I remember, a few years ago, the battles I had with my four-year-old son every night when I tried, in vain, to get him down to sleep.
Why?! Why, oh why, would he nod off on a little stretcher bed at preschool but fight me to no end at home if I even suggested “a little rest”?
It got me to thinking, what are some of the other things kids will only do at daycare? I asked around and this is what I and other mums I know battle with.
1. Flush the loo
I don’t know if it was the routine of wee, flush, wash and dry hands that was drummed into him or the little visuals above the toilet that reminded him, but my son would always flush the toilet at kindy. At home? Nope. Well sometimes, but not often enough. My toilet water had a consistent yellow tinge to it in those days.
2. Eat the vegetables
“My kids eat all kinds of food at daycare, but at home just WHITE food,” one of my mum friends told me. I know the feeling. I used to love getting the cute kindy photos of my boys’ day in my inbox, but it used to make me sigh a little. There was always a picture of my fussy toddler gobbling up his ‘nutritiously certified’ lunch. I’ve even tried making the same kindy recipes at home, but no. Kindy food is only edible at kindy!
3. Tidy the toys
My boys will jump from one toy to another leaving a trail of toy clutter behind them. While I’m more of a ’embrace the chaos’ kinda mum, I do do clean-up calls when the mess gets to me – always falling on deaf ears. At kindy though, as soon as that bloody, “Clean up, everybody clean up” song plays I’ve seen my boys leap into action. And no, the same song doesn’t work at home. I’ve tried!
4. Sleep the sleep
I’m not alone in having sleep battles with my boys on their non-kindy days. Other mums tell me this is a pretty common problem with one saying her little girl will flat out refuse to sleep at home but will go down without a fuss at daycare. As for me, my toddler continued to scream down the house until his sweet lids closed. At kindy though, it’s all about making their beds and lying down for a communal nap sesh with their little buddies. Awww.
5. Wash the hands
Those kindy toilets with their little hand-washing station must be a world of fun because my boys love nothing more than an opportunity to wash their hands. While at home they’d prefer to smear Vegemite on the carpet than take a trip to the sink; at kindy they even show off to me how they can pump the soap, rinse and dry their hands. Oh and toss the paper towel in the bin. That’s right. All. The. Steps.
6. Follow the instructions
The teachers at my sons’ kindy run a tight ship but I am always in awe at how they can simply instruct a class full of children to pay attention. One minute they are chasing each other around the room like excited puppies and the next they are lined up in single file about to go outside. At home, It’s, “Put on your undies please. Put on your undies. Stop playing with that and PUT ON YOUR UNDIES!”
Need some support to be the best parent you can be? Our Parent School parent coaching experts can help. Click to find out more or book a one-on-one session.