Day-care study takes jab at working parents
Some days I feel like a great mom. Other days I feel like I could do better. Now comes along a study that stands to make working mothers like myself feel like absolute failures.
A report by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development published in the latest issue of Child Development suggests a correlation between disruptive behavior in children and the amount of time they spend in day care. The federally funded research tracked 1,300 children from infancy to elementary school. The latest findings follow a mid-term report in 1999 that found young children in day care were slightly less likely to bond with their mothers than stay-at-home kids.
I’m sure I’m not alone in saying my heart sank when I first heard the results. But then came a few silver linings: 1) Parenting and genes had a greater influence on behavior. 2) Kids who had high-quality day care scored higher on vocabulary tests.
As for No. 1: I just hope my two-year-old son doesn’t inherit my ability to bomb the SAT test despite a series of honors, AP and SAT-prep classes.
As for No. 2: I can already attest to the strides my son has made since he began the Infant/Toddler program at Nova Southeastern University’s Mailman Segal Institute.
Aside from vocabulary, my son is learning socialization skills he just wouldn’t get at home: Basic things like how to stand in line; sit down to eat at a table with other kids; follow instructions from someone other than Mom or Dad.
Ultimately, rather than sulk about a study that documents marginal differences, I’ll take pride in the values I know my husband and I are instilling in our son. I was reminded of that the other day when my son’s teacher said our son had remarkably good manners, saying “please” and “thank you” and “I’m sorry” often.
“If they weren’t so expensive,” she told my husband, “I’d bless you with six children.”
Now that's an assessment I can live with.POSTED IN: School Issues (135)