Day-Care Dangers Overblown?

Headline on the front page of yesterday's New York Times:

POOR BEHAVIOR IS LINKED TO TIME IN DAY CARE

Nut graph body copy also found on the front page:

A report from the largest, longest-running study of American child care has found that keeping a preschooler in a day care center a year or more increased the likelihood that the child would become disruptive in class--and that the effect persisted through sixth grade. The finding held up regardless of the child's sex or family income, or the quality of the daycare center.

What the New York Times did not emphasize on its front page yesterday: that the increase in problem behaviors is extremely slight, reflected in a one percent higher score on a standardized assessment of problem behaviors for each year spent in a day-care center. That a huge part of the problem among children may originate not in day care itself, but in the disruption caused by staff turnover at day-care centers, in turn caused by the fact that day-care centers pay employees so little. That the research showed time spent in high-quality day-care centers is correlated with wonderful results such as higher vocabulary scores through elementary school.

What explains the Times' choice to put the most sensationalist, negative findings on the front page? (To the paper's credit, the other, more balanced results from the federally funded Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development are found, albeit inside the paper 14 pages later.) The Times' primary reader audience consists of elite, well-educated, wealthy men and women, people who have a choice about what kind of care their children receive. These are the moms most conflicted about day care, since guilt accompanies choices about whether to work or not. Maybe this explains part of why the Times' "eagerly anticpated" study results were highlighted in this fashion. Maybe I'm just an angry working mom whose kids thrived in day care, who sees media bias where there's none. You tell me.

In the meantime, my advice to every parent considering placing their child in day care: Evaluate this article, and every other supposedly objective report like this, with a giant grain of salt. Trust your instincts about what care is right for you and your child, whether that's day care, home care, dad care or mom care, or a mix of all the above. Make your decisions without the guilt the New York Times and too many others are apparently so eager to heap upon working parents everywhere.

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  March 27, 2007; 7:20 AM ET  | Category:  Childcare
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first!

Posted by: First - Phila | March 27, 2007 7:22 AM

I guess it would depend a lot on your day care situation. DD goes to a day care that has lost only one worker in 3 years she has been going. The women decided to be a SAHM. There has not been any new people and I don't think there will be in the next two years. There is some great quality day cares if you can afford it. The problem is the cost. Also the staff child ratio in my day care is one to three. You can't beat that for 3 year olds. It is more care then some large families.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 27, 2007 7:34 AM

Saw this study yesterday and knew Leslie would jump on it - rightfully so. I heard the study being reported correctly on one cable news morning program and incorrectly on another, care to guess which on got it right? The slight increase in disruptive behavior seemed to be lost in most of the reporting.

I am perplexed as to why The New York Times published the slant they did, however I gave up trying to comprehend the motives behind their "reporting" years ago. So yes, read the article with a large hunk of salt.

Posted by: cmac | March 27, 2007 7:44 AM

Having read the article, it does not seem as imbalanced to me as Leslie thinks it is.

The second paragraph mentions that the effect is slight; the fourth paragraph, which consists of one sentence for emphasis, addresses the positive aspect of increased vocabulary.

Posted by: Neighbor | March 27, 2007 7:46 AM

Duh? You can pick out the day care kids in every setting. They act out, are impolite and are so desperate for attention they behave in whatever way they need to to get it. One cannot honestly argue that spending 3 hours a day after school in a room with 20 other kids is good for them.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 7:48 AM

7:48. You're full of it.

Posted by: BMOM | March 27, 2007 7:50 AM

"Study Links Child Care, Behavior Problems"
was the headline from the most pedestrian paper available...USAToday, whose readership isn't elite, well-educated and wealthy.

The same angle was covered by all the major news networks. The only contrarian coverage I saw was NY Daily News who had two sentences under "Top care = top grades" which mentioned quality care first, then slight behavior problems linked with lesser care.

Doesn't the Post have an ombudsman or someone who controls what its writers write about the competition? (I know other media organizations do). It is such shameless bashing always from you. Frankly, when you single out one media outlet, always negatively, you lose some credibility.

Posted by: Why do you hate NYT so much? | March 27, 2007 7:54 AM

also to 7:48 - actually the article plainly states that you CANNOT tell in elementary school which kids were in daycare.

Funny story from yesterday: I picked up my daughter (1 year old this past Sunday) early from daycare yesterday for her well-baby visit. There in the infant room was a news reporter and a cameraman. Of course I was the only parent around at that time of day (2 PM) so they pounced on me and I ended up with a 2-second moment of fame on channel 9. Of course they didn't use any of the intelligent things I had to say but used a bit where I said something like "We do the best we can with the time we have." Lots of cute pictures of my daughter and her cohorts though.

The point I tried to make was that I chose that daycare in part because of the very low turnover (the average length of service is 6 years and there are a few teachers who've been there 25-30 years). The other reason is that it is homey and caring and very interactive. I guess every decision comes with pros and cons and I think this one has pretty minimal cons (if you can afford it!)

Posted by: MaryB | March 27, 2007 7:56 AM

7:48. You're full of it.
I'm sorry - do YOU want to spend 3 hours a day in a room with 20 kids? I bet after a long day you would enjoy some quiet, some time to relax or do something YOU wanted to do - guess what - so does your kid. He doesnt' want to have to fight for the attention of a couple of 27 year old day care workers and deal with all those kids in that setting after his long day - then you rush him home, put some nasty processed dinner in his stomach and send him to bed, only to wake him early so you can drop him back at that joint. That sounds like a really nice life.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 7:59 AM

I would so like to see the details of the study--what did they see as "disruptive" behavior, why ten hours was chosen as the divider for out of home care, how non-parental family care stacks up against nannies, etc.

Of course, in the long run, my son seems to enjoy daycare, being with other little people, and getting to do things he can't at home because daycare has better toys, a toddler-sized playground, and things we don't have at home. We also have low employee turnover, federally subsidized care, and staff that have free on-site care for their own kids to make the job easier for them. That might have something to do with our overall positive experience.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 8:01 AM

7:59, You didn't describe my kids' lives at all. So like I said, you're full of it. Must be nice going through life knowing the situation every other family is in. It's very easy to make gross generalizations when you don't know what the hell your talking about.

Posted by: BMOM | March 27, 2007 8:04 AM

I think some of the reaction to the article on my part is 1. The headline in the NYT, 2. The media coverage of the article.

Personally I don't see much behavior discrepancy in kids that go to day care. The kids that go to after school care miss out on afternoon neighborhood playtime, so I just don't know these kids as well. Going into the classroom to volunteer I'd have a hard time distinguishing between the daycare vs non-daycare.

When my kids were infant/toddlers they didn't know any daycare kids - they never had a chance to play with any. My daughter came home from Kindergarten and asked me "do you know that there is a thing called daycare where they play all day? Can I go?" Seemed like a cool idea to her.

Posted by: cmac | March 27, 2007 8:12 AM

My DD is a teenager now - but she did daycare from 6 weeks old. In elementary school you could absolutely tell which kids came from her daycare. They made up 90% of the top reading and math groups. And, they all knew each other from daycare for years - so maybe they were a little more relaxed with each other.

As far as these kids maybe being more disruptive - I personally think if it is at all, it's because they're thinking and questioning. Of course, I'm biased with an amazing daughter who came up through daycare.

Posted by: Working Mom | March 27, 2007 8:12 AM

The article I saw referring to this report also said that the percentage change was very slight, that both genetics and parental involvement probably also play a large part, as did the quality and staff of the daycare itself. All of these qualifiers were within the body of the article, however, so if all you looked at was the title, it definitely could have been misleading.

Basically, though, after reading the article and noticing the qualifiers, the report is not reporting anything at all. Way too many variables to just point at daycare kids and say "see, that's causing the disruptive behavior by putting them in daycare".

Posted by: John L | March 27, 2007 8:14 AM

I agree that 7:48 has some issues. I have found that there are two kinds of "needy" kids. Some are daycare kids and some are SAHM kids. Both just need more attention and affection. My daughter (who had a SAH parent for her first 6 years but now attends daycare a few days a year) has a few parents who do not work but also don't pay any attention to their kids. These kids seem even more desparate for attention because they know deep down that they are being brushed off. Poor kids.

Posted by: 21117 | March 27, 2007 8:14 AM

I have no doubts that we are going to see 100 comments that read "My kid went to day care and he/she is AWESOME!!!!!"

No kidding. Your kid probably went to a quality day care.

The problem is that all anyone is going to do is read the stupid headline and not critically read the article. Doesn't surprise me though.

Posted by: sigh | March 27, 2007 8:16 AM

Just visit a public place during the day and you'll see stay-at-home moms deal with their children. They let them run all over the place, throw tantrums, etc... without reacting. Try going to Starbucks to sip a coffee and read your paper in peace. You'll find a bunch of mothers who impose their screaming toddlers on the rest of us. Day care is not the problem. Parents are.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 8:20 AM

My kids have been in a variety of day care situations from in-home care, to a center to a nanny in our home. I believe parenting has more to do with kids acting out than the day care situation providing the basics of care are met: safe, nurturing, learning environment. My kids have never had a problem acting out, unlike some of their stay-at-home friends.

Who says that just by staying at home with your parent (mom or dad!) that you're not plopped in front of a TV all day? There are so many factors here I think it is unfair to make any sweeping statements, but again, that is what academics do to get press.

Posted by: ParentPreneur | March 27, 2007 8:21 AM

I read the article yesterday and had the same response as Leslie. I have been home full time (since my first was born five years ago), and--with no personal feelings on the line--thought the headline and the article were overblown for such a minor finding. I actually think the headline is so overblown that whoever chose it (usually not the author) threatens the credibility of the NYT.

Posted by: Mom supporter | March 27, 2007 8:22 AM

For my son, there were pluses and minuses to childcare in a group setting (Montessori).

As a person who needs routine, he did really well with that aspect of it, especially since I'm not the most organized person in the world.

He attended Montessori schools (including as an infant). It seemed to work at the time for us, when the economy was bad and both my husband and I thought we would be laid off -- so neither one of us felt we could quit our jobs.

At 16, I get a lot of compliments on what a nice kid he is, but he is a homebody. So I wonder if he likes to hang out at home all of the time because he was "out" of the house at a very young age (?)

Posted by: Kate | March 27, 2007 8:24 AM

Child behavior problems begin at home, not in daycare. I am tired of parents always trying to blame outside influences on their kids. And now they have a bogus study to back them.
Daycare providers have their hands tied when it comes to discipline. They have "timeout" and "parental notification". That is the extent of their correction methods. And they don't work. It's not the providers fault. They are scared that parents will press criminal charges. Many of them do if the line is crossed and rightly so.

Parents need to take a more active role in behavior correction and stop blaming others for the problems they create.

It's not video games, or music or internet use. It's how the parents handle discipline children in the early years that
will make the difference.

Posted by: John Q | March 27, 2007 8:26 AM

8:20 has a point: Day care is not the problem. Parents are.
Conversely, the BEST is when you are in Wal-Mart and a kid is crying and the mom smacks her kid and tells him/her to SHUT UP AND STOP CRYING! and when I say smack, I mean beat the holy-living-crap out of them.
These kids will no doubt grow up to be pillars of society.

Seriously- if you treat your kids like people from an early age on and talk logically with them about why it is so important to behave, they just might get it. Everyone thinks kids are stupid just because they are young and not educated yet- that is the problem- they are little sponges WANTING to be educated- so educate them and set a good example. They pick up a LOT more than you would give them credit for... If you cross the line to where you lash out in anger at them from a very young age, they will just pick up on it and be more likely to throw tantrums... this has been a public service announcement.

Posted by: Chris | March 27, 2007 8:30 AM

With a sample size of 2,000, the difference in disruptive behavior that they found isn't exactly huge, but it's not non-existent or insignifigant either. Spending more time in a larger group that just your immediate family might make disruptive behavior more effective with a constant audience or less frequently observed with more kids, fewer adults. That's not to bash the importance and usefulness of other-than-mom care- just a thought on the possible differences.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 8:34 AM

When I was off one day last week, I got to hang out in places like Starbucks and the gorcery store during the day when there are mostly SAHMs. Man alive, I once supported their choice, but there were so many hanging out with their friends as their kids ran everywhere screaming. That is not parenting. Must be nice to have someone support you so you can hang ou tin Starbucks with your girlfriends all day. (I was there for an hour and a half and many were already there when I arrived and still there when I left!)

Posted by: Thought | March 27, 2007 8:35 AM

My point was that staying at home does not necessarily mean that your kids are going to be well behaved. I agree that it definitely depends on the parents. I am sure some SAHMs actually parent their kids, but man there are some that really don't.

Posted by: Thought | March 27, 2007 8:36 AM

I agree with "Why do you hate NYT so much?".

Leslie, you have an unhealthy obsession with the New York Times. When you work for a competing paper, and your coverage of the media focuses time after time on the Times, makes you look...well...dumb.

Posted by: sigh | March 27, 2007 8:37 AM

"At 16, I get a lot of compliments on what a nice kid he is, but he is a homebody. So I wonder if he likes to hang out at home all of the time because he was "out" of the house at a very young age (?)"

Ha, think you're giving him a little too much credit on that one - probably just doesn't have that many friends. Hey, the world needs nerds too!

Posted by: gung ho | March 27, 2007 8:42 AM

I think this is an interesting study and worth discussing, but I would direct people to this Web site if they want to learn about it:
http://www.nichd.nih.gov/research/supported/seccyd.cfm

Yes, the media coverage has various slants, but the actual researchers have gone to great pains to present their results as clearly as possible. This represents a very well done study, so I hope people will take the time to process the findings for what they are worth.

I know everyone here has a story to tell on this issue, but individual stories can't give us a reliable big picture --this can.

Posted by: VAMom | March 27, 2007 8:43 AM

Disclaimer: expressing my opinion and not passing judgement on any child care arrangement. I don't need a fancy study to tell me that being in a day care setting all day is not an ideal situation for a young baby or a young toddler. I am NOT talking about a 3 hour preschool program nor am I talking about a 9-5 preschool for pre-K kids. I am singling out those 7 am to 7 pm daycares where parents are forced to drop off their kids so early to meet their work obligations. However, what choices to working parents have? We don't have a European style leave for up to one year, which I am NOT advocating, by the way, because I know it is a non-starter. I think being in a room all day with other crying and fussy babies is exhausting for a baby no matter how expensive and upscale the facility is and it is bound to somehow show up in later years. Good thing as Leslie said that the effects are negligible. But still, those of us who are lucky enough to scrape by to afford a nanny or a private child care provider should be concerned about this study because our kids will be affected by this as they go through schools.

Posted by: not surprised | March 27, 2007 8:43 AM

Who is this "First" douche bag?

Posted by: Butthead | March 27, 2007 8:44 AM

to concur with many others already posted - bollocks! (if I can say that on here, I'd prefer something more colorful)

we struggled mightily (tried 3 different environments) to find the right care for my daughter (now 19 months)... considering that when we do Wheels on the Bus and talk about what the daycare providers say on the bus, they always say "I love you" and she looks forward to seeing them and all of her "school" friends everyday -- as we approach the center, she recites the names of everyone she's going to see and what they are going to do (have breakfast, play, sing...)

do I have some guilt? sure do I wish I could stay home with her? often do I believe a word of what you say? absolutely not

wow, posts like yours really get me riled up!

Posted by: also to 7:48 | March 27, 2007 8:45 AM

My daughter was in daycare from infancy until the start of kindergarten. My son was in daycare almost 2 ½ and then began a half-day preschool. I have not noticed a huge difference in daycare versus non-daycare kids. My experience having had kids in both half-day preschool (and a nanny) versus daycare is that there are aggressive interactions among the kids in both settings but they crop up at different stages. The behavior surfaces at later ages in half-day preschools than in daycare. At my daughter's daycare, the kids tended to hit and push from about 18 months to about 2 or 2 ½ and learned to "use their words" as their language skills developed. In the half-day preschool these kids are first entering preschool at around 2 so throughout the whole 2s year and even part of the 3s you see a lot of this behavior. Although many of them have had a lot of playtime in playgroups or gymboree-type classes it's not the same kind of socialization as a classroom setting without mom, dad, nanny, etc. They all learn to "use their words" eventually and all are well-prepared for kindergarten.

I agree wholeheartedly with Leslie's advice - take the studies with a grain of salt and use the childcare that you believe will be best for you and your child. I loved having my kids in the daycare because we commuted together and I could visit them on my lunch hour. The center had a wonderful staff with pretty low turnover and the community of working parents was great support for me, particularly with my first child making that initial adjustment to being a working mom. We decided to switch to a nanny now that my daughter is in elementary school near my house, because I needed my son to attend a half-day program because of some unique issues he has. It is also very nice for my daughter because she can come home after school and have friends over. But, we had used an aftercare program after school for a while for my daughter and that was fine too and had some distinct advantages too. I feel extremely fortunate to have such wonderful choices and an income sufficient to pay for them. I wish more were being done about making these options more available to lower-income people.

Posted by: PT Fed Mof2 | March 27, 2007 8:51 AM

Why am I getting such a kick out of daycare moms digging on SAHMs for not parenting, when they pay someone to parent for them? How many kids at the daycare called me "Mommy" first? No, no. The woman where you sleep is mommy...

