Last week, my daughter stayed with my parents for a few days while I was on a business trip. When I picked her up on Wednesday evening, she had an awful cold that she didn’t have when I dropped her off. The culprit? She spent a few days at a daycare near my parents’ house and one of those germy kids got her.
I thought there was an unspoken rule, but apparently it needs reinforcing because whatever my daughter had was bad enough to put her out of commission for 5 days and now I have the bug, too. So before you send your child to daycare, preschool or any school for that matter, here are some unofficial operating rules.
1. Don’t send your kid to school sick! Because no matter how much you encourage your kid to wash his/her hands, he/she will still contaminate the whole class with those sick germs and that’s just not fair. I’m a working mom just like you, but just because your kid is sick doesn’t mean you should make everyone else’s too.
2. Teach your kid it’s not okay to hit/bite/kick/scratch. I know it will still happen occasionally, but I’m amazed by how bruised up the kids in my daughter’s school get. I know 3-year-olds are remarkably touchy-feely, but this has got to stop.
3. Don’t judge other moms for not wanting to have playdates with you. I see you guys every day of the week. Sometimes, I just need a break.
4. Don’t throw lavish school birthday parties. It’s not a competition. Really, no one wins if we all get into a war of whose goodie bags are better. So can we just agree to send in cupcakes and call it a day?
5. Don’t send your kid to school in expensive clothes and then get pissed when my kid accidentally spills paint on them. It was an accident and whoever told you it was a good idea to spend $300 on a Gucci sweater for your toddler totally lied to you.
6. Teach your kid to enjoy naptime while he/she still has it. My daughter is actually the offender on this one. She likes to run around during naptime with a group of friends waking the sleeping kids up. Clearly, she’s young and doesn’t yet understand what a gift naptime really is.
7. Don’t send your kid to school with nuts. Or anything else that could threaten another kid’s life. Sure, pad thai makes for a cool, unique lunch none of the other kids will probably have, but those peanuts could be deadly to the kid in the class with a peanut allergy.
8. Don’t let your kid bring any old thing for show and tell. Namely, your gun or your drug paraphernalia. I really cannot explain to my 3-year-old what a bong is.
9. Don’t teach your kid it’s funny/okay to curse. There’s nothing funny about a classroom full of preschoolers screaming the f-word because one kid’s parents failed to correct his bad behavior.
10. Don’t be surprised when everyone in the school knows all your business. Not only do kids share what they had for dinner, but they’ll also disclose what you and your partner were fighting about last night, what you watched on TV and who you don’t like. They’re like sponges except you don’t even have to squeeze ’em to get the dirt out.
Anything else? What else should parents know before they send their kids to school? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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