Will Nap For Chocolate Milk: Building the Subconscious

Jessica LouI was visiting with my mom the other day and she mentioned how different things are now in child care then they were 30 some odd years ago.  She said, “When we needed care back then we didn’t give the same thought to it. No one was talking about early education.  You looked for a safe place to leave your child to play while you went to work.”

I was cared for by my great aunt through most of my childhood, but I do recall distant memories of group care settings.

There was a stretch of time when I was about three when I attended a child care center in Hill City.  I remember it as being dark, and the very best thing was every day at naptime they would let me lay down with a carton of chocolate milk.

When I was five and six, I went to a big facility in Rapid City during the summer. There are recollections of traveling on the bus to the swimming pool, and roller skating to She’s My Cherry Pie at the local skating rink.  There was also a large theatre in the building.  I did my first non-dance performance, lip-synching Manic Monday.  I remember the way the art room smelled, a mix of playdoh and poster paint, and the warm sand in the sandbox under the big cottonwood trees outside.

I hear many stories of what people remember from the early care settings of their childhood.  I’ve heard the stories from adults about the child care providers they loved as a child who now care for their children.  I’ve heard of the grandma who started out watching her grandchild and how that grew into a business that she loved for fifteen years.

I’ve also heard of the children who were forced to drink “purple medicine” every day and how they would awaken just before their parent’s picked them back up. I’ve heard of the centers where a child was grabbed and an arm was broken, because a teacher “lost it.”

I remember being alone and afraid at the age of three at the center in Hill City, and being handed chocolate milk and told to be quiet.  I remember being five and six and trying to have fun and make friends at the center in Rapid City.  I also remember being cornered and bullied by older girls, pinching me, pushing me, and calling me names. Every. Single. Day.

Children remember.  It shapes who they are. For better or worse our interactions with children count, every day.  The way we organize their environment, the way we show them that we care about them, and the way we encourage and empower them to be strong and stand up for themselves matters.  Every. Single. Day.

What will our children and our students remember?

Thank you for reading Early Education Plantation.  I sincerely appreciate the emails, comments, and likes and shares these articles receive on social media.  Please continue sharing: Comment, connect, cultivate change!

Check out http://www.fractuslearning.com/ I will be a guest contributor to this blog August 28th!



One thought on “Will Nap For Chocolate Milk: Building the Subconscious

  1. I never went to daycare or preschool when I was younger, but I do remember being in school how different it is today then it was back then. I remember getting my ear or hair pulled if I was talking. I remember a child getting spanked by a teacher in front of the whole lunch room for putting whipped cream on his nose. I remember when I was drug around by my hair by bullies on a daily basis in first grade how I was just told to stop tatteling. However, I also remember the teacher that saw potential and worked with me. I remember my classmates the day they all rallied together with me to make the bullies stop bullying.
    Now I see counselors in the schools. Anti bullying that starts in preschool. Preschool teachers that nurture not hinder and lead by example. How children are not treated as just a child, but a person. It is no longer the “children should be seen not heard” way of thinking. It is amazing how some things have changed.

    Liked by 1 person

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