Posted by: Thunk | March 27, 2007 8:53 AM

I didn't really have much of a feeling about this study either way (after reading the full study), but it DID really bother me that in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and on NBC Nightly News, the discussion focused on "MOMS who put their kids in daycare." Unless you are a single parent, MOMS don't put kids in daycare - PARENTS do. It just reasserts an underlying current that moms should stay home, and if they (gasp!) want to/have to work, then it is their problem, not their's and their spouse's, to find childcare. Most moms and dads I know make child care decisions together.

Posted by: Double double standard | March 27, 2007 8:56 AM

Denigrate, denigrate.
Dance to the music.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 8:57 AM

Our son was in a daycare center 2 days a week since he was 3 months old (grandparents on the other days). We had no choice in the matter, I had to work. But I can honestly say that if I had it to do over again, I don't think a daycare center is a good place for an infant. They are just way too young!!!! But I don't know how I would be able to do it differently because nannies scare me too--they're totally unsupervised. In an ideal world, I think it would be nice if we were like other countries around the world, and moms were able to stay home with our kids for the first year or two.

But...as far as my son's behavior goes (he's in elementary school now), he's better behaved than a lot of the kids there...kids from working parent families, and stay at home mom families.

Posted by: Our experience | March 27, 2007 8:57 AM

Try going to Starbucks to sip a coffee and read your paper in peace.

why are you not at work where you are suppose to be?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 9:00 AM

Is it "daycare" that's creating kids with more behavior problems? Or is it the fact that parents work that's creating kids with more behavior problems? If your child is in daycare, he/she isn't home with you...that's a fact, no matter how wonderful (or not) the daycare is. So, is it the absence of time with parents while the child is in daycare that's causing behavior problems? And does that happen even if the parents try to make up for that lost time in other ways?

Posted by: Question... | March 27, 2007 9:01 AM

The positive results of day care can be quantified, such as improved vocabulary tests.

"Disruptive" behavior is vaguely defined and subjective, more often by teachers who cant deal with a smart and imaginative kid.

Posted by: chicago8 | March 27, 2007 9:04 AM

Yes, I don't have kids so take this with a grain of salt. But 9:1 talking about kids not having time with parents: I'm one of 6, we all were in day care, at babysitters or an after school program from before pre-school until high school. I can remember very sparingly any time we had alone with either parent, but only one out of the 6 of us had any behavior problems. It turned out to be b/c he was in a grade lower than he should have been developmentally. Again, as previous posters have said, it's who the parents are, and the individual child's personality, you can't make sweeping generalities.

Posted by: fed worker | March 27, 2007 9:06 AM

In my son's first grade class there are two little girls that glom onto the assistant teacher...touching her, hugging her, and acting like they're STARVED for affection. One has a stay at home mom who's very active in the school. The other one has a part-time working mom. Hmmmm....

Posted by: consider this... | March 27, 2007 9:10 AM

I missed the medical report that stated that vocabulary tests were a definitive test of childrens' well being?

Posted by: chicago9 | March 27, 2007 9:12 AM

In my son's first grade class there are two little girls that glom onto the assistant teacher...touching her, hugging her, and acting like they're STARVED for affection. One has a stay at home mom who's very active in the school. The other one has a part-time working mom. Hmmmm....

Some kids are simply very needful of human contact or going through an extended clingy stage. It's not always the parents, sometimes it's just the way the child is wired.

Maybe they're a little immature, or timid.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 9:14 AM

I am unbelievably disheartened by the visciousness of people on this site. You can almost taste the glee dripping from the mouths of self-righteous parents who disagree with other parents choices - and often they are not choices at all but neccesities - about working outside the home. It continually amazes me that people can be so judgemental. I appreciate this blog and the issues it brings up, but I think I'm going to have to stop myself from reading the comments lest I make myself insane...

Posted by: disgusted mom | March 27, 2007 9:15 AM

OK, I am back, at least for this entry. DS #1 went to daycare all of his preK years. DS #2 will do the same thing. We both have to work, can't (won't) do the nanny thing. DS #1 went to a wonderful preschool after 9/11 (I was active duty military at the time and we had to move him because of uncertainites about my future then). DS #2 went to what started out as a wonderful day care/preschool, but the wheels fell off about a year ago with staff changes, management changes, a couple of personal tragedies among the staff, etc....you get the picture. Long story longer, DS #2 is now at the same center where DS #1 had gone. Most of the caregivers are the same, 5 years down the road. They remember DS #1, remembered us, made for a very easy integration. I couldn't be happier, especially since it's now $250/month less and closer to home!

Your mileage may vary.

Posted by: Dad of 2 | March 27, 2007 9:20 AM

"...quality of day care and overall parenting were still bigger predictors of child development. For instance, those who got high-quality child care before entering kindergarten had better vocabulary scores in the fifth grade than did youngsters who received lower-quality care."

"Both the negative and positive effects were subtle, said Dr. James Griffin, who oversaw the study.

"If you went into one of these classrooms, you wouldn't be able to say, 'this child, this child and this child attended center-based care,'" Griffin said.

Child development expert Barbara Bowman said the findings shouldn't add to guilt parents may feel about their kids spending time in day care."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17795821/

Case closed. This is a meaningless report designed to get parents (mothers especially) worked up over their choice to put children in daycare or not.

When we have one of our own, we'll decide for ourselves if daycare is appropriate, not some so called "study" that is so vague and full of variables to make it pointless.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 9:23 AM

Yet another example of parents failing to take responsibility for how their own children turn out. Instead of looking at the actual situation - like the comprehensive study did - and facing facts, parents (and the author of this blog) continue to blame the system (staff turnover, low pay for workers) instead of looking at how their own choices for dual career advancement, extravagant housing, fancy vacations, electronic toys, multiple extracurricular activities, etc. translate in their children's lives.

As a mom of two, I would NEVER contemplate putting my children in daycare. I would rather move from a single family home into a condo, cut out vacations and other discretionary spending rather than put a child into daycare. Unless it is a single parent situation, there is no reason for it. I am friends with many low income families who raise their children well on limited resources w/out resorting to outside "care". It is possible!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 9:23 AM

VAMom -- thanks for the link, but all I could find there was summaries of the process and a list of published studies. Any chance you could forward a direct link to a summary of the study results?

It seems as though some of the study involved questionnaires, which makes me wonder whether there's some inherent bias, and if/how they tried to correct for it. I mean, if you see a kid acting up, and that kid goes to daycare, the standard response is to blame daycare. Big logical fallacy (post hoc ergo propter hoc -- Fred, you here today?), but the fact is, we always want a clear cause, so we look at what led up to whatever the event was, and go, aha! that must be it! And on the other hand, if you "know" the conventional wisdom that daycare kids have more behavior issues, will you then "see" more issues with daycare kids?

I think this is fascinating, because I have a daughter who is extremely high-energy and a son who is very easygoing. I've had people tell me that my daughter is hyper because she goes to daycare. And I've had people tell me that my son is quiet because he's overwhelmed by -- you guessed it -- daycare. So in other words, in both cases, some people have looked at my kids' personalities, framed them as a negative, and blamed daycare for it. They don't even see the kid; they just see a big scarlet letter "D" on their chests.

I actually think it's kind of funny. Frankly, my daughter came out of the womb with a very clearly defined personality. If anything, daycare has been a civilizing influence -- without constant efforts to teach her use her powers for good, she'd be doing her best imitation of the Brain ("what are we going to do tomorrow night, Brain?" "Same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world."). So it's pretty funny to watch someone who has known her for all of 5 minutes "diagnose" her "problem." But it does make me wonder how "objective" questionnaires and the like can ever really be.

Posted by: Laura | March 27, 2007 9:24 AM

can we not do this on this beautiful day?

Posted by: moxiemom | March 27, 2007 9:25 AM

First of all I am suspicious of what "disruptive" behavior is. Schools like passive children, so simply being assertive and verbal may qualify.

I never went to preschool. When I got the kindergarten I was timid. I did what I was told, I was not "disruptive". I was a doormat!

I'd be willing to speculate that kids who've been in daycare are more socialized and prone to speaking up when their needs are not being met. In teacher-land this can equate to "disruptive".

I'd add that children whose parents don't work and have no money are at a disadvantage as well. So kick this study to the curb.

Posted by: RoseG | March 27, 2007 9:28 AM

9:23, goody for you. You are truly a martyr and we should all strive to be just like you! Crowbar, meet mind.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 9:29 AM

I consider our kids to have had stay-at-home parents (with my husband and I taking a stint in turn). But both our kids go to a Montessori preschool for 17 hours a week. I guess they would be classified as daycare kids for the use of the study, since it's more than 10 hours of care per week. Even though the vast majority of their time is spent at home.

These studies are so frustrating.

Posted by: Neighbor | March 27, 2007 9:35 AM

9:29

Attack me at will, I could care less. But if this study gets just one parent who has the choice to WAKE UP and see what they are doing to their children by letting a daycare raise them for the sake of the parents' advancement, it will be well worthwhile.

As a human being, my worth is not comprised of how many figures are in my income, what college I attended or how big my house is.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 9:38 AM

I was the author of the anonymous 9:23 post, BTW. Hit Submit before I put my name in there. Sorry about that.

Posted by: John L | March 27, 2007 9:38 AM

9:38, "As a human being, my worth is not comprised of how many figures are in my income, what college I attended or how big my house is."

The same can be said for many people who have their children in daycare. That's exactly my point. You're painting a picture that everyone who has kids in daycare have fancy houses, cars, vacations. It's closed minded and judgemental.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 9:41 AM

I agree with 'disgusted mom' at 9:15 - folks are incredibly judgmental on this blog - it's as if you are all kids yourselves fighting each other on the playground and needing attention - everyone is very self-righteous - Leslie perhaps most of all! Go figure...she started this blog which has led to all the arguing and disagreement.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 9:42 AM

Kids need their moms home with them. Period.

Posted by: ok | March 27, 2007 9:43 AM

"As a human being, my worth is not comprised of how many figures are in my income, what college I attended or how big my house is."

No, but apparently it is comprised of how closed-minded, judgmental, and intolerant you are. Thanks, but I'll pass.

Posted by: To 9:41 | March 27, 2007 9:45 AM

"My daughter (who had a SAH parent for her first 6 years but now attends daycare a few days a year) has a few parents who do not work but also don't pay any attention to their kids"

Are you saying that you don't work and don't pay attention to your daughter?

Posted by: to 21117 | March 27, 2007 9:46 AM

thanks for this blog. Reading the responses from all other other work-outside-of-home mom's is making me feel better and giving me the confidence that both of my below-age-2 kids are going to do okay, inspite of my having to work. Just hoping to provide a more secure and stable future for them. I was in a real funk yesterday after glancing and the NY times headline. Nearly cried my eyes out while bathing my older son last night.

Posted by: lifelongdc | March 27, 2007 9:46 AM

In China there are some schools where kids as young as two live all week long, then go home and see their parents on the weekends. They do it to give their kids a leg up educationally. I sure as heck couldn't do that...but I don't live in China.

Posted by: In China... | March 27, 2007 9:46 AM

I didn't make that comment. I was quoting 9:38 and I was making the same point you were.

Posted by: To to 9:41 | March 27, 2007 9:48 AM

9:41

As I said before, "for those who have the choice" about putting their kids in daycare. Some do not, I recognize. But in this status-conscious area I would venture there is a large percentage of dual income families who think they don't have a choice when they really do.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 9:51 AM

As a mom of two, I would NEVER contemplate putting my children in daycare. I would rather move from a single family home into a condo, cut out vacations and other discretionary spending rather than put a child into daycare............

Wow, I want to be just like you when I grow up: poor and rude. What a great example for your kids.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 9:52 AM

"My daughter (who had a SAH parent for her first 6 years but now attends daycare a few days a year) has a few parents who do not work but also don't pay any attention to their kids"

Her daughter now attends daycare a few days a year???? That's not much!

Posted by: What this says... | March 27, 2007 9:52 AM

I would sell my mink coat and time share rather than put my kids in day care. I would cut back on my cleaning servce, too.

No sacrifice is too great for my kids!

Muffy! What are you doing in my jewelry box?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 9:54 AM

Don't worry about how it is presented in the news media. Take the information that the study was released from there, and then go read the study yourself. Why do so many people allow the spin the media puts on something to guide their decisions and even their feelings about their own choices? Use the media as a resource, and then go get the facts yourself. Remember that large research studies are done for a reason, but they tell you nothing about your individual child or family. Use them to help you understand your choices better, but ultimately they (not the study authors, not the reports,etc.) won't pay the childcare bill, raise the child, or deal with any of the the consequences.

Posted by: MS Mom | March 27, 2007 9:57 AM

To John L: Sacrifice... what a foreign concept! Our baby-boomer parents would be appalled. Consume, covet worldly goods and status, pursue the "leg up" at all costs and all will be forgiven.

Posted by: 9:52 | March 27, 2007 10:00 AM

Kids need their moms home with them. Period.

Posted by: ok | March 27, 2007 09:43 AM

I guess dads are without value in your universe. How sad.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 10:01 AM

I wonder if the disruptive behaviour is due to some children being a little ahead in terms of communicating, interacting with others, etc. There seems to be a theory that those who are ahead, act out due to boredom. Perhaps they just need more challenge. It would be useful to know how they defined disruptive behaviour. My son's dayhome is like a preschool and it always amazes others that he knows as much as he does at this age. I wonder if he will be bored when he gets to school and will be considered "disruptive".

Posted by: mountainS | March 27, 2007 10:04 AM

I am getting a kick out of the more judgmental posters! High entertainment value on this blog.

Ah, yes, here I sit at the office in the heady, high-profile world of medical writing. I guess people don't really need the latest information on cancer in a timely fashion, so perhaps I could spend a few more of my daughter's waking hours with her. I also consider my luxurious 900-sq. ft. house and my small commuter car and think, yeah.... luxury!

All that said, I do enjoy my life, my daughter seems to really enjoy daycare, my husband has a satisfying job figuring out what causes horrible brain development conditions, we live in a nice caring community. All of this "stay at home at any cost" nonsense just drips off me like I'm coated in duckfat.

Posted by: MaryB | March 27, 2007 10:04 AM

Kids need their moms home with them. Period.

Posted by: ok | March 27, 2007 09:43 AM

Dads are overrated and superfluous?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 10:06 AM

The New York Times is a rag that capitalizes on the fear and gullibility of it's readers.

If they printed a headline saying today will be darker at night I would have my doubts.

Posted by: SoMD | March 27, 2007 10:06 AM

Laura -- Here's the link to the press release:
http://www.nichd.nih.gov/news/releases/child_care_linked_to_vocabulary_032607.cfm

I heard a report on NPR yesterday that mentioned a summary for parents, but could not find that online. I e-mailed the woman who was interviewed and will post again if she writes me back.

Posted by: VAMom | March 27, 2007 10:08 AM

I love how anyone who holds an opinion other than "do whatever you want - it's all good" is automatically labeled as judgmental. Who really is close-minded here?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 10:08 AM

Sorry, my bad, should have been to 9:38.

Posted by: To 9:45 | March 27, 2007 10:09 AM

to 10:08 - actually I truly am not judgmental... my oldest friend has 5 children and has been home 13 years. That is great for her but is not the life I chose. Somehow we mangage to accept our differences and be friends. Amazing!

Posted by: MaryB | March 27, 2007 10:10 AM

It is amazing to me that so many people on this blog don't see the obvious- children are best cared for by their families, (barring neglect, abuse of course). Choosing daycare for reasons other than necessity is beneficial to the parents, not the children.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 10:11 AM

See my comment from yesterday. How many hundreds of comments will we get today about how much other women suck? Why don't we just post a picture of a woman each day and let them tear her to pieces instead of WORKING or working together on the stuff that really matters?

Posted by: Why women don't rule | March 27, 2007 10:15 AM

To 9:52,

Actually, I posted the --other-- anonymous post at 9:23, the first one with the quotes from the MSNBC article. Didn't realize there were two 9:23 anonymous posts initially.

Posted by: John L | March 27, 2007 10:16 AM

Havind taught children of educated, working women, my experience with those who were disruptive is that their guilty mothers over indulged their children and didn't set healthy limits on acceptable behaviors or habits (especially eating) that were best for their children. And their children were not only disruptive, they tended to be obnoxious. Working or not the mother has tremendous influence over the child and IF she truly cares about her child she will not use him/her as a dumping ground for the guilt she has about abdicating her mothering role much of the day. It's this that gives the child mixed messages about what is appropriate behavior.

Posted by: Shirley | March 27, 2007 10:17 AM

Choosing daycare for reasons other than necessity is beneficial to the parents, not the children.

Posted by: | March 27, 2007 10:11 AM

Right. And every family decides what is necessary and raises their children as best they can. It's not a one-size-fits all world. Most of us do the best we can, at that time, with whatever resources are available to us.

Posted by: not inclined to panic | March 27, 2007 10:17 AM

I am sorry but what a bunch of crap. Children and their behavior, good or bad, can be blamed on so many different factors, not just daycare. I am so sick and tired of people trying to make moms feel bad because they have to work.

