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Thoughts on Steve Biddulph and other strong anti nursery views?(35 Posts)
My son is due to start nursery at one year old in September. I have to go back to work and do not have the financial option to stay at home.
To start with I'll be off on Fridays, my parents will take him two days and he will go to nursery for the other two.
Started googling (maybe a mistake!) and found a raft of stuff from the likes of Steve BIddulph and other experts warning about sending to nursery too early and for long days.
He's a happy chap and enjoys his group classes, so I was feeling comfortable... but now I'm feeling the mummy guilt! Wondering if i should ease him in with shorter days to start with and ask work if I can go in late, but I think they will say no.
I am worried about his napping. He can be hard to get to sleep and thinking if he becomes cranky and tired may hate it.
Any advice from mums who have been through the same thought processes or experiences welcome!
I think you should stop Googling. You need to work. I assume you've found a nursery you're happy with? He'll be fine. If he has a loving family and goes to a good nursery he'll be fine. It's so easy to feel guilty about everything, it's such a big responsibility, but he'll be OK and you are doing the very best you can.
Yes happy with the nursery. Doing settling in days soon.
Thanks for the words of encouragement... the anti nursery info is pretty intense. When they say things like increased aggression and stress!?
Look, I stayed home with my two because I was in the privileged position of wanting to and being able to, but honestly, now they both at school, you could not tell a difference between the kids who went to nursery and the kids who didn't.
You are doing your best for your DS, and that's what matters.
To be fair Steve Biddulph was an expert before my 27 year old was born so I would guess his views are pretty outdated now and not of this time!
From a practical POV think of all the children who go to nursery (and think of countries like America and where they go young and stay in childcare throughout) these countries/ societies are not full of stressed and aggressive children are they? The whole country isn’t teaming in childcare related disaster!
My DD has been FT nursery since 9m and is just leaving for school. She’s learnt a huge amount, made lovely friends and is so Mature and independent. Her speech was brilliant early, her table manners, toileting etc. There are many advantages to having your parenting supported by professionals.
My DD was crap at napping. Nursery would rock her in her buggy for the first few weeks and then they moved her into a cot. We never managed at home with a cot. Until she stopped napping at nursery aged 2 her key worker would tickle her back until she went to sleep.
I became a SAHM when DD was 2 but we still kept her in some nursery sessions as she loved spending time with her friends.
Mum guilt is a thing. Is his Dad worrying about this and considering going into work late for a few weeks?
Steve Biddulph has his view, but he doesnt know your family or your child.
Personally, I'm a better Mum when I work. My children enjoy school and nursery.
Theres no way to be a perfect parent, but thousands of ways to be a good one. Your DS will be fine & you'll really appreciate your Fridays together! Don't get bogged down with chores - make sure you go swimming/park/trampolining or something fun
There are many advantages to having your parenting supported by professionals
Steve Biddulph isn't the brightest of sparks. He disapproves of nurseries and then breathlessly exclaims how wonderful some primitive cultures are in which the whole village raises the child so women without children care for the young while the parents go off and do other stuff, if only we had such a set up. Steve love, we do. It's called nursery care.
My now two year old started nursery at aged one. She loves it, she goes two days as partner and I work from home other three.
And she’s happy and confident and really loves it. She bounces into the nursery room in the morning and is really happy there.
The staff are lovely and very caring and the other children look really happy there too.
It’s hard leaving them at bridegroom but I think it’s harder for the parents than the child.
I do know annoyingly that DD has a better routine at nursery than she does at home, she goes down for naps and eats more foods there. I think possibly because all the other children do it, so she does too.
I didn’t google before putting dd into nursery. It would have pushed me over the edge.
I’m a much better parent for spending some time away from my DD.
at first not bridegroom (god knows how that autocorrect got in)
Thanks everyone. Really good to hear your views and experiences.
I needed a reality check to regulate my sad guilty feelings.
Also the suggestions of chore reduction, quality time and napping strategies all very helpful!
Partner is willing to ask work for reduced hours if needs be. I guess maybe I just need to roll with the plan and take it from there.
All children are different and he might love it or hate it!
I think small children are only stressed if they are at the wrong nursery. You want somewhere that shares your values. My DC always went to slightly scruffy, laid back nurseries where if they wanted to snuggle on a bean bag instead of doing reading they could. They'd have been stressed at the local 'perfect' nursery so we discounted it.
It will be fine. The world is not full of aggressive damaged people because they went to nursery. You know this.
As for the napping, my kids all napped on schedule at nursery with the other kids. They got mats out and all had a mid afternoon snooze. Don't worry.
My daughter absolutely loves nursery. She has been part time since she was 11months old. She has come on so much there, her confidence and progress has been amazing. All I would say is it depends on the child, some really don't get on well in that setting and you should be prepared to look at other arrangements if it doesn't work out.
