Perhaps the time is nigh for me to do so. I recently read an article by a UX blogger in which he implied failure is a good thing. How else can we learn?
After nearly five months of de-toxing from my childcare job of four years and reflecting on the experience, here’s where I went wrong towards the end: My communication skills were poor when needing to express extreme situations (although on reflection only one staff member and the owner really caused me problems), my expectations of my boss and one of my colleagues were too high, I was too trusting of them – I took them at face value when they were two-faced!
Yes, I made mistakes but at least those mistakes were always with those two adults and never with the babies and young children in my care – in that regard my conscience is clear.
I made a mistake in not trusting my gut instinct about those personalities I had to work with. I was mistaken in not trusting my instinct when I saw poor behaviours and mistreatment of babies and toddlers. In the earliest days on the job I made the mistake of allowing myself to care so much about the quality of care babies and young children deserved to receive, from their parents or carers, that I compromised my own health and the happiness of my family. I worked myself ragged to maintain high standards, frequently having to cover up for the negligence and laziness of those same two people.
I suppose I should at least be at peace that I didn’t ‘break any babies’ during my four year tenure.
There was no way to blow the whistle on such poor behaviour by staff or owner.
‘Breaking babies’ is a psychological habit and once entrenched in a caregiver’s, or even in a parent’s, manner they don’t even understand that’s what they’re doing – they blame the other parent, staff members, the school’s owner, whoever they can. “I don’t know” and “I wasn’t there” were familiar mantras I heard on my watch.
To compensate for my mistakes I am going to have to accomplish something big to let the world know there is a better way to care for young children. I believe adults can be taught the best way to care for babies so that they aren’t broken from the moment they enter care. But we do need to recognise very quickly when an adult is dysfunctional and needs to be fired.
We cannot keep it secret that babies and toddlers are being broken while they’re in daycare!
That would be the most enormous mistake of all.