Dear Dr. Laura:
I've heard you refer to daycare as a place where your child is not loved all day. It also changes the dynamic of daily interaction. Recently, I babysat the three-year-old next door so his highly-educated parents could have a date night.
When I arrived at their house, the dad had just gotten home, and the mom had picked up their child from daycare and had also just gotten home. Dad (in an exaggerated tone) asked the toddler "HOW WAS YOUR DAY? WHO WAS THERE AND WHO DID YOU PLAY WITH?" I wondered if this was a daily event, because every time I see them talking to their child, it's over-dramatic. I believe that if a parent was with a child all day long, daily events would not need to be elevated to the point of being phony and shallow.
The toddler and I had a wonderful time while his parents were gone. We sang songs and danced. When they came home, the boy wanted a lollipop, so they presented him with their treat jar, and he helped himself to a handful of lollipops. The mom laughed! When you only see your child for a small window in their day, of course, you want them to be happy, so rules aren't important. Listeners should consider the ripple effect of the many ways daycare changes the way you parent your child.
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