I remember when my docs were little and he was all rage. Numerous articles about how awful it was to leave children at nursery. Made me feel guilty and i ended up questioning myself, just like you are.
What I have learnt from that
- his answer to no nursery is ... for the WOMAN to stay at home. Right... If this is no bad for the dcs, why not having the dad staying at home or both parents sharing the care or whatever?
- I have yet to see proper resarch to his claims. If this was a reality, there would have been many things put in place all over the world. Think Scandinavian countries who are much more on the ball than we are.
- Increased aggression and stress.... I havent seen any of that in my dcs. And fwiw im coming form a country where most children go to nursery from 3 months old (or at lest it was 10~15 years ago when my dcs were little). There is no more aggressive behaviour there or stress than there is in the uk
- his pov doesnt take ANY special consideration into account. Its all very black and white which parenting and childrearing just cannot be.
Eg: I had bad PND with dc1. I can promise you that he was better at bnursery than with me all day long. Sad yes but true.
Being at work might allow you much better living conditions and therefore a less stressul environement at home.
You might hate being a SAHM which is totally acceptable etc....
- In my home country, they actually do their utmost to ensure that children go to nursery/nursery school asap because they know that it improves outcomes for the child (academically and socially) and ne way to promote social mobility is through nursery. aka not everyone is able to provide the right stimulating environemnt for their child.
Basically what this all says to me is that its a man's pov from someone who is from a middle class/upper middle class background with no money problem and a strong sexist view of thw rold where mothers should stay at home with children.
Just stopping reading him. Someone who seems intent in making women guilty has no place to give parenting advice mo.
look at your child. Are thye happy? Are they settling well?
Are YOU happy and enjoying your work? Do you appreciate/need the money you are making?
Basically look at your OWN circumstances and do whatever is best for YOU. You as s a person, not always putting your dc first or your family etc... but what is actually working for you.
Don’t google stuff like that, mine have all enjoyed nursery, it just is what it is. You can’t win being a parent in many ways with such easy access to so many conflicting opinions! My bet is you’re doing a brilliant job.
My experience is that if someone was able to make my dcs nap, it was nursery
no idea how they were managing to have all the dcs sleep at the same time but they did. with both of mines.
My eldest didn’t go to nursery till ages 2.5 years old and I really wish I had put him much younger. He was with his granny or dad and not taken to toddlers etc much as neither were comfortable going and I worked full time so couldn’t take him. I think he struggled so much more socially when he started nursery and still does a bit because of this (he is 7 now).
I didn’t want my youngest to struggle socially so he started going to a amazing childminder at 8 months old who does loads with him and takes him to lots of toddlers groups etc. I also do the same on my days off. He is far more sociable than his big brother and does not struggle at all with other children as he is so used to them. His social skills according to the senior health visitor and a senior early years practitioner who did his 2 year check are well above average. I really believe this is partly because he was socialised much younger and learned to be comfortable with other kids. He can literally walk into any setting with other kids and play brilliantly.
I have also noticed in my dh family the kids who are cared for mainly by there granny and don’t get much access to other children there age struggle much more socially. This is not true in all cases of grandparents caring for kids but my MIL keeps the kids at home and doesn’t take them toddlers etc.
I would ignore the study a good nursery or childminder will do so much good for your child.
Some great responses on here. I totally agree that Stephen Biddulph should be roundly ignored. There are enough guilt inducing factors all around us all of the time as it is. Make your decisions for the right reasons, be at peace with those decisions and ignore everyone who is hell bent in making you feel you're doing the wrong thing.
I am in the USA and they are a ton of stressed out kids here, but I don't see any evidence that it's down to nursery. It seems to be much later - middle school and high school - where the intensity of the academic rat race for college can put them under extreme pressure.
The only person I know personally who started nursery very young (much younger than one) because her mom was a single parent in the 1980s was my nanny! She was extremely emotionally mature and very well adjusted, as well as physically beautiful. I lost her when she went to nursing school. I remember her telling me she met her best friend when they were in the "baby room" together i.e. since they were babies! Pure anecdote but she seems extremely well adjusted and married relatively young. Seems very happy.
Id say its all bollocks. I have 4 dc, all went to nursery full time from just under 1 until starting school. They are now sociable, well adjusted kids and teens who are proud of their wide circle of friends. They are the kind of kids who you can drop in anywhere, holidays, clubs, new schools, and they will make friends. I credit going to nursery for a large part of that.
Academic success is important but it is having friends and being popular that makes them happy as children and, especially, teenagers.
You can find evidence on the internet to support either view. The reason being that some children will do well in nursery, most will if the nursery is a good one. There will always be some that don't but it doesn't sound like this applies to your son. He sounds like a happy, confident and well adjusted child who will thrive by having a variety of environments to explore.
Kids do best when their parents are happy, loving and unstressed (including not having money worries)
I haven't done the research but - like Stephen Biddulph, are most of the 'experts' male?
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