Stressed-out toddlers (The Glass House 5/10/05)

Toddlers starting at child care experience high levels of stress due to separation from the parents. No, really? I would have thought being torn from your mother’s arms and being locked in a room with screaming babies would be soothing

In the early weeks, you can see toddlers nervously crawling back and forth out the front of the centre, sucking on dummies. In worst cases they go through a pack a day.

Ironically, studies of teenagers have found that their stress levels are at their highest when they do see their parents.

It all balances out. The parents put the kids in child care to reduce their stress levels…

Researchers suggest that nurseries provide regular rest periods to allow children’s stress to dissipate. They also recommend regular time on the couch with a psychiatrist and “morning milk and prozac”.

The toddlers have now got psychiatrists: “Now, tell me about your childhood.”
“I can’t tell you about anything else!”

The toddlers have now got psychiatrists: “Well, it all began 11 months ago… when I was born.”

A day in child care leaves children at a high level of arousal and stress, and they need extra attention at the end of the day to bring them back to emotional equilibrium. And if you can’t give your child that attention yourself, perhaps you could give them another stint in child care. Or at least threaten them with it.

If your child’s stress levels are too high, perhaps you could consider a red-cordial-ectomy.

In a similar study, when the stress-levels of childcare workers were tested, they were found to be markedly more stressed when looking after the screaming little shits.

One way to prevent kids getting stressed was to minimise the amount of time spent in childcare. This also works to prevent stress in childcare workers.

Another way to lower stress levels in kiddies was to take them away from Michael Jackson.

Another solution is to leave the kids at home and stick the parents in parent-care, where they can discover their inner finger-painter.

The whole childcare industry is under threat. “I’m worried about taking my child to childcare,” said one parent. “From now on I’m just leaving her at home when I go out. She’ll learn not to cry.” / Fear and loneliness are better than all that stress.”

Stress level vary from crèche to crèche. For instance, there are lower levels of stress at “Mama Nurture’s PlayHouse” than at “Whack’N’Stack’em”.

Worried parents are now taking children out of childcare programs and putting them into alternative childharm programs. “Sure, Jenny comes home covered in blood and burns,” said Jenny’s mum. “But at least she’s not stressed.”

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