Thursday, November 20, 2014

Notes From A Daycare Provider--Daycare Rules

We have a lot of rules around here. Some seem silly to a lot of people, but spend your days with 9+ kids and you'll find yourself making some pretty special rules. Here are a few of our winning *special* rules that have my mommy friends rolling when they inquire about them:

1.) Lunch time is not play time....unless you enjoy a not so relaxing hour and a half lunch time.

2.) Sit on the couch gently and nicely. I spent five months of my life last winter showing the kids what I meant by gently and nicely and they finally got it....or they just got tired of getting bloody noses and black eyes every time someone flung themselves onto the couch. There's also no jumping or standing on the couch (this is also called the "sit flat butt rule"). Who knew a couch could be the most dangerous thing in our house??!!?

3.) Don't walk with a blanket, bag, or anything else on your head (or in front of your face). I'm still shocked how many times a day I must repeat this line.

4.) Don't sit on someone who's already sitting on the couch or on the floor.

5.) No jump ropes. We have a current ban on jump ropes after the kids decided last summer to stop using them to jump and use them instead to "fish for other kids." I'm hopeful for next summer, but I haven't made any promises.

6.) Blankets, towels, etc. can not be whipped or thrown. Somehow it always hit another child at just the right angle to leave a huge welt.

7.) Crayons and markers can't be shoved into noses for a "better sniff." Also, you may not shove it in your friend's nose so they can sniff it for you.

8.) I pick any movie or cartoons that are watched. I learned the hard way to never ask "what does everyone want to watch?" No one wants to watch the same thing, therefore leading to major meltdowns if someone doesn't get their way.

9.) No one is allowed to try to sit in the play shopping cart. Also, no more than five items in the shopping cart at once. This rule began when two girls loaded up the shopping cart with all of the small toys and then some. When other kids complained they had nothing to play with, the two loaders bitched them out. This was also the day I realized two year old girls can be just as catty as sixteen year old girls.

10.) No spitting, hitting, kicking, pinching, flicking, licking, rubbing, or biting friends. In addition to this, if you stick your finger in your friend's mouth and say "bite me," they will not get in trouble. Ask me how awesome it is to explain to a three year old what antagonizing means.

11.) No laying on the floor while playing. It's guaranteed that someone will either lead a toddler stampede on you or will trip over you and injure themselves.

12.) Keep toys, fingers, hands, toes, etc. out of your mouth. Not only does this drastically reduce the germ spreading, but it also keeps toys in decent enough shape. Also, just because you're only rubbing toys across your mouth does not make it okay. And your tongue should never be in your armpit. Ever.

13.) Toys are not weapons. More specifically Barbie's, Hot Wheels, play food, and blocks. That being said, wooden toys can leave some impressive lacerations when thrown at another child (fyi-not me doing the throwing).

14.) Curtains, pillows, couches, carpet, stuffed animals are not to be used as tissues. Also, licking the tissue does not qualify as actually blowing your nose.

15.) Do not put insert object, name, body part, etc. here  in insert object, name, body part, etc. here. Example: Do not put your arm through the Little People house window. Why you ask? Well, because the last time you tried, your arm got stuck and I had to pry the doll house from your upper arm while you screamed. Oh you don't remember that? I do, so the answer is don't even try it.

16.) I am the boss, not you. I feel like a total bitch and a half when I utter these words, but sometimes (like, multiple times a day) they need a reminder who's calling the shots. Also in this rule "you may not tell your friends what to do" and "just worry about yourself."

Big props to the kiddos in my care who have learned these rules and help each other follow them. There are TONS of rules during daycare to help our day run smoothly and safely. The kids do a great job at remembering them all and respond well when I remind them of the rules. Before I had kids of my own, I always thought I'd be a parent with few rules. Then I became a daycare provider and realized rules are soooo important and really do help children be happier. I just never dreamed I'd have to make half of these rules!