polite.

I'm just saying, if your going to smoke while talking on your cell phone using your sentence enhancers, remember your kids will repeat you.

And hopefully who ever watches your child for you has a sense of humor because sometimes all you can do is laugh.

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