Open Discussion Forum

  • 1.  Mothers are magic

    Posted 17 days ago

    Parents have become my new heroes. Most of my career was spent in centers. For the past 8 years I have been a family child care home provider serving infants and toddlers. The relationship with parents is so different; much more intimate. I have 3 stories of mothers who were able stop their work for just a few minutes and help their child through a crisis on the phone. 

    1. The first was a 2-year-old living with his father and his mother was on supervised visitation (with me). The father was a personal friend and so I had a good relationship with the mother prior to the little boy being separated from her. I was on leave from my job, so provided child care for him. There were many days where he had little meltdowns. I'd call his mother who worked at a call center and ask if she could talk to him for a few minutes. She was always able to talk him down from whatever the crisis was in less than 5 minutes. I don't remember details; he'll be 16 in a few days. 
    2. Another mother was a nurse working in a hospital. Her barely 2-year-old boy woke up from nap one day crying hysterically. Nothing I did helped him. His mother talked to him for about 3 minutes calming him down and calling him little pet names. Anyone would have felt safe after talking to her. The little boy was fine till his father picked him up a few hours later. 
    3. The weather radio in my family child care home went off with a tornado watch (not a warning - a watch). A 4-year-old girl understood that tornados are very scary and began to cry about her "Foxy". Foxy was her comfort stuffed animal that had been with her since birth. Her 1-year-old brother just watched her with concern. My logical explanations did not help her at all, so I eventually called Mommy who was the manager of a fast-food chain. In less than a minute the mother made the little girl smile. She told her the two cats at their home would take care of Foxy.

    This last mother was the woman who led me to label mothers as "magic." I would have never thought of telling the child her Foxy would be okay because of the cats. Later, the mother smiled and told me the cats solve lots of problems at her house.

    Prior to the last 8 years all of my work with children occurred before the advent of cell phones. Calling a parent at work was unthinkable unless it was to say, meet your child at the emergency room. Therefore, I have been very careful not to abuse the privilege of contacting a parent at work. 

    I have two questions: 

    1. Do you have any anecdotes about parents providing their child with something no one else can?
    2. How do you make decisions about contacting a parent at work?


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    Loraine Dunn
    Provider
    Only Toddlers
    OK
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  • 2.  RE: Mothers are magic

    Posted 16 days ago

    Lovely stories Loraine.  The majority of my experience has been in Head Start programs so it's pretty much mostly been a decision that is above my head to contact parents.  Sometimes we've had to, when child is exhibiting behaviors that are dangerous to themselves or others or if they are being extremely disruptive at nap time.  I guess it depends upon your program and your parents.



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    Jamie Radley
    Passionate ECE Professional
    San Leandro, CA
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  • 3.  RE: Mothers are magic

    Posted 11 days ago

    That makes sense, before becoming a family child care provider, that was my experience as well. While the hours are brutal and it's hard to never have a break, I've enjoyed the freedom of being able to make my own decisions. 



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    Loraine Dunn
    Provider
    Only Toddlers
    OK
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  • 4.  RE: Mothers are magic

    Posted 4 days ago

    Loraine,

    What lovely stories, I agree with Jamie, particularly the cats caring for Foxy.

    I predominately worked with little ones before cell phones, as well. I did have one boy in my kindergarten class who was the youngest of five children. He truly was the baby of the family and when he would become really upset, I would call for his 5th grade sister to stop by our classroom. She was like his second mom and would give him a hug and talk to him. It was very sweet. Eventually, by the end of the year, he was able to self-regulate but, it really helped having sister nearby those first few months.

    I find a lot of people now will text me first and say-do you have a minute to talk? or call me when you have a minute, etc.  That might be a way to contact families without interrupting them too much if it is a non-emergency.

    Best to you!



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    Deb Martinez
    Clinical Professor, ECE, ELEM, SPED
    Arizona State University
    Phoenix AZ
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