Too Babied/or Spoiled?

Hi everyone. I have a situation and would like input from readers. I realize that a lot of readers are nannies and that some of you have worked in preschool programs prior to being a nanny. It is those of you who have previous preschool experience that I would like to have the advice from, however, all of you are more than welcome to leave a respectable, non judgmental comment. I have noticed that some readers can be very insulting and judgmental with comments based on what they read from OP, and some of the comments have been downright rude and uncalled for.

I work in a 2 year old room at a preschool and I love my co teacher, who is half my age; she is old enough to be my daughter, as are her sisters, both of who work there as well. This is my co-teacher's first job in a preschool, and she has no plans to remain in the field. We've been working together for a year, and she has come a along way, making strides in her "voice" (the teacher's voice), lesson plans, etc. The class we had was very challenging, and I needed a strong co-teacher, as my previous co-teacher was lazy, greener than Kermit, and clearly could not handle the classroom and the challenging behaviors. This young lady came in, and over the year, we have built a routine. Our boss came in and observed on crazy picture day (crazy being an understatement) and complimented us, stating that we work very well together as team. I love my co-teacher, and we tend to be "off" of sorts if one of us is sick or has the day off. Our routine is consistent (we don't always do the picture schedule) and other teachers have commented how calm our class is and how well they listen. Our class has two 3 year olds, seven 2.5 year olds (more like 2.9 years) and three 2 year olds. Quite the age range, and I love them with all my heart.

My issue is with my co teacher and a problem that I am trying to avoid is a child in my class who is obviously a "favorite". Now for those of you who have never worked in a preschool most likely think that having favorites is wrong, however, those of you who have worked in preschools prior to being a nanny understand where I am coming from. It's not hard to have "favorites", or should I say children that you bond with. I have them, and I have had them in other classes.

The child I am speaking of in particular is attached to my co-teacher's hip. We can leave the classroom to make copies, get supplies for art, do laundry if needed as long as we leave the teacher in the classroom in ratio. He is with her all the time, and she has even said she will not move him to another room (sometimes we move kids other room if needed for ratio purposes) because she is, as she said, "too attached to him". I'm not upset about that, because I understand.

He turns 3 in the beginning of April, and what I have seen is making me wonder if there is a problem, or if there will be a problem when he transitions to the three year old room:

A few months ago, I noticed during outside time that he tried to play my co teacher to get what he wanted, a toy that someone else was playing with. He attempted to take the toy from the child, and the child said, no, this is mine. I saw the entire exchange, and he started walking over to my co teacher, telling her that the other child took his toy-I stopped him and told him no, she would not help him get the toy because he tried taking it away from someone else, and that is not ok. I also told him if I saw it happen again where he tried taking a toy, he would be moved down the ladder to orange for not listening to friends' words.

Later that morning during center time, he was in the bathroom with her-he hangs all over her during the day. He came out of the bathroom, and attempted to take a toy from another child, again. I was cleaning the table from art and overheard the exchange between the two children. The other child said no, stop, it's mine. This child got upset and I asked him what was wrong. He said the other child took the toy from him, and I asked him if he was talking about the red bucket they were fighting over. The child said yes, I said I know you are upset, but that child was playing with the toy first while you were in the bathroom and it is their choice. I then announced clean up time, and I observed him walking over to my co teacher for comfort. I told him no, you may not go over to Miss ____, it is time to clean up our toys. You can go here. I gently walked him over to manipulative center, where he sat down and started crying over the toy. I asked him why he was crying, and he said it was because of the toy. I explained to him that the toy incident was over and we needed to clean up before lunch. She would've given him a hug, held and given him the toy, cuddling him because he was sad.

A few weeks later, he wanted a particular chair at the table. He was upset because someone else was sitting in the chair, and started pouting because he couldn't have the chair. I told him he could choose another seat or sit on the carpet, but he couldn't sit in that chair, because someone else was sitting there. He got upset and started crying. He eventually calmed down. I have seen him do this before and she just gives him the chair he wants, even if someone else is sitting there.

There was one day where he wouldn't eat lunch. She even mentioned to me that she was going to give him something else to snack on, because he wasn't eating. I politely explained to her that if she did that, he would expect it all the time, and wouldn't eat. She understood what I was trying to say, and I told her to encourage three bites of everything.

Another time he was having a meltdown I think (I don't remember) and he was crying because he wanted to her to sit next to him for lunch. His cry became louder, and I gave him the option to stop crying because it hurts our ears or to sit on the carpet until he was done. She tells me, "but ____, he is crying because he's sad and wants me to sit by him." That I understand why he was sad and being sad, but if I remember correctly, he was sad because he couldn't get something he wanted, and that caused his tears. I wasn't upset, but the crying was louder and getting louder, and that's why I was going to put him on the carpet until he stopped.

