Fired From a Daycare Center For Caring Too Much????

I have a very dear friend I’ll call Stacy. Stacy is a very sweet, talkative, somewhat overbearing girl. She has major self esteem issues that lead her to beleive that the only way to gain any self respect or meaning was to have children. She is so lacking in love that she wants to have a child to get it. So when she was 19 she got pregnant. She spent her 20th birthday on bedrest because her body inexplicably was treating the fetus as a infection and attempting to eradicate it. As a result, she had to give birth at 28 weeks, and the baby,a boy named Jacob, didn’t make it. She spent 6 months after this drifting between bad and worse. Then, last month, she got a job at a daycare. She began to take a turn for the better, often telling me and anyone else who would listen that this job filled a void her son left. Some of the mothers of the children became concerned about the “unnatural affection” she had for these children. One even called the owner and told her that she was afraid Stacy would kidnap her daughter. As a result Stacy was fired for “Unnatural non-sexual affection for children”. Stacy is very upset, and not being a mother or knowing anything at all about children, i don’t know what to tell her. On one hand, i thought from the beginning that she was trying to “mother” rather than teach or care for. On the other, if it were MY children, i would be happy to know that her caretaker had a vested intrest in her wellbeing.

What, if anything, did Stacy do wrong here??

Well, perhaps if you were more specific. What precisely did Stacy do?

Stacey had two children, twins, that she was particularly fond of. She would keep thier mother when she came to pick them up and talk to her about everything her children did that day. She also told several of the mothers that she loved thier children. She gave out her personal phone numbers and told them that she would babysit anytime, free of charge. Most of the people at the center knew her backround, and i think were a little wierded by the combonation of that and her fast emotional bonds. She also told everyone about the “void” and how this job “filled” it. Just general things like that. Beyond that I’m not sure. I only saw her on the job once or twice.

What did she do “wrong”? Take that job in the first place, especially if she was still severely depressed over her loss at the time. This girl needs to finish grieving and get therapy to deal with her low self-esteem. (Relying on a tiny person to give your life meaning puts a terrible burden on the child.) Given everything you’ve said about Stacy, the mother who was afraid of kidnapping was not being at all unrealistic.

I’m sure Stacy has had a lot of pain in her life, and I can’t begin to imagine how horrible it must be to lose a child. And now to lose a job that meant so much to her must have been a terrible blow. My heart goes out to her; I hope she gets the help she needs and deserves.

Not a parent, but I would be pretty weirded out if the daycare people took that much attention to my child.

It’s one thing to have a passion aobut a job, but another when it becomes and obsession - especially when it involves caring for others.

While I am very sorry for Stacy and hope that she gets the help she needs to move on with her life, I will say that we dropped a baby-sitter for similar reasons.

A certain amount of bonding between a non-family caregiver and a child is to be expected if that person is around a lot. However, the sort of intrusive affection that we saw was actually interfering with the normal attachment between our kids and ourselves. (It is not a perfect correlation: our kids are adopted and the attachment issues go deeper than “Where are mom and dad during the day?”) However, the issue of appropriate involvement is a real one. Our babysitter wanted to come over and play with our kids when she was not babysitting and began intruding on our family’s life. On the one hand, she was (supposed to be) the authority figure when she was watching the kids, but then she wanted to be a “buddy” at other times and that was confusing the kids. When she began telling us how we should treat the kids–and then told the kids what they “needed” in terms of love and support, we severed the relationship.

The lady who feared kidnapping may have been overreacting, but, as noted earlier, children are not therapy dolls to help a person to get over their own personal problems.

If Stacy really needs to be involved in care-giving, she might want to look into working with pets (where she is less likely to interfere with the normal parent-child relationships). She also might want to get some professional helpt to aid her in setting her own boundaries.

I know what it is like to lose a baby so I can understand her pain but she shouldn’t be attaching herself to the children in the daycare that way. I’d be a little freaked out as a parent. She needs another outlet for her emotions, she needs some therapy. She needs to see that she can love herself without the need for a child unless and until she can have a steady emotional base to work from, and possibly a healthy relationship with a guy to boot.

I don’t like to hear about the kids having kids thing, children are not dolls to play with.

We’ve had a variety of different childcare providers, ranging from in-home to extremely professional pre-schools. I have to say that if one of the providers came on like that, we probably would have reported her.

Mrs. Kunilou deals with students who have emotional difficulties, and they can need as much love and protection as your friend needs to give. But there is a line between compassionate, caring professionalism and obsession.

Given the problems child care facilities have in attracting and retaining good people, it sounds like your friend must have stepped way over the line.

I don’t blame the center for firing her. She needs some serious therapy and if the time came that she did try to kidnap a child, I wouldn’t be shocked. As a parent who sends a child to daycare, I really appreciate the good boundries my center’s staff maintains.

I think Stacey needs some serious help. It is not unknown for women to kidnap babies.

It sounds like obsession, rather than caring.

I think the center had the right idea. I feel for your friend, but she wasn’t helping anyone-least of all herself.

I’m afraid I have to vote on the side of the center. I am very sorry about what’s happened to her, but I wouldn’t want her near my kids in the state she sounds like she’s in.

And she needs to learn some realistic expectations to have about children, if she had a baby simply because she thought it would love her. Yes, of course the child would. But it would not be all sweetness and light. Kids are the hugest pain in the world sometimes, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t realize that.

That’s nuts.

They could have AT LEAST talked to her and told her to tone it down a bit. Maybe that would have worked and there would have been no need to fire her.

I can see the Center’s point of view, of course, and maybe I’d feel differently if my kid were in a daycare and in the same situation. However in the days of daycare workers leaving kids in hot cars on summer days and flat out killing kids (as happened not far from me a couple of years ago), I can’t see firing a good employee like that without giving her any chance to change.

hmmmm…I found out from a mutual friend she worked with that the kids started calling her mommy. No one knows for sure if it was encouraged by her or if it’s something the kids just started. Once again, don’t know kids…I talked to Stacy today and told her that maybe she should not do the daycare thing and defintley get some therapy, but that made her mad…

I understand why the parents were uncomfortable.
I am not a parent, but if I were, I gotta admit that if someone showed TOO MUCH interest in my kids I would start to wonder if they were a pedophile or something.
I’m sure this girl is a very sweet and harmless person, but when you’re trying to protect your kid you have to err on the side of caution.
I can see how the therapy idea might tick her off. A lot of people have the “What, are you saying I’m crazy?” reaction to therapy.
However, maybe if you were to suggest seeing a grief counselor or a pastor/priest (if she is at all religious), it wouldn’t carry so much stigma.

That’s a great point. Of course, it sounds as if it’s more than grief with Stacy and that her obsession with kids started way before she was even pregnant, but perhaps it would be better if a professional, such as the grief counselor or clergyperson, led her to understand that.

If the kids were calling her, and not any of the other workers, Mommy, that sounds suspiciously like she was encouraging it, or at least not discouraging it.

SnoopyFan, we don’t know that they didn’t try to talk to Stacy before firing her. Remember, we’re only getting one side of the story here.

But if Stacy isn’t willing to accept that somehow her actions made the parents and her employer uncomfortable enough that she was fired after only one month, and if she isn’t willing to try and understand and correct that behavior, she’s going to have a whole bunch of problems wherever she goes to work. Not to mention her personal life.

And at that point, torie, you may want to consideer how much emotional investment you’re willing to put into this friendship.