Parents, ah parents. I wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for parents. I can deal with the kids, I have a much better understanding if a child is weird or ridiculous. Even though we have been children we still don’t always understand our own. As some of you know, I have been a teacher at different daycares for well over 5 years. I love so much about it. I love it so much that I am beginning a blog about it and opening my own daycare soon. Let’s dive headfirst into 5 types of ridiculous parents I have had in the past.
The parents that need way too much information. I have had parents that need way too much information about their kid’s day, in full detail! This does not include parent who want to know if their child ate or was feeling well that day. Of course a parent wants to know if their child ate and how much they ate. There are lots of things parents should ask about. Did he have a good time? What time and how long did they nap? How have they been feeling? These are all reasonable questions that any daycare should be happy to tell you about.
But when a parent asks about the color of the poop?!! Now, if there is concern about some issue, ok. But there was a lady who was obsessed with her kids poop. Why? I’m very used to dealing with poop, but I don’t like to focus on it. In fact, I try to distract myself when dealing with it. This lady would have loved it if I offered to take pictures of it, bagged it, and put it on the wall. How often, how much, color, texture, etc. I had to remind myself to keep track of poop all day. It was gross, awkward and frustrating.
The parents who have very detailed schedules. Let’s start with the good: Schedules are important for children. But with these parents, they let you know EVERYTHING that they want done and the minute they want it done! They give you the schedule with color coordinated bottles and cups that match the time and you know exactly what they want.
They want to feel that they still have control of their child’s schedule and upbringing. The child’s teacher/care giver isn’t the parent and how dare they know what the child wants? In their mind the child wants what the schedule says! It’s the way it’s always been done. Well… That’s what the parents want. Now what do you do when the child decides that they don’t want to follow that schedule?
Does the child want to eat at 2 o’clock? No waaaay! Mama wants the child to eat at One! But sorry, Little Timmy wants to nap! Good luck getting this parent on the correct schedule unless you get into their club! How do you get into the “Allow me to help make some choices” club? There is no answer to this! They are stuck in their ways and it makes daycare really hard on the kids. Every other one of the children are on she class schedule but this little one is an hour late for his usual nap time and crying. Meanwhile, all of the other kids are playing with toys and don’t want him around.
The parents who don’t care about what you have to tell them. These are the toughest parents to deal with in my opinion. You are simply a caregiver not a teacher. To them daycare/preschool is a place that they need to bring their kids and you are not educated like they are. They will tell you all of the time how smart their kid is, what they can do and what you can’t teach them. But when you have something to tell them they just tell you that they have to leave or need to schedule a time that will never be scheduled. In this case, what I have done is write them daily reports about what was done in the class and hand it to the parents. If they are handed the report in front of everyone, it makes them feel that they need to read it to look good. Which brings me to the criers! No, not the toddlers, the adults. Especially mamas!
The parents who cry because…! In my years of working with young children, I have noticed that parents feel that their kids need to want them so badly. Some parents want to see that their children are crying because they are being left alone in a foreign place. If kids don’t feel miserable, the parents get upset.
Why in the world would you want your children to be upset? I have experienced having to comfort a parent on their child’s first day because the mom couldn’t leave the window, she was just crying for her daughter. The more ridiculous part is that this was not their first day at a daycare either, just the first day at our daycare.
The mother lingered for 15 minutes. If you had 15 extra minutes, why did you bring her so early? But the parents who stand by the window crying show the child that there is something about the place that isn’t safe. The more comfortable the child is, the better it is on everyone. If the parent leaves and says a happy “goodbye” the child sees that everything is safe. Of course, parents won’t leave their child in an unsafe place but their children don’t know that.
They are not the only type of parent to cry though. I think this is type is even more ridiculous. I had a mom that was so hysterical, the dad was embarrassed and he walked away. He then came back five minutes later to the still crying mother. The lady was crying because her daughter was bit by another child. Really?…kids bite, they ALL bite eventually. They don’t know how to express themselves with words, so they go to the next best thing that gets the other kids to leave them alone, biting. The girl who was bit was totally fine and not even that upset. The girl didn’t even cry, just the mom.
The story?… her daughter was trying to take a toy from another kid and that other child bit her. It’s Lord of the Flies in there sometimes – try to steal, you get bit. The mom was in complete denial that her daughter could do ANYTHING wrong! And asked us how dare we allow children to attack her daughter? She treated it like we were pit fighting the kids and placing bets. Well, low and behold her baby also went after another child THE NEXT DAY!!! Now what?… Well mommy… your daughter is two just like all the other children. Stop thinking she doesn’t do anything wrong!!!!!!
Couples that don’t communicate with one another and you get two opposite requests. You will rarely get both parents picking up their child together, so you will probably have to write make two copies of the same report, one for mom and one for dad. You hand one to the parent that picks up the child in the afternoon and hand the second copy to the other parent who drops off the child the next morning. It’s extra work that really needs to be done! When one parents says don’t feed my child…. Then you NEED to tell the other parent as soon as you can. The parents won’t go after each other, so they come after the teacher. One parent will say that there is NO EGG allowed! Period! Not even a bite of cake at a birthday party. However, the other parent doesn’t care, as long as their child is fed and happy. So now what?