If I take something away from him, or tell him he will lose something for not listening, he will go to her and say "Miss ____, I want a hug." She them picks him up and coddles him. Last week I was setting out plates for breakfast and he was playing with his plate. I explained to him that if he continued to play with his plate, I would take it away. The next thing I know, he is sitting in her lap because he wanted comfort. This was on her day off....

The new thing now is that he cries from the time she leaves for the evening until his parents arrive to pick him up. Last Wednesday she was off, and she came in to drop something off. She stayed for nearly three hours (I didn't mind because I needed the help wrapping parent gifts, as wrapping wouldve taken forever with eleven kids and one teacher) and had a meltdown when she left. Today our center closed early due to weather, and I ended up leaving work at 930a. Two support staff members were in the classroom (my co teacher was off) and I believe that the long weekend, plus the change in teachers caused his rough drop off and meltdown when I left.

The thing I am concerned about is his transition to the three year old room and I am thinking if she doesn't stop babying and coddling him on demand, he will have a hard transition. I am not upset with her, because I've been there before and it's not hard to not like this little guy-he's sweet, smart and hilarious. Mom and Dad are dolls, and I also don't want the problem to get too out of hand where M and D notice a change at home.

I will admit, I baby and coddle him too, but I know where to draw the line. I've mentioned something to my director and my boss's assistant (who is a former director), both of whom told me I should talk to her. As a veteran of this field with nearly twenty years under my belt, I don't want to come across as a "it's my way or the highway" approach, as I have worked with teachers like that and it's not a great way to establish teamwork. I want to teach her to know when to walk away, and that by giving in all the time can and will create an issue. I honestly feel like she gives into him too much, as in she can walk away from him and let him cry it out. Maybe I'm old fashioned? I don't know. I have spoken with her about this, and she has said she doesn't like seeing him cry, so she does what she can to stop it. But giving in doesn't help.

Please feel free to give me your respectful, not harsh, non judgmental opinion. Is there a problem here, or my imagination?


Elyssa said...

I've worked in a 2s class for 4 years. I honestly would suggest moving him up to the next age bracket of there is an opening. The child knows what buttons to push and how to bend her.

Also a sign of being the oldest more dominant child in class and often times bored (w the babies) a new classroom environment would do him well. Yes it will be brutal at first but prob only a week or two.

Have him start transitions with you. Tell her you would like to oversee this one. And be the only one to drop off and pick him up from new room. Ask her to not visit him until the transition is over and he is bonded w new teachers.

Use this time to explain the repercussions of having such a favorite and of giving in to every whim.

You can't worry too much about how hard the transition will be. Because I'm sure you know....there will be tears but he will be fine.

Also as long as he is emotionally and cognitively on track he should be fine in the 3s room. Might even challenge him and give him some room to grow. Our center puts more weight in development than actual age.

Anonymous said...

Is this a preschool or a daycare program, OP? Huge difference...

Anonymous said...

"I work in a 2 year old room at a preschool "

OP said...

Elyssa: I never thought about having him moved up early. He is very smart, able to recognize letters, spell his name, etc. I could go on, but I believe he would do well in the 3 year old room. I also believe that he knows what to do to get whatever he wants. I baby him myself to an extent, but I also know when to draw the line.

Anon: Actually, the term "daycare" isn't an actual term. But to answer your question, technically, yes, it's a daycare. I say full day preschool because I teach and care for children. I don't take care of days. How is the difference relevant? It's not.

Taleia said...

^The whole justification of "no such thing as daycare but TECHNICALLY yes it's a daycare..." what the heck is that lol?!? It's so ridiculous I just laughed. It's a daycare. End of story. ;)

Anonymous said...


One of my professors during college, a sweet older woman in her sixties, mother of four, grandmother of two, banned the use of the word "daycare" in the classroom. She always said we didn't take care of days, we took care of children. Do you think she was being ridiculous?

Elyssa said...

You seem pretty defensive here. Day cares and preschools are different. End of story.

Daycare- offers full day childcare program. Think early am until evening.they offer some "specials" like mandarin or soccer but thats it. They are cared for and looked after by someone who has a min hs diploma or GED.monthly themes not a curriculum academiclly. Asst $10/hr head teachers $12-15/hr

Preschool- age appropriate time frames ( usually half day until 3,&,then a 230,dismissal. They actually have a state curriculum or other nationally recognized curriculum. Head Teachers at min have a bs in education or a masters and state cert or licensed. Asst reachers ece degree or higher. Salary starting at 40/45k

Please don't try to say they are the same thing. I'm working my butt off in grad school so I can be a teacher and work in a school not a day care. Being a day care provider isn't the same as a pre school teacher.

Taleia said...

