June 10, 2008,
S.H. asks from Manassas, VA on June 05, 2008
Daycare at a Gym
I recently joined a gym that has a childcare room so my son can be supervised while I work-out. It's a great gym and I love going, it's been great 'me time'. But, my son isn't taking to the daycare. He cries the whole time and the women who work in the room are always telling me how much he cries and how he is constantly trying to run out the door when it opens. I know my son likes doors, he is always opening and closing them at home. But I am at a loss at what to do. I have been a gym member for almost a month now and my son isn't adjusting well. I don't want to quit going, and I enjoy going in the morning while my husband is at work. I want my son to go and interact with other kids, also. But everyday I am hearing about how he cried and screamed, etc. I don't know what to do, I feel terrible that he is crying so much. Any advice? I don't know what the daycare women are doing to try and help him adjust and I can't peek in the room because they keep the door closed so kids can't escape.
K.L. answers from Norfolk on June 09, 2008
I am going thru the same thing. I joined the Y in January and planned to go in the mornings while dh was at work. It got me up and going for the day and was good for the kids to have interaction w/ other kids. The first few times I went they both cried and they had to come get me. I was told they would wait 15min. So thats what I got: a 15min. workout.
So I decided to wait and go when dh got home in the middle of the afternoon when I am slumped and normally like to lay down and rest for an hour when the kids do. Not an ideal time but I have to take what I can get. So I did that for a while, but his hours change and sometimes there wasnt enough time for a workout before dinner and so I'd go after dinner. Bad time but once again do what you gotta do.
So a month ago I went back in the a.m. and they both had a meltdown. Then I tried again last week and now my 3yr old is fine, but my 2yr old cries immediately. They dont even wait 10min. now. When I come to pick him up he sobs uncontrollably for 20min. At first I was peeved cuz I know the girl in there didnt do a darn thing to console him. But this last time there was a lady who went out of her way for him. So maybe if I go when she is there he will adjust to her and be ok. I am going to try to go back, but I need to do it at least 2x a week for a month and see if he adjusts.
I dont know what else to do.
You do need to speak w/ the staff and find out what they are doing if anything to console him. THey should also have a window or a monitor that you can view...that also might be a state law if I am not mistaken. I worked at a daycare in Fairfax and that was something we had: a monitor for parents to view at any time.
I know part of my kids problem is that I never leave them w/ anyone but my mom or sister and thats only when they are in town. So its normal for them to cry when you leave them, but not easy. This is also why we dont go to church. :(
L.R. answers from Washington DC on June 05, 2008
I understand that they're keeping the door closed to prevent escapes, and also you don't want to distract your son with your presence if you drop in and then leave, but....I've always been told that a chief rule of any good child care is that a parent can drop in (or spy on!) children at any time. This prevents child care providers from, frankly, getting up to anything they shouldn't be. I'm not saying that's the case here, but the closed-door policy would concern me a little. Maybe talk to the facility about a closed-circuit camera or a one-way mirror so parents can see what's up? I bet they'll say it's too expensive and you're the only one who has asked for it....Yes,it's probably all just separation anxiety, especially if you son hasn't been used to being babysat/in day care/in classes with other kids, etc. But it's also possible there's something in the way the caregivers act with him that is upsetting him (or just making him angry even if their actions are appropriate). As the other person who posted also noted, sometimes these child care rooms mix kids of all ages and that can make for roughhousing, loudness, etc. that can overwhelm a young toddler like yours. Sounds like maybe you need to have a long and detailed talk with the care providers as well as their supervisor. I'd find a way to find out what goes on inside the room the hour or so he's there -- are there bigger kids dominating the younger ones, are loud, annoying videos blasting the whole time, are there too few toys for a kid his age, do the caregivers just sit against the wall and chat to each other and not play WITH the kids, do they not intervene when kids fight over toys, etc. Ask some questions and let us know what you find out!
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N.S. answers from Norfolk on June 06, 2008
my youngest is around the same age. and i have recently started to go back to work alittle over a month ago. he was crying his head off for a while and now he's gotten used to it that now he just watches me leave.
A.H. answers from Washington DC on June 06, 2008
I worked at a gym daycare right before having kids and I can tell you, there were definitely times we-as staff-didn't play with the kids if they all seemed content. We tried not to turn on the tv and did arts and crafts for the older kids. When things got hairy, we would take all the kids about that age to another part of the gym to play or just run around, chase them..whatever worked. At that particular gym we had squash courts and the change of scenery usually worked. There's an option if you're going to talk to the staff.
My son gets really upset if there's other kids that are upset in the room at the gym and they've had to come and get me to deal with him! After the first time, I always send a snack and his sippy cup (labeled with his name) in his bag and make sure the staff knows where it is and to give it to him if he gets upset. He loves food and it's an easy distraction.
M.C. answers from Washington DC on June 06, 2008
The part about him crying when you leave is pretty normal for this age. The part about him crying non-stop is sad. I would talk to the daycare. Find out what type of things they do to help him be distracted. Try taking some of his toys/blanket from home with him. Or, purchase some to be used just at the gym that you keep in the car. Perhaps he just needs some familiar things around.
J.B. answers from Washington DC on June 10, 2008
My advice is to take him to someone that has kids to play with, i kno that some of the daycare places at the gym, but I am a stay at home mom, with a 3 year old girl, and sometime my newphews and my neice, if you want to try to bring him to me, I do not charge alot of drop-ins, I live in the Spotsylvania County area, where are you located? We go to the park, depending on the weather, taking them to mds, just letting them play and have a fun time, and keeping them busy, and not letting him around the dooors, like reading a book, coloring time, and etc. I have AFFORDABLE RATES AND GREAT REFERENCES!~!!! That is my advice.. I do not even charge you for the days that you are not bringing your baby to me during the day time, which in good right?
E.T. answers from Washington DC on June 05, 2008
If your child doesn't get time away from you normally, I suspect it is just separation anxiety.
My daughter goes to daycare normally, but doesn't like being left at the one at the gym. Her normal daycare is age segregated, but the gym daycare has lots of children, particularly older ones, running around and making commotion. That said, my child settles down quickly once I am gone from sight.
I would take a look at the environment. Is the daycare very busy when you are going? You might want to target a less busy time.