Like I said before, there are the parents that don’t have time to sit down with you…. these are also the “I don’t have time to talk” parents. In that case the only other option is a written note. Seriously!! You need written evidence of what the parents are saying. And make copies of all the forms, notes, e-mails, ect. that each parent writes. Don’t allow yourself to get mixed into this tug of war….
Parents that think the kid is a genius but don’t want to teach them anything. These parents usually are the ones that think their sons or daughters are perfect. Can a two-year-old be a genius? No. It is, in fact, scientifically proven that one cannot be a genius if they can’t cut a straight line or color inside the lines.
In fairness, this daycare pretty much promised that the kid would learn calculus by the time they left for kindergarten. Of course these parents are upset when they find out they can only count to ten. But did you really believe we can make your kids learn complex math? Here’s how the math works with these parents. Just like 2+2=4… Practicing at school plus practicing at home will generate success. But if the parents can’t sit for five to ten minutes with their own child to practice counting, how do they expect that they will be proficient at it? Many parents are this way with reading as well. They expect their children to test out of kindergarten with reading, yet they never read bedtime stories to their children. In order to help a child learn, they must first learn that whatever it is that they are learning is important. And who better to show them than the most important people in their lives?!!!!!
Parents, if you don’t get anything else from this post, please remember that children are the greatest mimickers…. they will do whatever you do. So instead of being a big part of the process, these parents simply say that they are paying for their children to learn at daycare and they must learn. It goes counting to three sort of, potty training, counting to ten, tying shoes then Math 202. I literally had one of these parents get really (inappropriately) upset because his daughter wrote her O’s the wrong direction, and I should know which way an “O” is written because I write cursive. Please help us all!
Bad or abusive parents. These are obviously the worst. Luckily, I have never had to deal with really bad abuse, but I have had to see borderline abuse. But first, the bad parenting. Don’t berate the kids for getting something wrong, even if it is directed at me. She understood you were criticizing her even if you were yelling at me.
Party moms, technically you can do whatever you want. But do you really think it is a good idea to dress with all of your cleavage out and short shorts to drop your kid off in the morning? Who is doing this stuff in the am. Sorry parents, it can kind of suck sometimes, but you need to change your lifestyle once you have kids.
The parents that I have had the worst relationship with was this couple who decided that their one-year-old had to eat EVERYTHING!! At times I came across parents who, in my opinion, would have to stay at the daycare one full day, and allow us to watch how they implement all of their needs and wants. At the beginning I would feed the girl until she got full. Being that she just started daycare, I knew that she might not eat very much. The amount of food that they demanded I gave her was huge! At nine months old, she was forced to eat the same amount as a typical 18-month-old. She had a pretty big breakfast, which she ate almost everything, then a 9 oz bottle. Then two hours later she had to eat her lunch which was another huge jar of food. By the time they wanted her to eat this food, she hadn’t had time to get hungry. Then another 9 oz bottle before her nap. After her nap she had more food and two more huge bottles. Rule of thumb, unless they are under weight, if the child isn’t hungry, daycares cannot force feed your child…. that’s that rule.
When she got a little older it got worse because they gave her more food. At that point, we just threw it away because we were all getting threats of child negligence if the couple found out that we didn’t give it all to her. Parents!!!! If the person who is with your child all day says that maybe something needs to be changed, don’t take it as them telling you that you are a bad parent. You’re not!! But if your child is in daycare 10 hours every day and you take them home to go to sleep, you need to hear what other people who are taking care of your child have to say. It’s not about you, it’s about doing the best thing for your child. And you want a good relationship with your child’s teacher, it takes work and sacrifice.
After I talked to the father about the situation, he tried really hard to get me fired. I was caught in a very weird place and had no idea what to do. I hate to say it, but I went the rest of the week overfeeding this poor girl. I went to the nurse and she told me to stop doing it. I was so happy to hear that because I couldn’t get fired and I could pass the blame when one of the parents found out that we were throwing the food away. But when he found out, he really really tried to get me fired. Eventually the nurse called CPS and we never saw them again.
All of these parents did what they felt was right for their child. Heck, I sometimes make my son eat his food because I know that he is just picky and wants to be doing something else. But as a parent I have to understand that they feel hungry, and like my husband always says, “He (our son) won’t allow himself to never eat, eventually he will get hungry.” Moms out there, if you are like me, don’t get hung up on how much your child eats if they are healthy. Eventually they will want to eat and they will give you cues that they are hungry. Also, give them choices, even the ones that are just beginning to eat. I too worry, and want to watch my son all day to make sure he eats and plays. And like those parents who want to watch their children all day, I worry about him. Does he like his teacher? Are the children nice to him? Is HE nice to the children? These questions run through my head all day.
But I have to remember one thing: before he was born my husband and I gave him and his life to the Lord. And we as parents need to trust in Him that everything will be ok. Love your children with everything you’ve got and don’t feel guilty that you have to work and leave your children with strangers, because those strangers may become another adult that your child is loved by. I know that I love all of the children that come under my care.