Mind Matters

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), November 24, 2007 | Go to article overview

Mind Matters


Byline: By Tryst Williams Western Mail

At exactly the moment we switched from nurseries and childminders into finally managing all the childcare ourselves we've suddenly discovered a boy who has become politeness itself

EVER again. For the past four years I've grappled with the concept of childcare.

It's a struggle that will be familiar to almost all of today's parents.

As society continues on its inevitable march towards the two-working-parent family, thanks mainly to rampant house price inflation, so the childcare "problem" becomes more pressing. Which is a pretty depressing way of looking at what should be one of the most rewarding elements of anybody's life.

Four years ago, in these very pages, I wrote about some of the realities of my son's upbringing.

The truth of our family situation - with my wife and I both needing to bring in a wage and without the luxury of retired grandparents to help out - meant a very early start in nursery for Hydref.

It's a decision I lamented at the time. Putting him into nursery, full-time, from the age of six months gave us severe qualms. Yet there were some parts of it that appealed to me - the element of socialisation, in particular. And the truth of the matter is we had little option.

Four years later, it's a decision I bitterly regret. I've only had my eyes truly opened to the matter over the past couple of months.

There's been nothing particularly wrong with the care he's received. The few complaints and gripes I've had with the nurseries or childminders we've used over the years are just the usual things any parents would harbour. After all, nobody can match the care, love and attention that a good parent can provide.

All of the niggles I ever had about some of his behaviour, well, I just took it for granted. Sure, sometimes he exhibited attention-seeking traits, but show me a toddler who doesn't? …

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