My little girl, four months, has been in an at-home daycare- four children and she is the only baby-since 10 weeks. While still very young and the situation very new, we have nothing but great things to say so far. She loves being around other children and loves the care and attention she gets from her daycare provider, who adores her.

She has thrived in the situation so far and is on her way to becoming quite the little social butterfly and charmer. While we are the key influences in her life being in daycare and finding out that others can love and adore her as much as mommy and daddy is important. Life just doesn't revolve around her, but she is a part of it. A very important distinction for kids to get a grasp of early in life.


Posted by: Formerly Soon to be Mom | March 27, 2007 10:21 AM

I use the New York Times and the Washington Post to paper train the dog.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 10:23 AM

I was going to write a post about how my two boys, now 9 and 12, were in daycare from infancy on and how they have turned out wonderfully, but those of you who think daycare is child abuse will snort to yourselves in derision, and those of you who understand how great daycare can be-- for everyone in the family-- will nod knowingly, and the few of you who are reading this blog for information already know by now that everything just depends (on the daycare, you own situation and your child), so I won't.

Posted by: wihntr | March 27, 2007 10:25 AM

See my comment from yesterday. How many hundreds of comments will we get today about how much other women suck? Why don't we just post a picture of a woman each day and let them tear her to pieces instead of WORKING or working together on the stuff that really matters?

Posted by: Why women don't rule | March 27, 2007 10:15 AM

You are basing an unsubstantiated, thoughtless statement like, "why women don't rule" based on a couple hundred ignorant comments posted by the self-selected of both genders on a WaPO blog?

Has logic always been your strong point?

I have better things to do the rest of today than read the same old, same old here from spoiled, chicken-s**t posters like anon at 9:23.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 10:25 AM

Leslie writes:

>>

Come now, Leslie. You're an MBA. Surely you took a statistics class along the way. The difference must have been statistically signficant for the researchers to have highlighted it... The complaints about turnover at the day care center is a red herring -- it's still the environment in which the children find themselves.

It's funny you mention instincts. I think most of our instincts are to keep our kids home with a parent during the early years. Day care may be necessary for two-income families and it may be good for socializing many children. But please don't quote me about instincts -- everything about putting your kids in day care comes down to rationalizing at the end of the day.

Posted by: Father of Kids from A-Z | March 27, 2007 10:26 AM

I have better things to do the rest of today than read the same old, same old here from spoiled, chicken-s**t posters like anon at 9:23.

Posted by: | March 27, 2007 10:25 AM

How do we know you are not anon 9:23? That is the problem with anonymous posters, like yourself.

Posted by: anon for today | March 27, 2007 10:27 AM

pot, meet kettle. hello, kettle.

Posted by: anon for today | March 27, 2007 10:29 AM

"I use the New York Times and the Washington Post to paper train the dog."

I don't have a dog!

Posted by: To 10:23 | March 27, 2007 10:34 AM

pot, meet kettle. hello, kettle.

Posted by: anon for today | March 27, 2007 10:29 AM

You can't be anon for today, because I am, so are you now assuming other posters names? Whether you like it or not, pot, anon for today is at least a handle.

You can use anon for today 2 if need be.

Posted by: anon for today | March 27, 2007 10:35 AM

I think there are people here that are looking for someone to drag through the mud.

Any volunteers? We're looking for someone who isn't afraid of getting a little dirt on them.

Heaven forbid, disruptive behavior, whoop de effing do. As for myself, I like to consider disruptive behavior as an aquired skill, not some kind of character defect. To sabotage a classroom led by a highly skilled professional takes creativity, planning, timeing, and, just like everything else, practice makes perfect.

My son is pretty good at it too. From what I hear, he's the ringleader in his classroom... Oh, yeah, and he went to daycare for a year twice a week. Wow! It's amazing how accurate these studies are!

Posted by: Father of 4 | March 27, 2007 10:38 AM

It's funny you mention instincts. I think most of our instincts are to keep our kids home with a parent during the early years. Day care may be necessary for two-income families and it may be good for socializing many children. But please don't quote me about instincts -- everything about putting your kids in day care comes down to rationalizing at the end of the day.

Posted by: Father of Kids from A-Z | March 27, 2007 10:26 AM

You honestly have no clue, do you? Get off your high horse. My husband's and my instincts are to keep our kids from qualifying for public housing and WIC. Parents working at jobs you wouldn't dream of taking don't have the privilege of wasting time rationalizing. Our family is getting by, keeping the power from being turned off, holding out on the new brakes we need on an 8 year old car we share so we can get to work.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 10:38 AM

You are basing an unsubstantiated, thoughtless statement like, "why women don't rule" based on a couple hundred ignorant comments posted by the self-selected of both genders on a WaPO blog?

How long have you been coming here? Every day it is a bunch of hens picking at each other. Very few men - maybe because they are not as concerned with others and are focused on their work. Like I said yesterday, my husband is at the top of the ladder because he goes to work and he WORKS, he doesn't blog all day about how Bob has a new mower or about what Bob should do with his family. Women would rather put each other down than work together for a common goal and that is why men will always be "in charge" - geeze, even when women do get to the top like Nancy Pelosi or Katie Couric all other women want to do is criticize their clothes.

Posted by: Why women don't rule | March 27, 2007 10:41 AM

I have noticed several comments that distrust the results of the study (something like, "how do the researchers REALLY know that it is daycare that is causing the increased disruptions--it could be so many things). A rigorous scientific study does precisely that: it controls for all other factors, to the extent possible, and looks at the influence of one particular variable--in this case, daycare.

I agree with some commenters that the increased disruptiveness due to daycare is apparently small. But, I sense a disingenuous and defensive overreaction by Leslie Morgan Steiner and several others to the upshot of the study (the upshot being, children in daycare are more disruptive through the sixth grade than those not in daycare).

As a researcher quoted in the article says, "They [the study's authors] knew this would be disturbing news for parents, but at some point, if that's what you're finding, then you have to report it." I agree. Report what you find, and let the chips fall where they may. It is still possible for me to read the study, acknowledge the results, and nevertheless decide that in my circumstances, I will put my children in daycare. But it is disengenous to conclude the study's results (or the way they are reported in the media) can't be accurate because the report doesn't comport with my own decisions or even with my particular experience.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 10:42 AM

The NYT article itself was okay. It was the headline and the blurb on the front page that disturbed me. Why do the Times (and other media) insist on highlighting only the negative aspects of daycare? The takeway is clearly "daycare is bad."

Daycare is NOT bad. Although it's not the best choice for every kid at every age, it is a fabulous choice when the care, facilities, and employees are good. My kids positively thrived in daycare -- they learned social skills, practical skills like sitting at lunch and using a fork (positive effect of peer pressure), and they learned to trust other people besides me and DH.

As a working mom I thrived too, knowing that multiple caregivers were watching my children, and that I wasn't going to get a call at 7am on a critical work day from a sick nanny. I never worried about my children while they were in daycare.

If the Times and others were to highlight the solvable problems uncovered in this study, we'd all have something to work with to make day care a better choice for more kids and more working parents. Instead, this negative, alarmist slant just ratchets up anxiety levels in parents everywhere.

Posted by: Leslie | March 27, 2007 10:44 AM

Oops, no I wasn't trying to say that, I just typed my entry too quickly and didn't preview it. No need to attack; this is just a blog. My daughter receives an adequate amount of attention from me, my husband, her grandparents, her teachers, and her coaches. She is not needy or clingy. She has some friends with these issues. Sorry for the confusion.

Posted by: 21117 ( response to 9:46) | March 27, 2007 10:44 AM

This is ridiculous. Another SAHM/WOHM fight. I fall into the "good daycare is great camp" -- great for my kids, for what they learn, for how they learn to get along, for the activities the school does each day to keep them busy and thinking, and great for my work/life balance -- because I like working. The daycare kids who come to soccer practice are better behaved than the SAHM kids -- maybe they have learned how to accept direction better from an early age. That's just a personal observation -- I am NOT saying it's true and therefore an indication of daycare being better -- how would I know?

And don't jump on me and ask why I had kids if I just put them in daycare -- I love my kids, they love me, and they are doing fine. There's no "rule" that you need to SAH with kids -- or that they need to be home. I did qualify my statement by emphasizing "good daycare," which may very well have economic implications -- I recognize that.

I tend to agree with other posters that maybe kids coming from great daycares, with advanced vocabulary and problem solving skills, are just farther ahead -- and since schools are not always equipped to differentiate to fullest extent, they teach more to middle. So maybe these kids are bored -- both my siblings were labeled as disruptive when in reality they were just bored in elementary. Plus the sample is so small.

This to me is like a ratings ploy -- get us all excited and up in arms over situations we have no plans or need or real desire to change.

Posted by: Ashpash | March 27, 2007 10:44 AM

" have noticed several comments that distrust the results of the study (something like, "how do the researchers REALLY know that it is daycare that is causing the increased disruptions--it could be so many things)."

Maybe the little darlings are just brats!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 10:44 AM

I love the posts: oh, I'm SOOO much better than you because I stay home with my kids.

Okay, well, I was home with the kids until youngest was 6 months and oldest was 3 1/2. And my husband will tell you I'm a MUCH better mom when I am working. I LOVE my kids - and their nanny/day care situations are GREAT for them - and I'm not dreading 'yet another day' of going to the park, dying for someone to talk to, hoping I can pay the bills, going to the supermarket, trying to find yet something else to do with the kids, etc.
It took a toll on me, and I am much better for them and my family now that I'm working. I'm glad that we can afford the nanny and all that we can because I bring home enough - but really, that wasn't the point, it was more of what our family needed.

And I love the: well, it's OKAY if you're a single parent, then you HAVE to work - but otherwise, you're selfish or whatever. If you think it's SO GREAT for parents to be home with the kids - then why don't you pay someone to stay home with them? Set up a charitable trust? Or lobby congress to change laws so that the single parents can stay home with the kids - or do something rather than attack people for their choices....

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 10:45 AM

What this says...wow, I'm not sure I'll ever post again.

Yes my daughter goes to daycare a few days a year. She is in school most days, camp in the summer, and we (parents and grandparents) try to take off from work on days school is closed. She goes to private school so if public school kids are in session on a day she is off then she has to hang out with the little kids - no fun. She is happier if mommy, daddy, nana, or papap can take her to Baltimore or DC for the day or just hang out at home.

Posted by: 21117 | March 27, 2007 10:48 AM

Drag me through the mud. My kid is at day care and I don't feel guilty at all. I have a decent size house, a new car and, yes, oh my God I sometimes buy new clothes. My kid is healthy and loved. I have enough money to send home to my elderly parents and help my sister and nephews out if they need it, give to charity, etc. I don't feel bad about it either. I love my job and love that I help people.

My kid is fine. No one has to worry about my kid in day care. However, maybe we should all stop fighting with each other and start worrying about the kids from both WP and SAHP who are getting abused or the poor kids who have to go to bad schools.

I don't care what the article said. The NY times can bite my Irish butt. There are a lot of reasons why people work and most of them are no one's business but their own.

Posted by: scarry | March 27, 2007 10:54 AM

"You can't be anon for today, because I am."

who was it that mentioned exquisite irony yesterday.

Posted by: anon for today | March 27, 2007 10:55 AM

The problem with these studies is they are completely subjective. How do you measure disruptive behavior? If the study found a 10 percent difference, or something really large, I'd say okay, seems like there's something there. But it didn't. The difference is slight. I've worked on studies like these before and I have to say, no matter how scientifically controlled they are, they are still dependent on the impressions of human beings, who have biases, get tired, get bored and have different opinions. So I wouldn't read much into the study at all.

Posted by: chicagomom | March 27, 2007 10:55 AM

"It is amazing to me that so many people on this blog don't see the obvious- children are best cared for by their families, (barring neglect, abuse of course). Choosing daycare for reasons other than necessity is beneficial to the parents, not the children."

Wow, that is far from obvious to me. I started back to work last week and my four-month old son is being cared for for eight hours a day by a caring, involved nanny that we share with another family. Because I am working, we can afford to live in an area with a better school district and more activities. We can afford to save for retirement so we don't saddle him with those costs. I can model to him what a woman who cares about her family and her work looks and acts like. He can get stimulation from another person who is not drained and bored from having spent all the time with him, plus from another baby his age. I know I shouldn't have engaged this anonymous poster who was just trying to pick a fight, but I know there are people out there who judge my choices based on what I think is short-sighted criteria.

My mom worked and I think she was a wonderful mother who showed me what a mom with a life outside the home looked like.

Posted by: Tk Pk | March 27, 2007 10:56 AM

I too agree that some of the notes here are nasty. But I think that's the reason a lot of people read this blog. Leslie says something thought provoking but also that is slightly offensive and people respond with their own comments. Reading this each day is kind of a guilty pleasure for me.

Posted by: Bob | March 27, 2007 10:58 AM

It is not always that the child is best cared for by their parents. I have seen plenty of families where the SAHM should not be taking care of the kids.

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 11:08 AM

You are basing an unsubstantiated, thoughtless statement like, "why women don't rule" based on a couple hundred ignorant comments posted by the self-selected of both genders on a WaPO blog?

How long have you been coming here? Every day it is a bunch of hens picking at each other. Very few men - maybe because they are not as concerned with others and are focused on their work. Like I said yesterday, my husband is at the top of the ladder because he goes to work and he WORKS, he doesn't blog all day about how Bob has a new mower or about what Bob should do with his family.

Posted by: Why women don't rule | March 27, 2007 10:41 AM

I've been coming here long enough to know that if you have a point to make once is enough and posting it multiple days in a row indicates you need to go find some real people to scream at. While you are popping bon bons in your mouth trying not to wear out the sofa cusions, work on your math skills. The gender ratio of this blog, excluding anons because who would know, is substantially more balanced than you want to admit.

So your poor husband is working his butt off so you can sit home and blog all day, every day, refer to women as barnyard animals, and brag about your husband's being at the acme of roofing equipment. Nice.


Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 11:08 AM

Folks, don't let psychological mumbo-jumbo like this study and its NY Times publicity scare you out of doing what you know is best for your own children.

"The research, being reported today as part of the federally financed Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, tracked more than 1,300 children in various arrangements, including staying home with a parent; being cared for by a nanny or a relative; or attending a large day care center. Once the subjects reached school, the study used teacher ratings of each child to assess behaviors like interrupting class, teasing and bullying." (from the NY Times article)

"Teacher ratings of each child" are a subjective measure, as chicagomom at 10:55 AM rightly points out. Is this supposed to be scientific?

If I were a parent considering the choice of arrangements, "including staying home with a parent; being cared for by a nanny or a relative; or attending a large day care center," I would look at something much more objective: the frequency of physical illness for kids in each arrangement. As a start, look at the article by Duke University pediatrician Dennis Clements, MD, PhD at:

http://www.newsforparents.org/expert_day_care_diseases.html

These sicknesses spread in at least two ways, viz., respiratory and oral. Respiratory diseases include "rhinovirus, adenovirus, and parainfluenza," as well as more serious viral illnesses including "respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza" and "rotavirus."

"Children in day care can also be exposed to bacterial, fungal, and protozoal infections. Strep throat is common and contagious by the oral route. Also common and easily transmitted are head lice, giardia (intestinal protozoa), and ringworm (a fungus)."

For each arrangement, what is the frequency with which children get these diseases? In the arrangement you pick, how often does a toddler stick his hand into his diaper, then touch a toy block, then toddle away. And if he does that, is there an adult watching to make sure that another toddler doesn't pick up that block and put it into her mouth? Bacterial infections affecting the intestinal tract, such as giardiasis and shigellosis, can spread by this so-called "faecal-oral route." Indeed, one of our sons' close friends picked up shigellosis while in day care. Of course, this sort of thing could happen right at home, with a shigellosis-infected, not-yet-toilet-trained toddler spreading the organism to his little brothers and sisters while the stay-at-home parent is busy caring for some of the older children. The question is, ¿how often does this happen at home with a SAHP, and how often with a nanny or relative, and how often at day care centers?

I would be much more inclined to believe studies measuring the frequency of physical diseases than a study purporting to measure the frequency of such a subjective observation as "disruption." Folks, don't let psychological mumbo-jumbo like this study and its NY Times publicity scare you out of doing what you know is best for your own children.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | March 27, 2007 11:11 AM

Yay, Scarry!

Posted by: BMOM | March 27, 2007 11:13 AM

To scarry at 10:54 - I second your every word, 'cept it's my german butt that they can bite, most especially those holier than thous "daycare is tantamount to child abuse" sorts. I'm feel that I'm a better person and a better mom because I work. My kids are 14 and so far, so good.


"Reading this each day is kind of a guilty pleasure for me."

Posted by: Bob | March 27, 2007 10:58 AM

Me too. Haven't figured out my psyche on this one yet.

Posted by: lindab | March 27, 2007 11:13 AM

Another flaw with this study is what constitutes a 'day care' vs. home cared child? My child was home with me, until he went to school at 2 1/2, for 12 hours per week, then when I went back to work about 14 months later, he was in day care 'full time' (probably about 45+ hours per week).

Would he be considered a 'day care' or 'home cared' kid?

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 11:15 AM

So your poor husband is working his butt off so you can sit home and blog all day, every day, refer to women as barnyard animals, and brag about your husband's being at the acme of roofing equipment. Nice.


peck, peck, peck - you put your kids in daycare to do THIS all day. good choice.