^ This. And yes, I generally think that people who quibble over semantics or titles are being a bit ridiculous. I can say from personal experience that when I was insecure personally with my career choices, and people asked me what I did, I gave a response like "Private childcare provider." Now that I'm older and more mature, I have no problem saying "I'm a nanny."

Anonymous said...

So, Elyssa, what do you call a full day program with a nationally recognized curriculum, accredited by NAEYC, where the teachers all have degrees? Your definition of "daycare" vs "preschool" (and especially relating it to teacher salaries, which vary wildly by area) is completely off base. There are so many educational configurations for children in early childhood that categorizing things as either "daycare" or "preschool" is ridiculous. The two are neither mutually exclusive nor the only options available. Nor is it really relevant to the OP's question.

OP said...


Thanks! I don't how see how one or the other is relevant. It doesn't matter what it's called, the point is that I teach children, don't get paid much, and I love what I do, which is work with children and families.

In regard to NAEYC accreditation, a center must have a certain amount of staff with CDAs or higher, in terms of education. Rather than explain the process of accreditation to those of you who have never worked in a school setting, know that it's a lengthy process. I worked at a center who was going through the accreditation process, and I left before they became accredited. Not all centers get accredited and not all centers are interested in becoming accredited, as accreditation is expensive.

My center is a staff of 43, combined with admin, teachers and support staff. My boss has been there since the center opened, and she has a degree in early childhood Ed, much like I do. If it weren't for her, I wouldn't have made it through school. Eight teachers have degrees in early childhood, and of course our 4K teachers do as well. So my center doesn't have a lot of teachers with degrees or credentials. We have low turnover, and a longer wait list compared to other centers in town.

Accreditation looks impressive, and in reailty it is. My center is not accredited, has no plans to obtain it, yet if we have low turnover and a waiting list, we must be doing something right.

Anonymous said...

OP, I hope you didn't take my comment as saying accreditation means a center is better. My point was to Elyssa that her very rigid categories of what is "education" and what is "daycare" are not accurate in the reality of today's world. You are right that there are a LOT of centers that have chosen not to pursue accreditation for many reasons (a big one being that it is really expensive and time consuming), and I in no way think that means they are inherently of a lesser quality.

OP said...


Not al all! I was trying to make a subtle point to Elyssa. You gave me the perfect point to prove not only does title not matter, neither does accreditation. I know of a preschool here in town that I wouldn't even consider working at even though they are accredited and teachers have degrees in education. I won't work there based on things I heard about the management and teachers from both parents and other teachers.

Elyssa has a lot to learn about education.

Elyssa said...

Stop being so defensive. You aren't a teacher. You are a day care employee. There is a vast difference between preschools and day cares. You sound embarrassed to be working in a day care- and if that is the case. Seek employment elsewhere.

OP said...


I have a degree in early childhood education, and have been working in the field for close to twenty years, having worked in center based programs and as a nanny. All I asked was for some simple advice, and you had to turn this into a technical discussion about what kind of job I have, where I work etc. Where I work at is not relevant, and I think we've all realized that.

Since I'm only a "daycare employee" and not on your level of expertise, what should I do in my situation?

Just out of curiosity, are you majoring in early childhood ed or elementary Ed.? Allow me to give you some career advice: stop sounding like a brat and develop a thicker skin, especially while student teaching. You remind me of these immature, gossipy, obnoxious girls who thought they knew everything, and refusing to respect others thus listening to their opinions. Majority of them switched majors.....

Elyssa said...

OP I told you what to do. What anyone in that situation should do.

Your defensive skirting around of someone else's question got you here. Another poster asked you where you worked and you refused to give a straight answer. So instead of being defensive that you work at a daycare. Just simply state it next time. And I don't need career advice from a low wage worker with no growth and no sense to move a child or take control of her "classroom".

OP said...


Yes, you are so right. I'm a lowly, worthless daycare worker who needs to work at Mc Donalds. I shouldn't be in working with children and families. I wish I was on a pedastal like you.

Anonymous said...

Elyssa, just as you're accusing the OP of skirting questions, you are doing the same. I asked you how you would expalin full day accredited programs that have degreed teachers since they meet your definition of neither kind of program. By your definition the only programs that educate children and part day programs, "nursery school" if you will. That is just a ridiculous idea.

It's interesting that you're calling the OP defensive, when you're the one with the need to make sure everyone knows you're going to be a "real" teacher in a "real" school to make yourself feel superior. I truly hope this attitude is yours alone, and not one being taught in the program you're enrolled in. Because it's absolutely NOT what most well educated early childhood educators think. As someone who is in a Master's program in education, you should be well aware that the first 3 years of a child's life are when the most cognitive growth occurs, so technically the lowly "daycare workers" who work with infants and toddlers have more effect on a child's growth than any preschool teacher would.