I'm not buying it.
I understand that a lot of kids end up in preschool because both parents work or because maybe the child requires some special instruction (like language, for example) that the parents cannot provide, but besides that...I don't get it.
These are the two guilt trigger phrases that I feel are thrown at parents the most:
- Your children need the socialization that they will get from other kids at a daycare/preschool. Uh....no they don't! If mom needs some socialization away from the kids, that's one thing, but my 3.5 year old doesn't need to socialize with anyone except me. No one will deny that kids model their behavior after the behavior of the parents more often than not. With good role models as parents, your children will be plenty fine learning from socializing with you! I'm not saying that you should keep your kids away from opportunities to play and engage with other children; I think that it's vitally important that kids know how to react with their peers. Instead, I'm suggesting that your kids will benefit from as much quality time with you as possible in the early years. Don't feel that you're depriving your kids of a necessary experience by choosing to forgo preschool.
- Kids who go to preschool do better in school and are more ready for it. There are a couple of reasons that I take issue with this. First of all, I didn't go to preschool and I think I was plenty prepared for school when I started after adjusting for a couple of days. That makes this argument personal. Secondly, from an educational background, your kids aren't learning that much in preschool that you couldn't teach at home. Don't believe me? Read up on What Your Child Should Learn in Preschool and ask yourself if you have basic knowledge of those skills (That's a joke. You know how to do all of it...hopefully...if not, you might want to think about preschool).