Posted by: Why women don't rule | March 27, 2007 11:15 AM

I think your kid just lit the house on fire while you are blogging. You better go call the fire department.

Posted by: to Why women don't rule | | March 27, 2007 11:17 AM

"She is happier if mommy, daddy, nana, or papap can take her to Baltimore or DC for the day or just hang out at home."

Posted by: 21117 | March 27, 2007 10:48 AM

Why go all the way to Baltimore when there's good stuff right near Owings Mills? Take her for a walk through Soldier's Delight, like we did with our kids last Summer.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | March 27, 2007 11:17 AM

"peck, peck, peck - you put your kids in daycare to do THIS all day. good choice."


There are worse ways to earn a living.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 11:17 AM

Ha - Scarry you made me laugh with your comments! I totally agree with them. The funny thing is that my 2 1/2 year old is actually perfect at preschool. It is when he is home with me that he can be a terror at times, although that usually comes from being cooped up too long on a cold winter day. Of course, the cynics out there will say he acts up around me b/c he doesn't see me enough (which trust me, he sees plenty of me) and is begging for attention. So, women as a whole can't win with whatever they choose. The old adage goes, "If mama ain't happy, no one is happy." I am happy going to work and saving for college and retirement, and oh yeah, buying a few luxury items along the way.

Posted by: working mom by choice | March 27, 2007 11:18 AM

peck, peck, peck - you put your kids in daycare to do THIS all day. good choice.

Posted by: Why women don't rule | March 27, 2007 11:15 AM

I have no idea what this pecking business is about. My children are not and have never been in day care and it is my choice whether I spend 30 seconds to expose your ignorance or not. Poor ladder-man coming home to a bored, angry animal of some sort.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 11:21 AM

I agree with Bob, too. I have no children and no job, and this site is TOTALLY a guilty pleasure.

Posted by: lurkville | March 27, 2007 11:21 AM

Scarry (btw I know a good plastic surgeon) it's nice to know that money buys you happiness. But why do you focus on the money instead of telling us about your child. Interesting...

Posted by: Scary | March 27, 2007 11:22 AM

Maybe kids are disruptive because parents (both WP and SAHP) spend precious time fighting/justifying their choices to others who are always going to think they are wrong, no matter what.

Instead of fighting about your choice, just embrace it. Go hug your kid and be involved, however you feel that is best. You're not going to be right about your choices 100% of the time, and you won't be wrong 100% of the time, either.

I am young, no kids yet. I have friends from SP, WP, SAHP, and no one group has turned out any better or worse in the end. Does elementary school "disruption" mean that their lives will turn to crime? To drugs? To what exactly? What exactly does this study prove other than that day care kids MAY be class clowns, speak up, cause a ruckus, etc. Then what? What does that mean?

I read this blog because I want to know what I will be up against, regardless of my choice. I want to know what snide comments other parents will make about my choices. I have learned, from reading this blog, that I don't have to justify my choices to anyone, least of all to people who will tell me I'm wrong.

Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.

Posted by: Here's a thought | March 27, 2007 11:22 AM

to working mom by choice:

Actually, from what I read, kids act up at home cause they know they can. You always hear: oh, when the kids are with me, they are terrors, but out of the house they are angels, when with someone else (or eat well at someone else's house, but don't eat at home, etc).

The kids are testing their limits. It's actually showing you that your child is THRIVING at day care. She KNOWS you love her unconditionally, that you will always love her - and she's kind of trying to test that when she's home. See how far she really can go.
And knowing that as much as they love and care for her at daycare, there is something different there. And that they like their teachers better, sometimes, because they don't have that unconditional love. Your child is differentiating, which is great. She is learning that different people in the world are different and will treat her differently.

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 11:22 AM

I love this blog. Save your energy for your kids, and the battles you will have to fight on their behalf.

Posted by: bkp | March 27, 2007 11:25 AM

Based on the tone of the comments, I think that the Blog should be renamed CATFIGHT.

ROWWWWRRRR!!!! HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

Posted by: Butthead | March 27, 2007 11:25 AM

Everyone missed an offensive aspect of the NYTimes coverage. If you clicked to the paper's health cover, the image next to the headline is that of a black boy. Why does the MSM insist on using black children to depict "problem" behavior? I don't think the study mentioned race at all.

Posted by: altermom | March 27, 2007 11:26 AM


http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/03/23/childs_overdose_death_raises_questions/?page=3

for those who think that raising kids is just a matter of common sense, instincts, and someone staying home full time, consider this outcome.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 11:26 AM

I always felt that kids are naturally disruptive and that daycare did a lot to make them more civilized. Maybe someone should study THAT.

Posted by: Leslie | March 27, 2007 11:27 AM

Matt in Aberdeen-
Only because things like Soldier's Delight are normal weekend activities. If I'm going to take time off from work, I'm going to make sure she realizes that it is a special event and not an everyday activity. Plus, she is a city girl at heart and prefers to head out on the metro for some exploring.

Posted by: 21117 | March 27, 2007 11:28 AM


To scary at 11:22 -- scarry touched on the money stuff because of this 9:23 post

"Yet another example of parents failing to take responsibility for how their own children turn out. Instead of looking at the actual situation - like the comprehensive study did - and facing facts, parents (and the author of this blog) continue to blame the system (staff turnover, low pay for workers) instead of looking at how their own choices for dual career advancement, extravagant housing, fancy vacations, electronic toys, multiple extracurricular activities, etc. translate in their children's lives.

As a mom of two, I would NEVER contemplate putting my children in daycare. I would rather move from a single family home into a condo, cut out vacations and other discretionary spending rather than put a child into daycare. Unless it is a single parent situation, there is no reason for it. I am friends with many low income families who raise their children well on limited resources w/out resorting to outside "care". It is possible!"

Posted by: | March 27, 2007 09:23 AM


Posted by: lindab | March 27, 2007 11:29 AM

Thanks everyone! I am sick of this debate.

And Scary, honey, once you've been poor and had to share deodorant, money does buy a small amount of happiness. I did tell you that my child was happy and healthy, but you must have missed that. Sorry if my happiness with my life puts you off, but like I said, I really don't care what anyone thinks. oh, and money also buys clean water for my parents and food, but you know I could decide to stay home because that is best for some people on this board-nope.

BTW, I don't need a plastic surgeon, I thought I told you already that I am Irish.

Posted by: scarry | March 27, 2007 11:30 AM

Bashers who differentiate between an instinct and a rationalization baffle me. How can you tell the difference in yourself? My "instinct" was to put my kids in great daycare, so that I could have peace of mind and they could have fun and learn a thing or two during the day. Maybe this was a "rationalization." Who cares! It worked out wonderfully all 'round.

Posted by: Leslie | March 27, 2007 11:31 AM

Okay, I'm trigger happy here, just can't stop posting. Maybe too much caffeine this morning. But wouldn't it be great to read a headline that went:

"GREAT KIDS LINKED TO HAPPY MOMS!!!!"

"DADS WHO ARE HAPPY MAKE WONDERFUL FATHERS"

instead of all this manipulative junk in the media.

Posted by: Leslie | March 27, 2007 11:34 AM

Based on the tone of the comments, I think that the Blog should be renamed CATFIGHT.

ROWWWWRRRR!!!! HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

Posted by: Butthead | March 27, 2007 11:25 AM

only if you assume that all snarky comments are posted by women. Not.

Posted by: Beavis | March 27, 2007 11:34 AM

Leslie, what you get from th media is:

"GREAT KIDS LINKED TO BREASTFEEDING MOMS!!!!"

"DADS WHO HAVE MONEY MAKE WONDERFUL FATHERS"

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 11:38 AM

This must be the stupidest fight ever. I mean, come on, I went through all this back in the 80s? Some of you young mothers were kids then. This fight is old old and is a complete waste of time.

Indeed, I suspect this is a plot to divide women. I refuse to play their game.

Scarry, great posts today...you have your irish up today, eh?

Posted by: dotted | March 27, 2007 11:38 AM

For more 'DAYCARE DRAMA' please see 'DIVORCE LAWYER THROWS PARTY AT DAYCARE, ENTICES WITNESSES FOR CLIENT' on the MOMMY GO BYE-BYE blog at http://mommygobyebye-virginia.blogspot.com/2007/02/divorce-lawyer-throws-party-at-daycare.html . . . ~Veronique Wyvell, RN, McLean, Virginia, Founder of 'MOMMY GO BYE-BYE: Mothers Against Unjust Law,' Member of Fairfax County Network Against Family Abuse (NAFA) {Please feel free to send your stories for publication to VWyvell@patriot.net}

Posted by: Veronique Wyvell, RN | March 27, 2007 11:39 AM

Well, duh! What do people expect when someone else is basically raising their kids? Especially when both parents are working to cover the McMansion in Potmac and the obnoxious S-Moo-Vs.

Speaking of which, have you ever noticed that soccer moms don't know what turn signals are for?!

Posted by: RoCkEtScIeNcE! | March 27, 2007 11:40 AM

Okay, I'm trigger happy here, just can't stop posting. Maybe too much caffeine this morning. But wouldn't it be great to read a headline that went:

"GREAT KIDS LINKED TO HAPPY MOMS!!!!"

"DADS WHO ARE HAPPY MAKE WONDERFUL FATHERS"

instead of all this manipulative junk in the media.

Posted by: Leslie | March 27, 2007 11:34 AM

Too reasonable?

Posted by: Maryland Mother (MdMother) | March 27, 2007 11:41 AM


Laura,

Precisely!

post hoc fallacy
The post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this therefore because of this) fallacy is based upon the mistaken notion that simply because one thing happens after another, the first event was a cause of the second event. Post hoc reasoning is the basis for many superstitions and erroneous beliefs.

Posted by: Fred | March 27, 2007 11:41 AM

rocketscience!
no i haven't noticed soccer moms, soccer dads, moms, or dads, as a group not knowing what turn signals are for. Sorry to disappoint you, but your generalizations are simply incorrect.

Posted by: dotted | March 27, 2007 11:43 AM

Speaking of which, have you ever noticed that soccer moms don't know what turn signals are for?!

Posted by: RoCkEtScIeNcE! | March 27, 2007 11:40 AM

I was starting to wonder if the Siennas and Explorers didn't come with blinkers just tv screens. Thanks for clearing it up.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 11:45 AM

Yes, dotted it's up. It is such a dumb thing to fight over. My husband had a SAHM and I bet you he would have traded places with your kids any day.

Posted by: scarry | March 27, 2007 11:47 AM

The researcher from UNC was interviewed by Newsweek yesterday and stated the following: "Interestingly, we also found that staying home with mom was statistically neither an asset nor a detriment in terms of academic outcomes and behaviors."

Posted by: Adding to the mix | March 27, 2007 11:48 AM

Leslie - read articles, not headlines.

READ. THE. WHOLE. THING.

Who gives a rat's about headlines?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 11:51 AM

Headlines are important because some people just read the headline and the brief blurb below it and then go spouting off about this study that says daycare is harmful for kids. Not good.

Posted by: mountainS | March 27, 2007 11:55 AM

Headlines are important because some people just read the headline and the brief blurb below it and then go spouting off about this study that says daycare is harmful for kids.

Posted by: mountainS | March 27, 2007 11:55 AM

or they spout off about rationalizing. or Bob. or ladders. or SUVs. or McMansions. or hens.

Posted by: anon for today | March 27, 2007 12:00 PM

"Speaking of which, have you ever noticed that soccer moms don't know what turn signals are for?!"

Have you ever noticed that the soccer moms' kids are the ones that tend to eat snot out of their noses while they scrath their private parts 24/7??

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 12:00 PM

Have you ever noticed that the soccer moms' kids are the ones that tend to eat snot out of their noses while they scrath their private parts 24/7??

Posted by: | March 27, 2007 12:00 PM

have you ever noticed that no bar is too low for what passes for humor from anonymous posters?

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 27, 2007 12:02 PM

"Have you ever noticed that the soccer moms' kids are the ones that tend to eat snot out of their noses while they scrath their private parts 24/7??"


They do, don't they??

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 12:02 PM

Wow am I sick of this topic. And yes, newspapers run sensationalized headlines - is this news to anybody? Last time I checked that is what sells papers.

In a perfect world all headlines would paint the pretty pictures, but since that will never happen, let's just get over it. People will buy into this stuff no matter what the headlines read.

As for me, I choose the nanny route because it was the best for my family AND because a lot of the really good daycares had waiting lists of 2+ years (preference for siblings makes it hard to get a spot no matter how early you get on the list).

And the nanny thing worked for us and my son has thrived and that is that. If he didn't, I would probably have gone the daycare route or even thought about staying at home. Who knows? The point is that each child is different and each child care arrangement is different.

And I agree wholeheartedly with the other posts that PARENTS are really at the heart of behavioral problems - NOT child care arrangements (except for the truly poor ones). And some kids are more difficult than others. I certainly wasn't the most well-behaved kid growing up (my teenage years were particularly bad) and I had a SAHM (and a dad who worked out of the home) and I still managed to do just fine.

Posted by: londonmom | March 27, 2007 12:09 PM

Shouldn't this be part of the on parenting blog?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 12:09 PM

On a sobering note, Tony Snow's cancer has returned and spread to his liver. Like the Edwards, Snow has three children. Perhaps we could take a moment from the egregious snarking today to appreciate good health, if applicable, and wish Snow and his family well.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 27, 2007 12:10 PM

sorry - I meant to type "young children" not "three children".

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 27, 2007 12:11 PM

Megan's Neighbor,
I saw that a few minutes ago (Tony Snow). When they talked about it over the weekend on the news they were making out that it was completely elective - not a big deal. Just goes to show that the fates are not always kind.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 27, 2007 12:15 PM

Megan's neighbor that is just awful. I hope he makes it.

Posted by: scarry | March 27, 2007 12:15 PM

Talking about headlines:

Something Went Wrong in Plane Crash, Expert Says

War Dims Hope for Peace


Miners Refuse to Work after Death

Never Withhold Herpes Infection from Loved One

And my personal favorite:

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 27, 2007 12:18 PM

In case I'm not the only one that would like to see this blog tackle something new:

From Slate.com, "Is sexual equality bad for your health?": "A Swedish government study finds a "trade-off between gender equality ... and public health." The study compared absenteeism, disability, and life expectancy data among nearly 300 municipalities. It checked the data against nine indicators of equality in public and private employment, such as average income and the percentages of men and women in executive jobs. Result: "Gender equality ... correlated with poorer health for both men and women." Researchers' theories: 1) Women have taken on more male burdens, but men haven't reciprocated, so women are overburdened. 2) Men suffer from having "lost many of their old privileges." 3) Women have "greater opportunities for risky behavior as a result of increased income." Conservative spin: Told you so. Liberal spin: It's not real equality till men do their part."

I'd say if the absenteeism is the result of a couple dropping the kids off at daycare and going back home to spend the day in bed together, absenteeism isn't such a bad idea.

Posted by: anon for today | March 27, 2007 12:22 PM

KLB, those are hilarious. Those miners sure a picky bunch to not want to work in the after life. News of the weird usually has a bunch of headlines gone wrong for your reading pleasure.

Pardon my ignorance but who is Tony Snow?

Posted by: mountainS | March 27, 2007 12:23 PM

Perhaps we could take a moment from the egregious snarking today to appreciate good health, if applicable, and wish Snow and his family well.

Maybe we should criticize him for not quitting? Oh wait, he's not a chick.

Posted by: Why women don't rule | March 27, 2007 12:24 PM

Tony Snow is White House press secretary.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 27, 2007 12:25 PM

Scarry: I apologize for recommending the plastic surgeon, I guess you just misspelled your name. Also, I would've just talked about how daycare affected my kids, not all the wonderful things money can do, but that's just me?

Posted by: Scary | March 27, 2007 12:25 PM

Tony Snow is the White House press secretary. He is 51.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 27, 2007 12:25 PM

we will leave the criticism of stranger all to you, Why women don't rule. You seem to love it so.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 12:26 PM

Scarry,
Isn't your name derivative of your ancestry - Scarry blue?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 27, 2007 12:26 PM

"This fight is old old and is a complete waste of time."

go, dotted!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 12:30 PM

Here's a headline from msnbc.com

Female ump to work MLB exhibition game.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 12:31 PM

"Perhaps we could take a moment from the egregious snarking today to appreciate good health, if applicable, and wish Snow and his family well.

Maybe we should criticize him for not quitting? Oh wait, he's not a chick."

LMAO- Despite a lack of tact, perhaps there is a grain of truth in this... we would not want any double standards here in the land of balnce, would we? ;-)

Posted by: Chris | March 27, 2007 12:32 PM

LMAO - translation? Let me add on, perhaps?

Posted by: one question | March 27, 2007 12:35 PM

Laughing My @$$ Off. Sorry to disappoint. :-)

Posted by: Chris | March 27, 2007 12:37 PM

LOL (I know that one). Not disappointed at all.

