Day Care Can Actually Make Some Kids Happier

Mom Moment 12

day careHey working moms, would you like to hear something that'll make you feel a little bit less guilty? I have something for you! A new study shows (don't you love it when that phrase, "a new study shows" leads to good news?) that day care may reduce the risk of emotional problems -- that is, for kids who are at risk for having emotional problems.

Yeah, that's a pretty big caveat. The researchers focused on the children of moms suffering symptoms of depression -- that depression is what puts kids at risk for emotional problems. (I think we all know that's a whole lotta moms.) And surprise, surprise, those kids are better off hanging out with other children in daycare than hanging out with mom. They showed less separation anxiety, social withdrawal, and fewer emotional problems in general.

It looks like having less exposure to someone with symptoms of depression -- and being social with other kids -- may be the reason why these kids are emotionally healthier. I guess that's not too surprising. I also think that time away from the kids is probably also better for a mom who is suffering depression. She probably needs time and space to deal with her symptoms without the responsibility of taking care of a child.

I think we moms put a lot of pressure on ourselves for doing everything on our own. In ye olden days, we all lived surrounded by our extended families and there was always someone around to watch your kids and help you out. That ideal is rare these days. I know I am -- I live thousands of miles away from my mother, sisters, and the rest of my family.

So now we have things like day care. Is it always perfect? Nope. But most of the time it's good enough. And now it looks like if you're in crisis, it can be exactly what both mom and kids need.

Do you ever feel like daycare is good for both your kids and for you?


Image via U.S. Army/Flickr

child care, toddler health, working moms


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Venae Venae

Wow!  Shocking!  A kid is better off away from a depressed parent.  Who'duh thunk?  Now why don't we take all the kids away from those parents, give them to families w/no mental illness, and while we're at it, tie their tubes/give them vasectomies so they don't make more babies that we'll have to take away.


keelh... keelhaulrose

I worked in a daycare, and I think some of the kids absolutely loved coming and playing all day. You always have the ones who have a hard time leaving mommy and daddy in the morning, but you don't hear about the ones who want to stay and keep playing as much.

lulou lulou

I had a lot of experience working with kids before I had kids, teaching dance, working in youth centers, volunteering,sitting,  and knew even then that would help me become a better parent.  I think in many jobs experience can help, so dont find it suprising at all that experienced professionals taking care of children can have a postivie effect on them.

nonmember avatar Makes sense

Who do you think is more fun? Mommy the boss or a bunch of wild kids with as much energy as your little one? No matter how much your babies love you you're not as fun as a friend their age.

4kidz916 4kidz916

I think most kids love going to daycare if they are in a loving environment.  

Miran... Miranda1127

Interesting. Neither of my kids did daycare. DD did do a preschool at 3 and 4. It was 1/2 day but she absolutely loved it and thrived b/c of it, i believe.

timon95 timon95

i don't think you needed a study to tell you that a child will be happier if you take them from a neglected enviroment and put them in an enviroment with attention.

dusky... dusky_rose

I can see why daycare would be a positive experience for most children.

socce... soccer_mom1999

My child never went to day care.  Of course I know millions of kids have and turned out just fine.

Colleen Van Schubert- Woodcock

This is rediculous, so your saying instead of helping the parents we just take the children from them all day and put them in daycare so when they come home they can then deal with their depressed child really really dumb!


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