In the year 2012, I quit my Corporate / Teaching Career and set up a Structured Child Day Care Centre. It was one of its kind in the city, at that time. My key pitching was that we keep all kids happy at our daycare and mothers should work happily and be more productive at their workplace. I lived by this. I trained my staff by this. “No kid can be unhappy at Blossoms Day Care Centre.”, this was the key performance area for each teammate. Being a Human Resource person, I have had the knack of keeping my team happy, despite being a taskmaster. That made training and execution of my dream very easy.
I used to personally connect with each child. All children were below 12 years of age. Of cour,se they were all in nuclear families with both parents working and grandparents coming to stay on and off. I tried to be a mother to all. As soon as the children used to arrive from school, I needed to have a word or two with them. They used to share their little stories of school, of appreciation, of punishments, sports and studies. I loved them all so much. They too loved me in return.
They allowed me of a lifetime to study the behaviour of so many children and understand their school and family dynamics and relate to their personalities. At any point in time, we used to have 35 – 40 kids of different age group. They interacted openly with us and trusted us completely with their conversations. At the Parents’ request, I used to do some life skill sessions with these kids where there were rounds of happy and sad storytelling from their lives and it helped me to do subtle counselling through my stories too.
The common thread here was Children with Happy Parents and Harmony in the house appeared happy and confident all the time.
The children of single parents were much happier than the children of parents who had some kind of discord. (This is pure observation, based on a few cases)
Another aspect was that young kids like 2 -3 years of age would get dropped and picked up happily by one parent only. The same child when brought to the Daycare by the mother, used to scream and yell and when brought by the father was so happy and settled. Children continue to test waters.
The use of Abusive language is no big deal for children if they hear it at home all the time. For them, they are just words used when one is angry or upset. Also, when questioned they very happily tell who uses at home :):) Parents need to be extremely careful about what Vocabulary to use.
There was this brother-sister duo who used to come to our Day Care. The boy was 3 – 4 years younger than his sister. Both parents used to be extremely busy and wanted us to work even on Sundays. They had even requested night care many times. The little boy was very aggressive, I think he was about 8-9 years of age. His sister tried calming him down all the time when they were back from school.
Our Supervisors and caretakers forever used to report his abusive language, tantrums and aggressive behaviour to me. I tried counselling him many times but to no avail. He had even started hitting his sister and pulling her hair as and when he would find an opportune moment. All this was getting intolerable for our team. Until one day I had to call the mother to meet me. It is still unbelievable that the mother started slapping the child in front of our entire team and children. The only solution she strongly believed was punishing the boy. I asked her what punishment the daycare staff can give to a child like this and she very firmly said that keep him in the sun outside the main gate and don’t give him meals. I was zapped, my dear friends. That day I knew that no punishment can work with a child like this. We got to know that his father was extremely abusive in the family. He must have been so short of love, he may not be knowing the word ‘care’. I decided to put in more efforts. We allocated our best caretaker to him and she was instructed to not do anything else but just be with him and take care of his needs through the 5-6 hours that he used to stay. Nothing helped him. We could manage only our affairs at daycare and could not help the boy much. There came a time that I had to say bye-bye to the children with a heavy heart because other kids at our Daycare were getting impacted and all of them were so precious. Parents need to learn Parenting and focus on it. No child has asked his/her parent to bring them into the world.
There is no such thing as a Perfect Parent, but let’s be Parents at least and learn the skill well and give some time and love to the process. Money is just an added advantage!
Guest Author: Sadaf Chaudhary
Sadaf Chaudhary is a Happiness Coach. She has about 20+ years of experience in dealing with the Happiness of children and women. She is an entrepreneur and a trainer too, not to forget, a passionate parent at heart.
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