Posted by: LMAO | March 27, 2007 12:39 PM

To all those moms who seem to claim a moral high ground by 'giving up' so that their kids did not have to suffer daycare, I say you should have at least tried it before you condemmed it. I stayed at home for a while but when my son was 18 mos old I wanted him to go into a preschool. It wasn't day care - it was truly an educational environment. We became friends with many of his teachers, they came to our home for bday parties and special events. We remain close with many of the families whose children were in his pre school classes and in classes before and after him. At one point, I worked at his center because it seemed like so much fun. I have found that his world is a much richer place for having had all of these wonderful people in his life. By the way, he is currently in a school for the gifted. I don't think he would be reading and doing math work at 2 grade levels above his age level had he not gone to a preschool. I couldn't have given him that at home. I had no training for it. Further, we did not have grandmas and grandpas or aunts and uncles nearby. So this became our extended family. While we live in a great neighborhood (South Riding-noted in the Post as having the most kids per family in the nation), but it was much easier to form bonds through preschool. Don't be so quick to judge that which you have not even tried. Are you going to be afraid for your children to study abroad or to go off to college? My child is adventuresome, articulate and confident. He makes friends easily and adults seem to find him a true joy to be around. So - while I think the study is valuable - I mean afterall, I would want to know if they found a predictable illness was caused by eating some specific type of baby food over and over again, etc. If you never tried day care or preschool or nanny care ... then how can you sit on some high ground of judgement. Same goes the other way - if you did not stay home - don't point a finger at the mom who did as being a bon bon eating, soap opera watching, unconnected type. I know lots of stay at home moms who are amazing. Try to recognize that there can be good in both situations and bad in both. What we should really try to do is support each other in finding a way for either to work well for our kids.

Posted by: RSM | March 27, 2007 12:39 PM

get it right, Chris. we will wait until it becomes clear that Snow won't quit and spend his last moments with his family, then we'll bash him.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 12:40 PM

"By the way, he is currently in a school for the gifted."

All things being equal, intelligence is determined by DNA.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 12:44 PM

I'm still in the process of reading comments from earlier this morning, so someone may have added this comment to the dialogue. One of the biggest problems with the "study" is that it was not carried out with a control group, nor were the children randomly assigned to daycare, staying at home, etc. I think that given people's varying economic situations, it would be very difficult to achieve the last standard. Additionally, there was no standard for the daycare the parents used. Participants were asked when their children were born if they would like to be included in the study. Therefore the researchers had no sense as to the variety of daycare included; factors such as staff to child ratio, staff turnover, amount of money spent on each child, locale of the daycare setting could not be quantified.

Leslie makes an interesting point, and I don't think the NYT was alone in its bias. Our current administration has several policy initiatives that are very clear in its stated intent that women should stay home and raise their children. What's unfortunate is that our domestic and foreign policy has left us as a country in such a precarious state economically, that staying home is not a reality for most American families.

Posted by: boondocksjunkie | March 27, 2007 12:45 PM

"All things being equal, intelligence is determined by DNA. "

Maybe, except that all things are rarely if ever equal.

Posted by: anon for today | March 27, 2007 12:49 PM

I'm not sure if anyone is actually looking at the bashers (pro and anti-daycare) today. Most of them are anon's and others are new posters that I highly suspect are the same anon's that have been agitating this board for weeks. I don't see one regular "flaming" the discussion - so what are people getting so agitated about?

We have had this same discussion on daycare for almost a year now. There is nothing new here. The only new element is that the NYT's ran a provacative headline and other news media's are not portraying the actual results of the study - that are not even that exciting!

Posted by: cmac | March 27, 2007 12:50 PM

Believe it or not, there are legitimate non-selfish reasons for both parents to work:

1. Security in retirement: by continuing to work my DH and I are building up our own separate pensions, 401(k) balances and entitlements to social security benefits. Either one of us will be self-sufficient in retirement even if the other becomes incapacitated, leaves, or dies.

2. Better education for our children: here in Chicagoland, where schools are funded almost exclusively by local property taxes, the chasm in educational quality between more and less affluent school districts is HUGE. It takes two incomes here to purchase even a modest home in a good suburb with a solid school district (keeping in mind that even a 2-bedroom condo sells for well over $300K here.) Trust me, my DH and I are not both working to fund a McMansion, fancy cars (or even new cars) and exotic vacations. We need both of our relatively healthy incomes to pay our mortgage payments and property taxes and have anything left at all to fund our children's college accounts.

3. Role modeling: My mother worked full time and yes, I was a daycare kid. I never felt traumatized by going to daycare. I always admired my mother's dedication to both her career and her family. She showed me and my sisters that through hard work and persistence it was possible to achieve our dreams, just as she had achieved hers. None of us feel that my mother achieved her dreams at our expense. On the contrary, we were proud of her and wanted to be like her.

4. Fulfillment of personhood: first and foremost we are all people. I simply don't believe that being a parent must suck up 100% of a parent's personhood. Children are very important but, believe it or not, the world does not revolve exclusively around them. It is possible for a parent to meet their child's needs and their own needs at the same time. I fear that the current trend of demanding that parents pour 110% of themselves into their children to the exclusion of everything else will result in the most pampered, narcissistic generation ever seen. As it is many kids have an awful sense of entitlement.

There simply is no one right or wrong way to raise a child. You have the right to disagree with the way I raise my child, but not to decree that your way of parenting is the only way that is right.

Posted by: MP | March 27, 2007 12:50 PM

To Anon 12:44:

"All things being equal, intelligence is determined by DNA."


But, isn't that the point? All things are never equal. She was saying that her son got a leg-up by being in preschool.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 12:52 PM

"There simply is no one right or wrong way to raise a child."

MP, I was with you until this statement. Sorry, there ARE wrong ways to raise children, a myriad of them in fact.

Posted by: anon for yesterday | March 27, 2007 12:53 PM

Thanks Megan's Neighbor on mentioning Tony Snow - I was going to post on him. Tony is one of the good guys.

Posted by: cmac | March 27, 2007 12:53 PM

My very bright 10 year old now in 4th grade started daycare at 10 weeks for 21 hours per week. In home, non-structured daycare just another mom watching a bunch of kids. He finished the 5th grade math curriculum at his school as a 3rd grader. He scores in the 99% in reading and math on standardized tests and he has proactively asked my husband and I thoughtful questions on a variety of topics including US policy towards North Korea when he was in 2nd grade (no joke). He taught himself to play chess as a 1st grader by reading directions on the internet--teachers are amazed at his love of learning. My 3 year old also in a daycare since 10 weeks old is now in a daycare center with full curriculum (part-time)and is very different--he is more active yet he knows ABCs and numbers better than peers and older kids who are not in daycare. He also has more temper tantrums than my older son had. The fact is that all kids are different and that parent involvement makes a difference. I don't think we can blame daycare for misbehaved and disobedient children. Moms should not feel discouraged. Think of many successful people who were raised by single moms and who were in daycare.

Posted by: So Cal Mommy | March 27, 2007 12:55 PM

When I read the title of today's blog I thought it would be about ACTUAL daycare dangers, such as abuse, neglect, criminal acts, etc., and I was hoping that the article would be about the relatively small amount of occurrences of such crimes. And yet, I find again, another "mommy war." Who was it that said the mommy wars were imaginary? Because I'm reading yet another battle here in black and white. Anyone else sick of this?

SAHMs: you're happy with your choice. You and your children get plenty of face time, your kid gets to win the bike because you helped him sell the most whatzits at school, and you feel your kids are better behaved because YOU raised them and didn't outsource their care.

WOHMs: you're happy with your choice. You and your children get quality, if not quantity, time together, your kid gets to win the bike because you took the order sheet to work and helped him sell the most whatzits at school, and you feel your kids are better behaved because they are exposed to many other kids and have to learn to share and communicate.

WE GET IT. YOU ARE HAPPY WITH YOUR CHOICE. Other parents are happy with their choices as well. Why do we feel the need to validate our choices by knocking down others'?

12:55, and I'm changing the subject: do you celebrate Easter, how, why, and what exactly do you teach your kids about it?

Posted by: Mona | March 27, 2007 12:55 PM

What is the average on this board for putting kids in preschool? Our dayhome is definitely a learning environment but is not run formally as a preschool. I thought age 3 or 4 was typical - not 18 mos.

Posted by: mountainS | March 27, 2007 12:55 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your comments about this study and the articles written about it. I am a working mom and am sick and tired of everyone seeming to think that I should want to stay home with my kids if I am any sort of a woman. My two daughters have been in day care since they were both 4 months old and seem to love it! My 2 1/2 year old has learned so much there that I don't believe I would have had the patience or creativity to teach her. My question to those that seem to think working moms are the cause of all childhood issues is 'why doesn't dad stay home with the kids?'

Posted by: KBJ | March 27, 2007 12:56 PM

"All things being equal, intelligence is determined by DNA. "

Maybe, except that all things are rarely if ever equal.

My fraternal B/G twins provide anecdotal support to the DNA theory. While it is true that all things are rarely equal, they have been side by side since before day one and the daycare part was, in fact, equal. They are on two very different planets acaemically, as well as in most other things.

Posted by: lindab | March 27, 2007 12:57 PM

My children are perfectly ordinary and average.

Whew, I just had to say that.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 12:57 PM

Tony is one of the good guys.


I've seen him be rude on TV.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 12:59 PM

cmac,

Unfortunately, I'd rather have not had this timely an example of the same bad stuff happening to folks on both sides of the political aisle. Plus, in North Carolina, we're also watching Coach Yow (NC State) and Coach Davis (UNC) fight the same battle. Perspective is all around us, no doubt.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 27, 2007 1:00 PM

Posted by: mountainS | March 27, 2007 12:55 PM

Average age for preschool probably varies. Most preschools in this area (Northern Virginia) requires potty training. I have seen preschool for 2 year olds but they are for a much shorter period of time - maybe 1 hour.

The preschool my kids went to required potty-training and started at 3 - either 2, 3, or 5 mornings a week for 3 hours.

Posted by: CMAC | March 27, 2007 1:01 PM

"There simply is no one right or wrong way to raise a child."

MP, I was with you until this statement. Sorry, there ARE wrong ways to raise children, a myriad of them in fact.

Posted by: anon for yesterday | March 27, 2007 12:53 PM

I think the point is that there are are myraid of right ways to raise children as well.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 1:02 PM

Pardon my ignorance but who is Tony Snow?

Posted by: mountainS | March 27, 2007 12:23 PM

THIS is the problem with this country. It's not daycare or SAHM- it's IGNORANCE. It's about being connected to and aware of the world! Nothing good will come of children who stay home with parents who don't know who the White House PRESS secretary is!

Broaden your horizons and those of your kids. The most special thing I have witnessed in my children is when they realized that they are a part of society with the ability to help/change the world.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 1:02 PM

Why does everyone equate a smart kid with a happy one? Ted Kacynski, people! And dad's don't stay home with the kids because they_in general, on average_have terrible intuitive risk analysis.

Posted by: Scary | March 27, 2007 1:03 PM

"There simply is no one right or wrong way to raise a child."

Are you high? It's that mentality that gets kids making bombs right under their parents noses and they don't know it. Or don't have a clue who their kids hang out with and wonder how it happened that they're faced with a teen pregnancy. Or even the common courtesy to others to not allow your kid act like a moron in public.

That statement right there is what is wrong with society. Everything is ok. Don't tell your kids no, you'll damage them for life. Reprimands are abuse. It'll mess up their self-esteem. Let the daycare providers, teachers, video games and MTV raise them. It's just too hard.

Posted by: incredulous | March 27, 2007 1:05 PM

12:59 PM

You said regarding "Tony is one of the good guys," "I've seen him be rude on TV."

Could you give us a couple of examples of who you think are the good guys in politics? Have they ever been "rude" on TV?

Posted by: Demos | March 27, 2007 1:05 PM

"Who was it that said the mommy wars were imaginary? Because I'm reading yet another battle here in black and white. Anyone else sick of this?"

Mona, read cmac's post above. If there is a war, it's not evidenced by possibly one or two belligerent posters posting anonymously and hogging a single blog for several hours.

On your new topic, I'd find it interesting but last week's On Parenting blog on a similar topic was immediately taken over, IMHO, by overbearing atheists. They hover over any topic about faith and bash, bash, bash. Rant over. My apologies. Return to your regularly scheduled programming, LOL.

p.s. congratulations on making a decision about Santa Clara. It's a lot easier to enjoy your life after you've got that settled than when you don't know where you'll be living in 6 months. Enjoy the outdoors while you can, without guilt.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 27, 2007 1:05 PM

"Why does everyone equate a smart kid with a happy one?"


Good point. The proper equation is smart kid equals happy parent. I have one of each and two of both, that is, one gifted, one not and both happy. I'm happy too, mostly.

Posted by: lindab | March 27, 2007 1:06 PM

Pardon my ignorance but who is Tony Snow?

Posted by: mountainS | March 27, 2007 12:23 PM


THIS is the problem with this country. It's not daycare or SAHM- it's IGNORANCE. It's about being connected to and aware of the world! Nothing good will come of children who stay home with parents who don't know who the White House PRESS secretary is!

Broaden your horizons and those of your kids. The most special thing I have witnessed in my children is when they realized that they are a part of society with the ability to help/change the world.

Posted by: | March 27, 2007 01:02 PM

I hate to spoil your fun, sort of. But I am not American and although I do know some key members of your political scene, I do not know who everyone is. One of the best ways to prevent ignorance is to ask questions, which is what I was doing. Perhaps you should consider the same. Just a thought.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 1:07 PM

"Nothing good will come of children who stay home with parents who don't know who the White House PRESS secretary is!"

Uh, how do we know this? And why the heck is the name of the White House press secretary so important?

Could be the next great naturalist, novelist, poet, theologian, composer or philosopher will grow up in a home focused on something other than politics.

We don't have to pay attention to all the antics of the chattering classes.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 1:08 PM

To anon at 01;02,
MountainS lives in Canada. Why don't you think or ask before you start calling people ignorant!

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 27, 2007 1:08 PM

"Nothing good will come of children who stay home with parents who don't know who the White House PRESS secretary is!"

I didn't know who he was either. My kids have always been in daycare. Between work, taking care of house, kids, shopping, cleaning, sports, playtime, bathtime, there's not a whole lot of free time left. I read newspapers daily to keep up with the news, but I don't know who he is either.

Get a grip. My horizons are broad enough. I'm sure that I know things that you don't and my children are exposed to things that yours aren't.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 1:08 PM

"Broaden your horizons and those of your kids. The most special thing I have witnessed in my children is when they realized that they are a part of society with the ability to help/change the world. "

NO! Stick them in a cage instead of daycare. Let them live their lives as sheep under the rule of the media who tells them what happens on American Idol is what matters in life. It is more important to follow celebrities in and out of rehab, and consume whatever they tell you to, and vote how they want you to, than it is to try to change things. The thought police will hunt you down if you do not toe the line and turn on your television and watch at least 9 straight hours of Reality TV every day. :-P

Posted by: Chris | March 27, 2007 1:09 PM

"Nothing good will come of children who stay home with parents who don't know who the White House PRESS secretary is!"

What if they go to daycare and still don't know who the White House PRESS secretary is? Is that the beginning of the end?

Posted by: DC lurker | March 27, 2007 1:11 PM

'why doesn't dad stay home with the kids?'

Well, just the other day I was watching out for my 4 year old son and his friend. My son chased his friend with a worm, the friend threw a dirt clod and pegged my son upside his head, then they jumped on the trampoline and whacked each other with styrofoam noodles.

We all got filthy and had great fun...

until the mothers showed up.

Posted by: Father of 4 | March 27, 2007 1:12 PM

"There simply is no one right or wrong way to raise a child."

Am I the only one who read this as "There is simply no one right way to raise a child or no one wrong way to raise a child". In other words, there are lots of ways to do it right and lots of ways to do it wrong.

Posted by: huh? | March 27, 2007 1:13 PM

Megan's neighbor - I saw the annoying anons stirring things up on the On Parenting blog last week. I knew they'd move over there eventually - they are like a virus.

Posted by: cmac | March 27, 2007 1:13 PM

My kid is pretty average too. He hasn't even learned the alphabet at the age of 18 months yet!

I'm glad people are happy with their daycare arrangements, but that doesn't mean we all want to hear about how your child is testing five levels above their current age/class. Considering how many people are responding this way, I'm starting to think that maybe the standardized tests are too easy...

Posted by: londonmom | March 27, 2007 1:14 PM

My very bright 10 year old now in 4th grade started daycare at 10 weeks for 21 hours per week. In home, non-structured daycare just another mom watching a bunch of kids. He finished the 5th grade math curriculum at his school as a 3rd grader. "He scores in the 99% in reading and math on standardized tests and he has proactively asked my husband and I thoughtful questions on a variety of topics including US policy towards North Korea when he was in 2nd grade (no joke). He taught himself to play chess as a 1st grader by reading directions on the internet--teachers are amazed at his love of learning. "

Again, this is more to do with DNA than anything else.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 1:14 PM

I thought I could just lurk today. It's bad enough that we have the SAHM vs WOHM and daycare vs home care/home school but now we have to hear "my kid is smarter than your kid" - put it on a bumper sticker folks.

Posted by: DC lurker | March 27, 2007 1:16 PM

Deep breaths, calm down. I don't think that MP's post leads anywhere near to where you've taken it. Seems to me her point of view is one that most folks can agree with, that there's lots of ways to skin a cat. Try reading it again in its entirety.

