Every once in a while I take something to personally on Facebook. I know I shouldn’t put so much stock in what is said, but sometimes I do. I wasn’t angry, mad, or any other version of being upset, I was hurt.
I put up a simple status on Facebook:
Children often discover “no” at an early age and it becomes their go to answer. Then this go to answer becomes a battle of wills between the adult and child. One of the reasons for the “no” stage is, it is the word they hear most often in their life, it is familiar behaviour modelled to them.
One way to lessen the no stage is to present correction in a positive way, “This is for adults, but over here are lots of toys for you,” “If you do this, you will get hurt, but there are lots of fun things we can do over here.” If the situation calls for a startling “No” such as about to touch the oven, follow it with a positive statement as well. It takes more time, but it will save time and frustration later.
Boiled down my status says: “Monkey See, Monkey Do.”
The first response I received on this thought, “I love how single guys without kids feel they have something to contribute to the parenting discussion.” At first I wanted to be angry when I read this, then I realized I was just hurt. If he was interested in debating me on my thought, I would have welcomed it. I was not opposed to a differing point of view had it been presented, I was opposed to my being belittled simply because of my marital status and gender.
I wanted to respond directly, but I didn’t want to fly off the handle. So, I deleted the status, and along with it the comment. Several hours later, after I sorted out what actually offended me from his comment I responded to him for his all to commonly held viewpoint, “Boy’s don’t know anything about childcare.”
I’ll be honest, I didn’t find your comments funny. This is not being typed in any other manner than straightforward and factual. It is not in a tone, or with any sort of an attitude. I have worked very hard to become a respected member of the childcare industry. I worked for the most respected Nanny Agency on the Westcoast in Calgary as their only male nanny. I worked in a system where my abilities were more scrutinized than my female counterparts because I wasn’t in a male industry. My abilities were accounted for to be sure I not only babysat the kids, but was able to provide a loving, caring, educational environment for the children to not survive, but thrive. I was questioned on my discipline, activities planning, teaching, caring, abilities based on providing top notch care for parents to feel comfortable leaving their children with me sometimes for days at times because of business travel. You are correct, I might not have children of my own, but I do have the trust of a well respected nanny agency, and all of the families who have trusted me with their sons and daughters to be a part of caring for them.
I have 16 years experience of 10(+) hours a week with different children’s programs from toddler to elementary school aged children. I do not allow children to be a slave to screens, sugar, or anything else which does not promote healthy living and decisions when I am caring for them. I have a degree which is filled with both children’s education, as well as children’s ministry courses from a well respected university. I am not saying (writing) a single word of this to say how wonderful and marvellous I am. Quite the contrary, I am always learning and expanding my knowledge base, and experience. I devour parenting information, as well as childcare information. I weigh it against my own experience, and create my worldview on childcare through this process.
While I don’t have children of my own, I do feel these experiences qualify me to add to the discussion of child care. I was not making a dogmatic statement of, “You must do this,” I was making an argument for, “A causes B, if the child copies the behaviour modelled for them.”
There aren’t many positions where men hit a glass ceiling, but childcare is definitely one of them. It is hard, I have devoted so much time, effort, energy, and learning into the world of childcare, and many people tend to discount me because I am male. I am sure I will write more about this topic in the future, but for now I am just looking to vent at the moment. Every person is not suited to childcare, and gender is not a guarantee of a nurturing nature, but there are many women and men in the field of childcare who know what they are doing, and absolutely love caring for children. I just wish men could be more respected/accepted in childcare.