Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Great news: kids in childcare are independent, social and playful - also know as disruptive

Day Care likely to cause disruptive beahviour

Well, duh. Stick 'em with their peers and they learn stuff, and it's not the stuff Baby Einstein wants to learn 'em, that's for freakin sure.

But what's so bad about disruptive anyway? I constantly struggle with the issue of words like disruptive, compliant (it rubs me up the wrong way), even the word behaviour...no one really calls what I do, what adults do, good or bad 'behaviour'. It's a way of talking about children and animals - it's a way of objectifying them, of somehow feeling that we have jurisdiction over their emotions.

Fred is wild and chaotic. If she was an element she'd be fire. Fire can be contained, and it's beautiful and essential and without it we'd die, but it burns and it can just as easily break containment and burn out of control. But even then, in the destruction there's renewal, there's regeneration. And you don't smack fire for being fire. Yes, she's disruptive. But disruption can be a strength as well as a weakness. I feel it's my duty as a parent to teach her how and when to use it for greater good. Yes, she needs to learn that there's a time to sit down and shut up and that some battles are pointless and a waste of her energy and talents. She also need to learn how and when to apply the kindness, compassion, bravery and empathy that she also has in spades, and she needs to learn that her imagination is one of the things that makes her human (not to mention fun and funny). So what if running wild with other kids (which seems to be at least 50% of the childcare day - or I hope it is...at least) makes her disruptive. Oh my god, could she be having...FUN? Stop the presses. Childcare may be linked to fun.

I am so over these articles and studies about whether or not child care is good or bad or indifferent. It is. Childcare is. Until the average houseprice in Australia comes down by a lot, or fully paid parental leave extends to four years per child, child care just is. So stop fartarsing about with your studies and fix the problem of lack of choice, lack of places in quality centres and lack of supportive encouragement for parents to choose the work balance they think suits their family best.

End rant.


  1. Anonymous12:12 PM

    And don't you just love books with titles like "Motherhood: How Should We Care for Our Children"?(named in the article) How can people still suggest that caring about children is a woman's role?

    And I agree with you that it's time to stop wailing about how the world isn't like it used to be in the 50s and learn to make things great for families in the world we have now.

  2. Anonymous12:15 PM

    Woops, I meant to say "soley" a woman's role. Obviously mothers have a role!

  3. Anonymous12:27 PM

    Oh for god's sake. What a stupid non-finding. And surely in the olden olden days when we all lived in caves kids would just run around in wild packs together "naturally"? I'm waiting for the study that says "children reared in isolation with stir-crazy mothers are socially maladjusted and have weak immune systems, poor vocabularies and don't know how to communicate with peers."

    But oddly enough, I 've never seen one.

  4. Anonymous8:52 PM


    A comment on your first school report in 1980 described you as immature. The comment was not in keeping with your achievements. When queried your teacher somewhat shamefaced stated that you had difficulty keeping still in your desk for hours at a time and most creche kids were the same. I think back then even kids who went to playgroups were a bit suss.

    To kate c, I have known child care directors speaking with great concern because they have been asked by state authorities to turn 3 & 4 yr old children of the type you mentioned (and worse) into school ready kids when they don't speak, don't play, have bad diets. and are often not toilet trained. Of course you don't hear about them.

  5. Anonymous10:17 PM

    yep, it's bollocks. I agree. I'm sooooo tired of the guilt tripping and pretty much the entire working mothers backlash thing that's going on. More and more smart women are staying home in droves and I think that's a really sad thing. peace and love to you, kath x

  6. Muuu-uu-uuum. Don't tell people what my prep school report said. Next you'll be posting those photos of me on the lounge room floor.

  7. Anonymous4:33 PM

    Hoo-bloody-ray! Couldn't agree more.


  8. "Here Here" I cry!

    Having an ASD child this (disruptive, can't sit still etc)still crops up in school reports..lol.. Each child is unique, and when in a Mob, all revert to lowest common denominator.
    A neighbour recently had 3 young (under 10) visitors and they were ringing peoples door bells and running away, when I mentioned this to the neighbour in a fit of laughter (we have glass doors facing the front of the house and could see the kiddies!) the parents were mortified saying "my child would never do that!"..lol.. in that situation they all think they're 10 foot tall and bullet proof, and the one with the craziest idea gets to be leader.