Posted by: to incredulous 1:05 | March 27, 2007 1:17 PM

seen on a bumper: "My honor student beat up your honor student."

Posted by: Chris | March 27, 2007 1:18 PM

"seen on a bumper: "My honor student beat up your honor student."

These honor students are the ones with the most public masturbation incidents.....

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 1:20 PM

"THIS is the problem with this country. It's not daycare or SAHM- it's IGNORANCE. It's about being connected to and aware of the world!"

What, it's now ignorant not to know the name of an unelected politico? Give me a break. No criticism of Tony Snow, but in terms of name recognition as an indicator of "being connected to and aware of the world," "Press Secretary" isn't exactly up there with Queen Elizabeth. Unless you live in DC, I guess. . . .

Mona -- I missed it, what did you decide about Santa Clara??

Posted by: Laura | March 27, 2007 1:20 PM

Am I the only one who read this as "There is simply no one right way to raise a child or no one wrong way to raise a child". In other words, there are lots of ways to do it right and lots of ways to do it wrong.

Posted by: huh? | March 27, 2007 01:13 PM


I'm with you. See at 1:02.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 1:21 PM

Peck, peck, peck...

Posted by: Why women don't rule | March 27, 2007 1:23 PM

off-topic: Mona, just curious, why did you decide on Santa Clara? Or did you get back together with the BF and I missed it?

Posted by: londonmom | March 27, 2007 1:25 PM

ohhhh...bumper stickers, eh? Continuing from yesterday, in the land of Chapel Hill (alias the zoo):

the only bush I trust is my own.

wooo hooo!

I'd rather blog about anything other than this manufactured non-topic of day care.

Posted by: dotted | March 27, 2007 1:27 PM

Peck, peck, peck...

Posted by: Why women don't rule | March 27, 2007 01:23 PM


Get a life already.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 1:27 PM

Megan's Neighbor/NC Lawyer, good point. I wanted to talk about Halloween but I figured the E-word was more timely. (Halloween is my favorite holiday.) I'm atheist but I'm curious about what people are doing for the holiday. My parents did an easter egg hunt and gave us candy and stuff, but easter always seemed like one of the more lame holidays. You had to dress up in some goofy flowery costume and chase colored eggs around the yard, but at least you got candy. And then some religious relative would say something about the resurrection, but no one listened because...hey, candy!

My BF (long story short, we are tentatively talking about getting back together, but I'm not holding my breath on his reliability) is Buddhist and did easter things as a kid. I never understood that. But then again, when you're a kid, and get candy, it really doesn't matter whose tradition you have to follow, right?

Thanks for the congrats. SCU won by a landslide when I visited their campus. They actually acted like they wanted me there; they were welcoming, friendly and exceptionally helpful. The AU people were cold, standoffish, and snobby. The SCU campus is filled with flowers and palm trees, and is so beautiful that even weddings take place there. AU is a single dark building in one of the more boring parts of Tenleytown with nowhere for 1Ls to park. Factor in that SCU is #4 for what I want to go into and AU's not even on the list, and it was really a no-brainer. I'm making arrangements for the move, but I'll definitely stay on the board. :-)

Posted by: Mona | March 27, 2007 1:27 PM

As a former child care provider in a preschool setting and a current stay at home mom, I can see both sides of the issue.

The children in my day care centre were great and I loved them all dearly, they were no more aggressive then the children raised at home.

I am a stay at home mom by choice, at this time it would not make sense for me to put my children in a day care setting, in order to provide child care to other children.

My boys are polite, will say please and thank you and when I do take my boys out in public to a grocery store, my little one age two will stay in the shopping cart and my six year old will stay by the cart.

I think that parenting has alot to do with the children's behaviour, if one explains to your child (ren) prior to the excursion what you expect of the child (ren), and then the consequences of their misbehaviour ie. acting out in the store results in immediately going home....then the child (ren) have guidelines to go by.

As adults we need to set up parametres and consistency is the key....

My boys are not perfect by any means, but I just wish to say this is one stay at home mom that makes sure her children behave in public.

Being in Canada, I am happy to say that most moms enjoy a one year maternity leave.....it's sad to see some moms that have to return to work in the U.S. when their newborns are only six weeks old.

Posted by: Mom in Canada | March 27, 2007 1:29 PM

Mona-while campus beauty is a good reason (hey, I went to undergrad in San Diego!), the best reason you gave is SCU is #4 in your interests. That alone will keep you there and help you succeed, regardless of BF.

Posted by: dotted | March 27, 2007 1:30 PM

"No criticism of Tony Snow, but in terms of name recognition as an indicator of "being connected to and aware of the world," "Press Secretary" isn't exactly up there with Queen Elizabeth. Unless you live in DC, I guess. . . ."

Or never watch the news or read a paper.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 1:30 PM

Get a life already.

Posted by: | March 27, 2007 01:27 PM

peck, peck, peck... and the promotion goes to.............BOB.

Posted by: Why women don't rule | March 27, 2007 1:31 PM

Peck, peck, peck...

Posted by: Why women don't rule | March 27, 2007 01:23 PM

WTF? go clog up the On Parenting blog with your barnyard analogies.

Posted by: anon for tomorrow | March 27, 2007 1:34 PM

"No criticism of Tony Snow, but in terms of name recognition as an indicator of "being connected to and aware of the world," "Press Secretary" isn't exactly up there with Queen Elizabeth. Unless you live in DC, I guess. . . ."

Or never watch the news or read a paper.


Posted by: | March 27, 2007 01:30 PM

Quick! Name Tony Snow's press secretary! Who is the prime minister of Sweden?

Not everyone who reads or posts here is an American citizen. (And in the great scheme of things, Tony Snow is simply Max Headroom. But I certainly hope his cancer is treatable.)

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 1:34 PM

Re easter: best easter tradition ever is decorating eggs and then rolling them down a hill. Last year, it turned into a baseball game with the eggs serving as balls. The kids had a great time - smelly but fun!

Posted by: mountainS | March 27, 2007 1:36 PM

I would just like to say that my child translated Catullus from the original Latin at 18 months, and mastered the cello by 24 months. She is able to quote Emily Post verbatim. I can't figure out why the dog breaks out in bruises from time to time though...

Posted by: No Cal Mommy | March 27, 2007 1:36 PM

Thanks for your concerns, everyone, but BF had no role in my decision and he knows it. He said last week that if I did end up at SCU we'd find a way to work it out. I told him that made no difference in my decision, and my going there is not an automatic reconciliation. I told him I'm sick of the roller coaster ride, that this is going to be a very stressful summer and academic year for me, and I don't need him compounding that by breaking up with me every time I get insecure or say the wrong thing. I've made my decision about SCU based on its curriculum, earning capacity in the area and job placement rate, ranking, and network. I'm looking forward to starting law school, whether or not he wants to stay in the picture. :-) Thanks so much for all your well wishes, advice and encouragement. It feels so great to have finally made a decision!

Posted by: Mona | March 27, 2007 1:40 PM

Forgive me Mona, but this thought is streaming out of my fingertips....

it isn't whether or not he wants to stay in the picture...why would you want HIM to stay in the picture? Go out there as a free independent woman and trump those classes! We love ya!

Posted by: dotted | March 27, 2007 1:42 PM

Mona - congrats on your choice! It probably is a relief to have made it at this point. I still remember how stressful a time it was deciding which school to go to.

I did kind of smile about your comment re: pretty campus. I went to a school with an ugly campus and it was kind of a downer considering how much time I spent in the library. That said, the only thing that matters in the end is that you can get the kind of job you want so that you can pay off the huge amount of debt that law school usually requires. Oh - and be happy (these aren't always compatible in the legal field, but oh well...). Unless you are really lucky and have some help from mom and dad.

Otherwise, my advice (totally unsolicited I know so you can ignore if you wish) is to work you a$$ off and get the best grades you can. A science background alone does not guarantee a good job in IP law. Though it certainly helps...

Posted by: londonmom | March 27, 2007 1:44 PM

peck, peck, peck... and the promotion goes to.............BOB.

Posted by: Why women don't rule | March 27, 2007 01:31 PM

Look, Bob's gotten off the ladder and is now at the top of an oak tree. What? Is he saying something? shhhhh.

*please don't tell my nagging wife I'm leaving her for the hottie down the hall*

Posted by: anon for march | March 27, 2007 1:44 PM

I would just like to say that my child translated Catullus from the original Latin at 18 months, and mastered the cello by 24 months. She is able to quote Emily Post verbatim. I can't figure out why the dog breaks out in bruises from time to time though...

Posted by: No Cal Mommy | March 27, 2007 01:36 PM


My child has been dying to learn Catallus. The enrichment program in her school is just so lacking. Could we possibly make arrangements?

Posted by: suebee | March 27, 2007 1:47 PM

ah the irony. too busy to keep up with the news and current events, but with sufficient time to read the comments of the masses on this blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 1:48 PM

Londonmom - Bragging about smart children starts as soon as they pop out of the womb, encyclopedia in hand. Not pointing to anyone specifically on this board, just a general observation. It get more annoying as they get older. There are an equal number of humble parents that don't feel the need to tout their children's successes at every opportunity - which makes PTA and sporting events tolerable.

I liked the "My kid is average post." Most kids are.

Posted by: CMAC | March 27, 2007 1:48 PM

dotted, the same thought streams through my head...time will tell, I guess. Right now I'm just trying to focus on the move and the classes, and if he proves himself reliable, he's welcome to be part of my life. But I can't take the drama anymore, and he knows it. I'd like to be in a relationship with him (when it's good, it's amazing), but not if he's going to dump me every two weeks. I like roller coasters, but I'm getting motion sickness because this one is jerking me around too much.

Posted by: Mona | March 27, 2007 1:49 PM

My child has been dying to learn Catallus. The enrichment program in her school is just so lacking. Could we possibly make arrangements?


Posted by: suebee | March 27, 2007 01:47 PM

Sure, but let's take it offline. Otherwise, our kids wouldn't have a 'leg up' now would they?

Posted by: No Cal Mommy | March 27, 2007 1:50 PM

Laura / Mona, Please excuse if I posted this before, but I always felt sorry for my friends in law school who would be up 'til 3 a.m. in a fight or making up with a boyfriend. (oh, and they agreed that it was pitiable). The drama definitely got in the way of them doing the best they could. My husband and I agreed that there wasn't any sort of relationship or parenting issue we just had to work out in the middle of any of those 6 semesters. A boring, drama-free life, filled with exercise and non-alcoholic beverages, is your law school friend.

well, that and chocolate.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 27, 2007 1:54 PM

"Sure, but let's take it offline. Otherwise, our kids wouldn't have a 'leg up' now would they?"

Or that "extra edge" that rich kids need so much.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 1:54 PM

snort, snort, snort . . . .

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 1:58 PM

MN,
Amen to what you said..particularly the exercise. The non-alcoholic beverages, well that is too much an individual decision...he he he. There were many grad school evenings when we'd work until midnight then go out until 1 or 2am. I even learned how to play shuffleboard while balancing a beer.

Posted by: dotted | March 27, 2007 1:59 PM

You guys crack me up...those of you talking about Catallus, those of you talking about law school and drinking...all of you are just great. :-)

Posted by: Mona | March 27, 2007 2:01 PM

Mona -

We celebrate Passover and it begins a week from today. We are going to other's houses (yeah!) for the seders. I still have tons of cleaning and shopping to do!

It's my favorite holiday since I was born on the first day. So I've typically had cakes made of lead for my birthday, but was also the only one who got to spend my birthday (or some facsimile of it - my birthday's not ALWAYS on passover) with the extended family.

AND oddly enough, my husband's hebrew name is passover. How's that for beshert (serendipity?)

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 2:03 PM

dotted,

the non-alcoholic beverage advice is my occasional nod to the pc crowd. There are one or two in every law school class that are so smart they can be at the top of the class even with a raging alcohol habit. Most of us aren't that capable, LOL. On balance, I'd say the best advice is to abstain during each semester and drink away during breaks and summer. Not that I did that. If Laura can drink 'til 2 and look sharp for Constitutional Law at 8 a.m., she'll fit right in with many of us.

shuffleboard, darts, pool - all best if originally learned while consuming beer and in the company of a cute available colleague.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 27, 2007 2:06 PM

Mona - you'll do great in law school (said from someone who's never met you). And you have the best attitude of boyfriend. Don't stay with someone where you can't say what you think for fear of reprisal (i.e., he's always breaking up with you or gets mad or whatever). That's borderline abuse and just gets worse over time.

My DH was formula fed, but was potty trained by 12 months and wrote his first novel by the time he was 2. Or so my MIL says.

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 2:06 PM

peck, peck, peck... and the promotion goes to.............BOB.

Posted by: Why women don't rule | March 27, 2007 01:31 PM


Hi Why women don't rule!

Right now I'm not looking for the promotions. Why rock a boat with such a soothing sway to it. Top of the pay scale, good pay, good benes, well liked by staff, not too taxing on the brain, time for blogging and keeping up with current events and some sudoku thrown in for good measure. The most stressful thing that I'm aiming to do right now, why with swimsuit season nearly upon us, is to get to the gym during some loong lunch hours now and again. Maybe you and yours could do the same with a couple of little adjustments, like say, you getting a job! A job like mine, of course.

Posted by: ladymanager | March 27, 2007 2:14 PM

"There are a lot of reasons why people work and most of them are no one's business but their own. "

Add my Irish-English-Welsh-German Butt to that thought.

Posted by: Pink Plate | March 27, 2007 2:14 PM

"My DH was formula fed, but was potty trained by 12 months and wrote his first novel by the time he was 2. Or so my MIL says. "

You left out his his entrance to Harvard at age 8 and his Nobel Prize!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 2:18 PM

Foolish mortals, you will bow to me! Mommy, change my diaper, NOW.

Posted by: No Cal Mommy's Son | March 27, 2007 2:20 PM

peck, peck, peck... and the promotion goes to.............BOB

Who wants to rule? I can't imagine spending my days sweating whether my husband or myself are getting a promotion. There are so many more important things. We are healthy. We have two wonderful, healthy children who are wonderfully average. We can joke about darts and shuffleboard with our friends. We love having time to be active in our church and in other community activities. I get to watch a basketball game here and there. I am so glad neither of us is caught up in this 50s promotion stuff - it reminds me of Darrin Stephens bringing his boss, Larry, home, and how the entire Stephens household was under a microscope and the world hung on how the evening went.

dotted, I am so sorry about the death of Jason Ray.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 27, 2007 2:21 PM

Scarry is an Irish surname.

Posted by: Pink Plate | March 27, 2007 2:22 PM

"it reminds me of Darrin Stephens bringing his boss, Larry, home, and how the entire Stephens household was under a microscope and the world hung on how the evening went."


Yeah, and even with Samantha being able to do the nose twinkle thing, it was still stressful.

Of course, Samantha had a quite valid reason for not putting little Tabitha in daycare. Why, with her own litttle nose twinkle thing going on there, she would surely wreaked havoc, besting even Father of 4's four year old.

Posted by: lindab | March 27, 2007 2:28 PM

Yes, it is my name. I should have picked something else as my handle. Oh well!

And yes, pink plate I will add you to the thought.

Posted by: scarry | March 27, 2007 2:29 PM

This is a very timely article for me. We are currently touring daycare facilities to determine if we'll put our kids there starting this summer. If anyone has any advice, I'd love to hear it.

Articles like this bother me, but only a bit. I have a great deal of confidence in my and my husband's abilities to raise a smart, thoughtful, caring and happy child regardless of whether they spend 8 hours a day in daycare, with an au pair or at home with mom or dad. I sound like a broken record when it comes to the book "Freakonomics", but I'm going to quote it again. As parents, who we are matters more than what we do. I'm holding onto that credo until my kids prove otherwise. (And then we'll deal with that.)

Posted by: WorkingMomX | March 27, 2007 2:30 PM

"Of course, Samantha had a quite valid reason for not putting little Tabitha in daycare"

Dunno, but Elizabeth Montgomery had a lot of clout on the show as a co-owner. She brought her little ones frequently to the set.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 2:33 PM

News flash....

This is NOT a study. It is a interesting correlation. Reporting it as a causal effect is like reporting that smoking CAUSES teenagers to have sex, based on a finding that teenagers who smoke also tend to have sex.

In the case of daycare, many other factors could be affecting both the decision to use daycare and the resulting abilities of the children. It's impossible to control for every factor, especially since some factors are unmeasurable, like parenting ability. So just reporting a raw correlation, even if the researchers control for many things like income and education, will always lead to an unreliable result.

I agree with boondocks... Until you have a random assignment of treatment and control groups, you don't have any information on whether day care is good or bad for kids. What is so sad is that this correlation is being reported as fact on the front page of the NYT. And even the few caveats are being dropped by the TV news media. This "study" would not hold up in any rigorous academic environment. Period.

Posted by: economics grad student | March 27, 2007 2:34 PM

Righto, workingmomX.
My kids are very polite - I would not want to live with them otherwise - so that is something we drill into them. Even though *we* aren't with them 24/7, someone who has similar values as us *is*.

Isn't that all that matters? If you take care in finding the right situation for your kids - you are doing your job as a parent. End of story.

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 2:35 PM

"If anyone has any advice, I'd love to hear it."

Be careful what you wish for!

Posted by: lindab | March 27, 2007 2:35 PM

"Trust your instincts about what care is right for you and your child...." For years we just trusted our instincts and allowed our children to ride in cars without restraints, exposed them to second-hand smoke, fed them sucrose- and fat-laden foods, and so on and on. Then there were studies that produced evidence that, maybe, we should not do these things. Maybe we should look at the research and act on it. At some point, of course, we parents do have to act on our instincts. But I find you, Leslie, far too dismissive about this study of the effects of daycare on children. These research studies are done with great care to control for variables. They are not motivated by a desire to lay guilt on others. The study indeed raises anew the issue for parents about home care by a parent versus daycare--a very tough issue, and we need all the information we can get to help us make the decision. And in making this decision, I hope we can take from this study another key point: quality counts. Let's work to make our daycare centers quality places for children. That won't resolve all the issues, but it will surely make our children's lives better. There's a lot of research on that point.

Posted by: Larry Chamblin | March 27, 2007 2:38 PM

WorkingMomX:

Chat with other parents, chat with the staff, drop in unexpectedly a few times when you've narrowed down your choices, and observe how often the staff wash their own hands. By extension, how often they encourage/insist that the little people wash their hands is a good thing too.

Good luck with your pregnancy and your search.

MdMother

Posted by: MarylandMother | March 27, 2007 2:40 PM

My mom stayed home. S**t! Maybe my kids will make it? I wish I could get the past 45 minutes back. Nope.

Only approximately 832,200 minutes left. I miss my kids.

Posted by: See Dick run. | March 27, 2007 2:41 PM

Okay, I want to share with you what I saw today at my kid's school.

My daughter was at one end of the play ground and a little boy was at the other. They would run to each other and meet in the middle and hug and fall down. When we left all the teachers gave her a hug.

It was so cute and priceless. I bet all over the country the scence is reapeated, so working moms and dads, don't feel guilty about day care.

Posted by: scarry | March 27, 2007 2:42 PM

Oh, MDMother, bite your tongue! I'm not pregnant, three is enough for this chick. My kids are 2 and 4. But that's great advice and I never thought about dropping in before we start. Thank you,

Posted by: WorkingMomX | March 27, 2007 2:42 PM

My son is far too busy calculating the optimal ratio of pasting to music class at his preschool to ensure that he is properly stimulated to achieve a 2% advantage on his SATs twelve years from now. We all know that little things make a difference!

Posted by: No Cal Mommy | March 27, 2007 2:42 PM

But, mr. Larry, who KNOWS anything from these studies. Perhaps the kids who are in day care now would be just the same as if they had stayed home with a parent because the type of parent to go to work and put their kid in daycare is the cause of the child behaving a certain way, rather than just the day care situation itself.

You really can't prove a thing, especially since there was just about no difference in the two groups of kids.

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 2:46 PM

But I find you, Leslie, far too dismissive about this study of the effects of daycare on children. These research studies are done with great care to control for variables.

Posted by: Larry Chamblin | March 27, 2007 02:38 PM

uh, Larry, did you read the article? there were no controls. That's what makes the conclusions of the "study" particularly suspect. Parents self-selected, then self-reported.

Posted by: anon for next Tuesday after this Thursday | March 27, 2007 2:46 PM

Re: The argument that daycare better prepares children for school (makes them smart[er], if you will), therefore those children are more likely to misbehave because they are bored.

At the risk of jumping on the "my kid is a genius" bandwagon, my daughter is very bright. She is also a disruptive student. She was at a terrific home care from 3 months to 3 years, then at an upscale preschool until she was 5. She's now in public school.

We have struggled with the behavior issues since she was 3. While all of her teachers have pointed out her intellect, they never offered it as an excuse for her behavior. I've asked her teachers whether boredom is an issue, and none have felt this was the issue. Just as her intellect is part of her personality, her difficulty sitting still and being quiet is also. I really think we'd be dealing with both of those issues even if I had decided to stay home rather than return to work. She just seems very hard-wired this way, and has been since she was a baby.

By the way, neither her intellect nor her "high energy" excuse her when she disrupts the class. Just as some kids have to work harder to learn to read or do their multiplication tables, mine has to work harder to sit still and be quiet. We keep in touch with her teachers. We enforce classroom rules at home. But she pays the consequences for her actions and each school year brings some improvement. I suspect we will be hearing about her squirming, fidgeting, and chattiness throughout her school career, but hopefully with decreasing frequency . . . .

Posted by: Vegas Mom | March 27, 2007 2:47 PM

"We all know that little things make a difference!"

Yes, especially those AP classes given in kindergarten.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 2:48 PM

Oops! So sorry WorkingMomX!

I stand by my theory that *every* child needs two parents. So when a couple has a second child, the parents are outnumbered.

I know I am, anyway!

Posted by: MarylanddMother | March 27, 2007 2:51 PM

What? No controls??? CONTROL your children, people!

We need a government study: One group should go to daycare, and another stay home with a parent, and the control group should be strapped to a chair in a cage and deprived of all senses. Only then will we see who develops easier to manage behavior over the years. :-P

Posted by: Chris | March 27, 2007 2:52 PM

MarylandMother,

My DH doesn't want another, he says, because now we can play one on one, and if we had more, we'd need to play zone. And he doesn't want to be outnumbered....

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 2:53 PM

MDMother, I know. No more man-to-man defense, only zone. :) Luckily, our oldest is considerably older than the two younger. So it's not too bad.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | March 27, 2007 2:54 PM

Scary writes:

"Why does everyone equate a smart kid with a happy one? Ted Kacynski, people!"

That's Ted *Kaczynski* '62, if you please. Entered Harvard before age 17. Concentrated in Mathematics. Graduated twenty-five years before Leslie Morgan Steiner '87. Lied to the Alumni Directory: he told them he was living in Afghanistan, when he was really living in a cabin in Montana and sending out letter bombs -- including one to New Haven that injured Yale Professor David Gelerntner.

I know there's an Ivy League rivalry "on football field or track," but this is ridiculous!

"And dads don't stay home with the kids because they _in general, on average_ have terrible intuitive risk analysis."

This sounds like a psychological "finding." But, psychology is BUNK. Show me actual, outcome-based figures. For instance, how many oil wildcat wells drilled according to ladies' "intuitive risk analysis" find oil, versus how many wells drilled according to male wildcatters' "hunches"?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | March 27, 2007 2:55 PM

Excuse me, OUR preschool has International Baccalaureate (IB) classes. AP classes are so 1999...

Posted by: No Cal Mommy | March 27, 2007 2:56 PM

And yet...I'd love to be a foster parent. But now is not the time. Maybe when first child goes to college?

I feel like I'm tempting fate, admitting that.

Posted by: MarylandMother | March 27, 2007 2:57 PM

"I suspect we will be hearing about her squirming, fidgeting, and chattiness throughout her school career, but hopefully with decreasing frequency . . . ."

Sounds like this kid doesn't get enough attention from her parents.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 2:57 PM

WorkingMomX,

you live in the Triangle, correct?

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 27, 2007 2:57 PM

Did you ever live in Columbia, MD? Your name sounds familiar.

Posted by: To Larry | March 27, 2007 2:57 PM

Leslie,

This is Tuesday, right? I thought Tuesdays were the day a guest writer got a chance to submit a few words about balancing their personal lives and the snarks came out to flog the blog.

Tomorrow perhaps?

Posted by: Father of 4 | March 27, 2007 2:58 PM

Maryland mother - are you going to BF the foster parent? Put them in day care? we need to know NOW! ;)

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 2:59 PM

Out in the sunshine, enjoying the beautiful spring weather. Or, sitting inside at a computer, which is what we're all doing...arguing about what's best for our children. YUCK!!!! I want to be HOME........................................................................................................................................................................................................!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Where would you rather be right now... | March 27, 2007 2:59 PM

Did you miss the preceding sentences that Vegas Mom wrote?

"By the way, neither her intellect nor her "high energy" excuse her when she disrupts the class. Just as some kids have to work harder to learn to read or do their multiplication tables, mine has to work harder to sit still and be quiet. We keep in touch with her teachers. We enforce classroom rules at home. But she pays the consequences for her actions and each school year brings some improvement. I suspect we will be hearing about her squirming, fidgeting, and chattiness throughout her school career, but hopefully with decreasing frequency . . ."

I'm certain you will get fewer reports like that. It's called "maturity", and hopefully we all get some!

Okay, obviously not anon at 2:57 today, or the anon who snipped my statements short as to why I got a B.S. rather than a B.A. and then when I TRIED to explain myself better it got long, ridiculous and tiresome. But I remain hopeful.

Posted by: to: 2:57 p.m. | March 27, 2007 3:01 PM

Out in the sunshine, enjoying the beautiful spring weather. Or, sitting inside at a computer, which is what we're all doing...arguing about what's best for our children. YUCK!!!! I want to be HOME........................................................................................................................................................................................................!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Where would you rather be right now... | March 27, 2007 02:59 PM

on an island. ahhhhh. but then again, I'm not engaging in any arguing :>)

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 3:01 PM

Yes, Megan's Neighbor. In beautiful North Raleigh . . .

Posted by: WorkingMomX | March 27, 2007 3:03 PM

"I suspect we will be hearing about her squirming, fidgeting, and chattiness throughout her school career, but hopefully with decreasing frequency . . . ."

Sounds like this kid doesn't get enough attention from her parents.


Posted by: | March 27, 2007 02:57 PM

Sounds like you are mixing uninformed, armchair psychology with your politics.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 3:04 PM

Maryland mother - are you going to BF the foster parent? Put them in day care? we need to know NOW! ;)

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 02:59 PM

Umm, I hope you meant to ask if I was going to BF the foster CHILD.

Hey...that could be the start of a wickedly funny blog though. What do you think?

Posted by: MarylandMother | March 27, 2007 3:04 PM

Oops, I meant to say, "If I am going to BF the foster CHILD."

(I don't wish to upset the grammarians.)

Posted by: MdMother | March 27, 2007 3:06 PM

MarylanMother.

It was my attempt at humor. And I mistyped. So I guess it didn't work.

*going back to hole promising to proofread better next time*

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 3:07 PM

"Umm, I hope you meant to ask if I was going to BF the foster CHILD. "

Why on earth would you hope that? that's just sick!

Posted by: Chris | March 27, 2007 3:08 PM

Hey First...do you have a thirst? Perhaps a thirst for some foamgnome, perhaps. Whatever that is...Or, would you rather have a CMAC with your neighbor...and talk about some BMOM with your friend MaryB. Are you a working mom? Or is your name John L? And do you live at 21117? Sigh.... I coulda been a ParentPreneur, but I chose to be a Mom supporter instead. Now what about Kate? Or John Q? Or, Chris? Who would have thought we'd all be so gung ho? But VAMom set us straight. I'm not surprised! And of course there's always one butthead in the crowd. But what's a PT Fed Mof2?????Who would have thunk of a name like that? But in the end it's all based on our experience. Do you have a Question...for the fed worker perhaps? Or, maybe it's for chicago9? But in the end, there's always at least one disgusted mom who's married to a Dad of 2. Or maybe a father of 4.

Posted by: a story... | March 27, 2007 3:10 PM

WorkingMomX, North Raleigh has many, many good choices for daycare/day camp / preschool, label it what you will. There are precious few (if any) waiting lists and if your budget will permit you to pay approx. $825 per month, per child, your options are many and nice. Craigslist is a great source in this area, as well, for home care providers. Don't worry. Do visit and get a sense for the judgment of the people running the organization and whether they LOVE, LOVE, LOVE kids. I realize I'm inviting flames from the safety/cleanliness fanatics, but I am far more concerned about teacher happiness and warmth than degrees and a 1:3 ratio of children to no-rinse hand sanitizers. Fortunately, in this area I've never had to choose between priorities or join a wait-list for any childcare opportunity. Good luck!

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 27, 2007 3:14 PM

Another funny (WAPO) headline:

"Long-Term Aspirin Use Cuts Death Risk for Women: Study"

So by taking aspirin, according to not only the headline, but the first sentence as well, women can become immortal.

Posted by: Chris | March 27, 2007 3:14 PM

"So by taking aspirin, according to not only the headline, but the first sentence as well, women can become immortal."

NOPE...they just cut their risk of dying.........................is that the same thing?

Posted by: TO: Chris | March 27, 2007 3:16 PM

Hi Atlmom,

No, I did find it funny--but I wasn't certain if that was deliberate on your part or a serendipitous typo.

I have a twisted sense of humour, as a rule.

Chris,

Here's the entire post that you may have overlooked. Having a rough day?

MdMother

"Maryland mother - are you going to BF the foster parent? Put them in day care? we need to know NOW! ;)

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 02:59 PM

Umm, I hope you meant to ask if I was going to BF the foster CHILD.

Hey...that could be the start of a wickedly funny blog though. What do you think?"

Posted by: MarylandMother | March 27, 2007 03:04 PM

Posted by: MarylandMother | March 27, 2007 3:16 PM

Excuse me, OUR preschool has International Baccalaureate (IB) classes. AP classes are so 1999...

Posted by: No Cal Mommy | March 27, 2007 02:56 PM


Truly funny!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 3:17 PM

Well, I *did* mean to say child -but typically foster children are not of an age where they should be getting formula (I think, as a rule) so the question was *supposed* to be funny, anyway.

to TO CHRIS: I thought the risk of dying, for all people (and animals and living things) was 100%. To *CUT* that risk, it is saying that my risk, if I take aspirin, will be less - i.e., my risk of dying would now be, what, only 90%?

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 3:18 PM

Knock, Knock!

Posted by: Knock knock | March 27, 2007 3:19 PM

Everyone's risk of dying is 100%!!!!! We WILL all die.

Posted by: TO ALT Mom | March 27, 2007 3:20 PM

To Anon at 2:57 -- Well, while the tone was snarky, the theory is interesting, if only because I've been operating on the opposite premise -- DD receives TOO MUCH attention. DH works a lot of nights and weekends, DD is an only. She gets to spend a lot of one-on-one time with each of us. There is no competition for her attention and opinions as there is in a 3rd grade classroom. We've been working really hard on not interrupting and listening on those occasions when we are all home.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | March 27, 2007 3:21 PM

Knock, Knock!

Posted by: Knock knock | March 27, 2007 03:19 PM

WHO'S THERE?

Posted by: AFRAID TO ASK | March 27, 2007 3:23 PM

OF COURSE. The point was that chris is quoting a funny headline - and I was explaining WHY it was funny because it seemed that someone wasn't understanding.
maybe you don't either?

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 3:24 PM

And, in case none of you could realize this, I have way too much time on my hands today. Hopefully that will end tomorrow.

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 3:25 PM

OF COURSE. The point was that chris is quoting a funny headline - and I was explaining WHY it was funny because it seemed that someone wasn't understanding.
maybe you don't either?

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 03:24 PM

Alright...let me explain this to you again...we will ALL DIE!!!!! No one gets out of here alive.

Posted by: TO: atlmom | March 27, 2007 3:28 PM

I am a 24 year old who is a product of a two parent, both working full time household. Thus, daycare and after school activities came into my life at an early age. I was never a behavior problem, I did gain vocabulary skills at a younger age (and continued possibly to my detriment as a chatty adult,) and now have graduated with my MA. A child in daycare or out of daycare is such a silly comparison that really only serves to frighten mothers. It's just like the working mother/stay at home mother discussion (ultimately sill.) A parent's love and time spent will prove that a child succeeds no matter what they do.... parenting is the answer. Oh, and I always enjoyed hanging out with other kids just running around, doing what kids do in daycare.... contrary to what others might have said previously.

Posted by: Lara | March 27, 2007 3:28 PM

Knock, Knock!

Posted by: Knock knock | March 27, 2007 03:19 PM

WHO'S THERE?

Boo.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 3:29 PM

THAT IS WHY THE HEADLINE IS SO FUNNY.

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 3:29 PM

THAT IS WHY THE HEADLINE IS SO FUNNY.

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 03:29 PM

Why? Because we're all going to die? That's funny???????

Posted by: TO atlmom | March 27, 2007 3:30 PM

Quick search reveals that, alas! few of us will be able to BF our foster child before we put them into sub-standard day care before driving to work in our S-Moo-V in order to pay for the compulsory caviar and filet mignon dinner we have all come to expect.

Adoption and Foster Care in the US
More than 530,000 children and young people are currently in foster care.

The average age of foster children is 10.2 years.
Most of them live in foster homes.
The average time in care is 32 months.
About a quarter of foster children are eligible for adoption. In 2002, 53,000 of those children were adopted.
Each year, about 20,000 young people "age out" of the foster care system.


Total number of children in foster care 532,000

Where they live...

Foster family homes (non-relative) 243,505 (46%)
Foster family homes (relative) 124,036 (23%)
Institutions 54,472 (10%)
Group homes 45,464 (9%)
Pre-adoptive homes 24,960 (5%)
Trial home visit 18,809 (4%)
Runaway and homeless shelters 9,459 (2%)
Supervised independent living 5,676 (1%)

Number of children in foster care awaiting adoption 118,000

Source: US Dept of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Preliminary Estimates for FY 2002 as of August 2004 and the CWLA NDAS, 2000 (latest figures available).

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 3:32 PM

To to Atlmom:

NO - the headline says: WOMEN CAN *CUT THEIR RISK OF DYING****

If my risk of dying is 100%. THEN I *CUT MY RISK* then my risk is now LESS THAN 100%.

BUT - as you rightly indicated - my risk CANNOT BE LOWER THAN 100%. BECAUSE WE ALL DIE. *that's why it is funny*

It is funny because I *can't cut my risk*

but there it is - in black and white.

DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW????

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 3:32 PM

To to Atlmom:

NO - the headline says: WOMEN CAN *CUT THEIR RISK OF DYING****

If my risk of dying is 100%. THEN I *CUT MY RISK* then my risk is now LESS THAN 100%.

BUT - as you rightly indicated - my risk CANNOT BE LOWER THAN 100%. BECAUSE WE ALL DIE. *that's why it is funny*

It is funny because I *can't cut my risk*

but there it is - in black and white.

DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW????

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 03:32 PM

UNDERSTAND WHAT?

Posted by: To Atlmom | March 27, 2007 3:34 PM

*why* the headline is funny.

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 3:36 PM

Would someone re-post "The Field Guide to Trolls" so I can print it out and hit myself with it? I know I am going to regret responding to this later. But here goes anyway.

For crying out loud, toAltmom, how thick ARE you, really?

Let me sum it up for you--and believe me I think everyone EXCEPT for you gets this already--

Life is a sexually transmitted terminal disease.

Get over it already!

"OF COURSE. The point was that chris is quoting a funny headline - and I was explaining WHY it was funny because it seemed that someone wasn't understanding.
maybe you don't either?

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 03:24 PM

Alright...let me explain this to you again...we will ALL DIE!!!!! No one gets out of here alive.

Posted by: TO: atlmom | March 27, 2007 03:28 PM"

Posted by: to: to Atlmom | March 27, 2007 3:37 PM

why* the headline is funny.

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 03:36 PM

The headline is funny?

Posted by: to: atlmom | March 27, 2007 3:37 PM

Okay, I'll just give up. Not a big deal. I'm just passing time...

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 3:37 PM

I'm sorry...you're on Candid Camera!!!! You played into that very well. I'm sorry...but you did give me a good laugh sitting here at my computer.

Posted by: TO: Atlmom | March 27, 2007 3:38 PM

Just don't tell my boss.

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 3:39 PM

Just don't tell my boss.

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 03:39 PM

consider it an early birthday present.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 3:40 PM

This is the same NYT that ran the story about the study trumpeting the fact that more than 50% of women were living without a spouse. That this 51% included women as young as 15, and women separated from their spouses for any reason (including military service) escaped the notice of most. I think the "All The News That's Fit to Print" tag line should be replaced with "All The Headlines That Will Get Us Quoted."

We plan to have my wife stay at home when the kids are tiny. If that plan changes, I think we'll all be fine.

Posted by: I'm not sweating it | March 27, 2007 3:40 PM

Hey, where is our guest blogger?

Posted by: foamgnome | March 27, 2007 3:41 PM

You only have to stay home with your babies if they are preemies. If not, they can live at the local daycare center.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 3:42 PM

post

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 3:48 PM

RE: No guess blogger . . . .

I'm guessing Leslie wanted to jump on this article since she knew it would probably be discussed today since posters here tend to keep up with that kind of news. I don't blame her for jumping on this immediately -- part of the job description.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | March 27, 2007 3:51 PM

Oops, that would be GUEST blogger, although GUESS blogger is sometimes also appropriate!

Teach me to hit that Submit button too fast . . . .

Posted by: Vegas Mom | March 27, 2007 3:52 PM

At least you finally got my nick right ;)

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 3:54 PM

You only have to stay home with your babies if they are preemies. If not, they can live at the local daycare center.

Posted by: | March 27, 2007 03:42 PM

. . . with anon at 3:42's kids. all the other kids will be living with their parents.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 4:00 PM

Knock, Knock!

Posted by: Knock knock | March 27, 2007 03:19 PM

WHO'S THERE?

Boo.

Posted by: | March 27, 2007 03:29 PM

BOO, WHO??

Posted by: STILL AFRAID TO ASK | March 27, 2007 4:20 PM

I hate the way the media reports scientific information. I have an autistic son, and you would not BELIEVE the ridiculous nonsense that is reported. People forward me things having heard the most sensationalist claims for what the research means: if they forward the research, I find that its results are either completely different from the hype, or are statistically insignificant, or have NO implications regarding causation of one factor by another (as opposed to mere coincidence of factors). I find many of these much-heralded studies ill-designed, practiced on a ridiculously small sample (one contained 11 children and not a single control subject), or otherwise scientifically questionable.

I realize that we have crappy (technical word) science education in this country, but it doesn't help the scientific community for the media to trumpet "results" that will later be completely disproven because the "results" bore no resemblance to the actual study outcome. The original sin is amplified through misquotation and interest mongering until its distorted, bloated claim can no longer be even recognized.

Science is not particularly sexy most of the time. Involves a lot of rats and boring stuff like feeding applesauce to about 2000 people under very bland conditions. But the media needs to treat it seriously, and accurately, if at all.

Posted by: bad mommy | March 27, 2007 4:34 PM

Altmom and TO: Altmom,

That exchange was hysterical. I've been staying away from the what looked like a bloodfest today, but am now in a tremendous procrastination binge and thought I'd see how things developed, and I have to admit I was cracking up reading that. You're a good sport, Altmom.

Posted by: Megan | March 27, 2007 4:35 PM

Wow--the tone of some of these posts are quite defensive and sarcastic. This has been quite the mommy wars discussion. Hmmm...with posting comments online it seems that civility is on the wane. I agree most kids are average. My second child is very average. I was just saying for my older one who is very bright and thoughtful I don't see how daycare was an impact and I thought the comments are in regards to the daycare study. I myself only have my youngest in daycare 2 days a week. I'm with my kids at home the other 5 days. But what about the single moms whose options are limited I was just saying they should not be discouraged. If you stay home full-time and can afford to do that or even if you cannot quite afford it you have a husband or partner who can allow you to do it since they work. I also don't think that having high test scores or being some whiz of type A student involved in everything is any measure of future success. I went to the same prep school as Barak Obama who was an undistinguished very average B student who many do not recall from that time. At the same time many noble people abound who will never be known by the world or be some big celebrity but are people of great character and courage. The point is shouldn't we as women be a bit more inclusive and supportive of one another than these posts reflect? BTW it makes it hard when your kid is bright. Moms think you think your child is better than everyone else's child and it's not true for me I feel like he has a learning disability--b/c what teacher out there is going to do separate curriculum for a few kids at the top or bottom? Some kids are good at sports and some kids are good at academics some at art etc. I think we should encourage our kids where they are and for my older one it's different b/c he is bright compared to my younger son who is very average which is OK too as someone said most people are average.

Posted by: So Cal Mommy | March 27, 2007 4:47 PM

Child behavior problems are the parents' problem. Enough of blaming day-care, school, television, and whatnot, for children's obnoxious behavior. Good behavior starts and ends with parents who are responsible and who instill a sense of boundaries into their children. I am sick and tired of seeing parents abrogating their responsibilities and blaming their kids' behavior on every outside influence. When my son, who was six at the time, ran off on me in a Toys 'R US Store, even though I had told him to stick by me like glue-- they are fast when they are so low to the ground -- only to be found in a different aisle playing with toys, I quietly informed him that we were going home since he had disobeyed me. He threw a tantrum but I was not deterred. Nor did I raise my voice. I told him we would be back the next day if he promised to behave himself. We went back the next day, he stuck by me, and we both had a great time. And of course, he got some of the toys he wanted. Parents are the ones who need to set the behavioral boundaries. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it seems that parents let their kids run wild, and then blame everybody else but themselves for it.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 5:09 PM

"My daughter was at one end of the play ground and a little boy was at the other. They would run to each other and meet in the middle and hug and fall down. When we left all the teachers gave her a hug.
It was so cute and priceless. I bet all over the country the scence is reapeated, so working moms and dads, don't feel guilty about day care."

So parents shouldn't feel guilty about daycare because their children are running into each other and falling down and tehn getting a hug? My kids could do the same thing with each other in the backyard and then get a hug from me; it wouldn't prove to me that they're going to not be disruptive in school. It wouldn't prove much of anything at all, actually.

Posted by: HUH? | March 27, 2007 5:10 PM

"We went back the next day, he stuck by me, and we both had a great time. And of course, he got some of the toys he wanted. "

Yep, you sure won the parental award for discipline on that one. He does exactly what you told him not to, so you take him back the NEXT day and buy him a bunch of toys. Of course.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 5:13 PM

Fo4 said
"My son is pretty good at it too. From what I hear, he's the ringleader in his classroom... Oh, yeah, and he went to daycare for a year twice a week. Wow! It's amazing how accurate these studies are!"

You are so right about that, Fo4. My brother was the same way throughout school. Only the really good, veteran teachers could keep him in check. He once made a male Spanish teacher cry (not that we're proud of that). We were amazed he graduated from high school, but he did, and did very well in college as well. He is now a very successful mortgage banker. Somehow, his charm, charisma, and sense of humor paid off.

Oh -- and my mom was a stay at home mom, so he did not go to daycare.

Posted by: Emily | March 27, 2007 5:16 PM

For those who want to know why this study may not have much merit, please read "The Nurture Assumption" by Judith Rich Harris.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2007 5:28 PM

LOL -- Father of 4's ring leader comment brought back a funny memory.

When DD was 2 1/2, she tried to organize a naptime mutiny at her babysitter's house. Stood up on her cot and tried to convince the other children that they could NOT be FORCED to sleep. She had the wind taken out of her sales by a 3-year-old boy who told her to be quiet and go to sleep. Sitter was standing in the hall laughing so hard. She was impressed with her leadership skills, but warned me we could be in for trouble if we didn't teach her to use her powers for good.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | March 27, 2007 5:40 PM

Wow!! What a snarkfest this morning. What happened?

Like, Scarry, I really don't care what a study on daycare says. I do what I think best, based on what I know about my son and my family. Other opinions just don't matter to me. But I am not offended or threatened by other people doing things differently. I don't need their approval, and I don't need to approve of what they do either. Live and let live.

Posted by: Emily | March 27, 2007 5:42 PM

LOL,
Naptime mutiny. Now that's funny.

Some kids just have that mutinous instinct. My son does not. Apparently, he is a model child at school. When the teachers tell me about him, I wonder whether they are really talking about my son, because at home, he does not listen so well. He is not outrightly defiant or rude. Instead, he sweetly tries to negotiate his way through everything. I tell him to do something. His response is, "Yes, good idea, Mommy, but I have a better idea. How about we...) Before I know it, I have agreed with him and after the fact, I can't remember what hit me. Yikes.

Posted by: Emily | March 27, 2007 5:49 PM

watch out Emily-you are raising the next best businessperson! He will outtrump Trump in the art of the deal.

Posted by: dotted | March 27, 2007 5:52 PM

Megan's Neighbor,
I didn't go to law school but you can't be serious about this:
"filled with exercise and non-alcoholic beverages" NON-alcoholic? How do you build up your liver for all the working two martini lunches? :-)

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 27, 2007 5:52 PM

atlmom,
Who's on first?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 27, 2007 5:59 PM

Emily -- DD is the same way. Everything is a negotiation. I think she's going to be a union negotiator or lawyer when she grows up, heaven forbid!

My daughter has a very good friend who sounds like your son. At school (and at my house) she is very quiet, very polite, very obedient. She routinely wins citizenship awards. Her mother can't figure it out, as she's the wildest and most difficult of the four children she has when she's home with the family. A little Jekyll/Hyde. I was the same way -- in awe of all authority figures except my parents, whom I tested regularly. I think it's a familiarity thing.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | March 27, 2007 5:59 PM

atlmom,
Who's on first?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 27, 2007 05:59 PM

WHAT???

Posted by: catlady | March 27, 2007 6:03 PM

Vegas Mom,
I was the same way too. I went to Catholic school for the first 8 years of my life, and I have to say the nuns scared the Sh*t out of me. So I behaved like an angel. At home, it was another story. My poor parents. And they often commented that they could not believe I got such good reports from my teachers.

I did get in serious trouble one time, in 6th grade (I think). I wrote a note to a friend that said that our teacher was Cerebrus, the hound of hell (we were studying Greek mythology). The note was intercepted. I got a D in deportment that grading period.

Posted by: Emily | March 27, 2007 6:06 PM

Catlady -- search the posts for the word "aspirin." You'll get the "Who's on First" comment after you've read those posts.

LOL

Posted by: Vegas Mom | March 27, 2007 6:06 PM

The issue of soci-econimic factors have not been included. Mostly well off familes get better eduction and better day care provisions than poor families; and therefore their children behave better in school. maybe biased acting but yet and still better acting.

Day care in itself is not an indicator of behaviour, especially if the neighbor is performing thr service and not a profesional teacher/educator/care provider. This is spin material.

The well off kids do well and the poor kids do poor. Simple economics.

Posted by: Patrick | March 27, 2007 6:07 PM

To atlmom, Guess that's what I get for jumping in so late in the day ;-)

Posted by: catlady | March 27, 2007 6:11 PM

"Who's on First"? See:
http://www.baseball-almanac.com/humor4.shtml

Posted by: catlady | March 27, 2007 7:10 PM

Catlady,
It was so funny I just had to ask :-). I bet a lot of people didn't get it. Glad you did.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 27, 2007 8:36 PM

KLB:

At the very least, you got to make yourself laugh. And if you made someone else laugh, all the better...

Posted by: atlmom | March 27, 2007 8:41 PM

KLB and atlmom, And here I was afraid I was just delirious again ;-)

Posted by: catlady | March 27, 2007 9:31 PM

"That a huge part of the problem among children may originate not in day care itself, but in the disruption caused by staff turnover at day-care centers, in turn caused by the fact that day-care centers pay employees so little."

Um... hate to break it to you, but you can't evaluate daycare without the problems you mention. It's like saying that inner city schools are great, except for all the drugs and violence.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 28, 2007 10:44 AM

So, I had the same reaction a few months back when the NYT published the "report" on bottle-feeding vs. breast feeding. In the work-life balance category, the NYT is almost always guilty of marginally to seriously yellow journalism. Unfortunately, it sells.

Posted by: meena's mom | March 28, 2007 12:46 PM

This post may sound like I am showing off but I feel I must address all those opposed to putting one's children in day care. After two years at home with my son, I put him in daycare for a year before school. We feel very blessed to have met this lovely lady who had 4 other children in her care. She was exceptionally loving and the children had three home cooked meals a day, parties and presents for their birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, Easter, you name it, all at her expense. My son is in pre-K now and I have to say that by all accounts: the teachers at his current school, family, and friends he is exceptionally well behaved. His Principal says he is one of the few children in her class who can concentrate absolutely on a task until it is completed and he is never disruptive. When applying for Kindergarten, his teacher had to fill out a recommendation form and, when she was asked to comment on any of his challenges, she said could not think of any. He scored in the 99th percentile in the WPPSI test and was accepted at all 6 private schools to which we applied, the best in DC. I actually had the pleasure of meeting Leslie at reception at one of the schools. He may be an exception but he is a great testament to daycare reared children and if I have another child I would not hesitate to send him/her the same way.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 28, 2007 2:12 PM

2:12 - blahblahblahblah

Your "exceptional" child would likely be "exceptional" with or without daycare.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 28, 2007 3:08 PM

This country has too much money. We all argue if it is better to stay home or not with your children. My husband and I cannot afford to stay home. And my daughter thrives in day care. I don't know if it is better for kids to stay at home with their moms and spend the day eating out with mom's friends and shopping or sitting in day care with other children and adults for 9 hours a day. I know what is best for my family and what we can afford to do. And that is best my husband and I can do. I am so tired of hearing women say anyone can afford to stay home with their child. So not true and what about the mom who makes more money then the dad? Every situation and family has to address their own issues.

Posted by: Vienna, VA | April 2, 2007 1:53 PM

My only question is: did the survey look at the parenting of the children studied? Throughout high school and part of college, I spent my summers working at the daycare at my church (as did my sister), and we both occassionally babysat for some of the children on the weekends. From my perspective, the problem wasn't so much the daycare (good adult-child ratio, straight forward rules with time outs, etc) but the parenting of the children there. I think what happens in some cases (at least with the kids I knew from daycare and babysitting) is that the parents don't really parent their children - they don't set boundaries and are very permissive, among other things - so that when someone did set boundaries for them, like a babysitter, daycare, or school, the kids resisted and acted out, hence the "bad" behavior. I don't know if it is because the parents feel guilty for not being around for their kids more or for other reasons, but clearly the issue here was the parenting and not the day care (some of the other day care kids were well behaved at home and at daycare). Why blame day care centers when there could be many other factors involved? Correlation does not equal causation. Besides, isn't it up to the parents to address problematic behavior in their children over the long term?

Posted by: former babysitter and daycare aide | April 6, 2007 9:36 AM

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