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19.2.12

Unfair Daddy Day Care

I was quite intrigued and interested to see what would happen during the Channel 4 programme 'Daddy Day Care'.
Three men were sent to a London nursery to work and were 'given a crash course in childcare'.
I really thought this programme would be entertaining. I thought it would be about the men looking after their own children and experiencing what mothers (stay at home/part time working or full time working) go through.

I was left highly disappointed.

I can't stand "man bashing", its up there with "celeb bashing" in my books. Slating people for no reason at all other than 'just because'.

I am a mum of two (as you should know) and there is absolutely no way I could have calmed down a class of 12 toddlers.
I struggle to calm down Charles sometimes not to mention when his friends are round and we have to calm down 2 or 3 of them. So calming down 12 children I'd never met would be impossible.
Also, thinking back to school days, supply teachers used to get played up a lot by students. Pushing their buttons, seeing how far you'd go until they snap, seeing how much you could get away with, and these toddlers were no different.
I wasn't at all surprised when they wouldn't sit down to have a book read by one of the men. No because of the way the man was behaving or talking to the children, but because it was their chance to push their luck and they wanted to run around and play with each other rather than hear a random stranger read a story.
They saw/see the nursery staff as authority rather than this new man therefore don't recognise him as someone to listen to. The same way Charles does if someone new asks him to do something. Unless he recognises them as authority, he isn't going to listen and would instead wait for me to prompt him.

I couldn't of got 1, 2, or 3 children to nap.
Each child is different, some need a story, some need a cuddle, some need shushing, some need a back pat.
I bet my back patting feels different to yours, and my shushing would be different to yours.
I for one know I would struggle to get another persons child to sleep because of not knowing them. Even if someone said "just pat her back and she'll settle down" I would expect it to possibly not work.
I also can't imagine the children being completely comfortable at this new person trying to get them to sleep.
New person = excitement in most cases. Excitement = not wanting to sleep.

I certainly wouldn't of faired well at changing children's nappies. I've only changed my sons nappies, except for two times when I changed a friends sons nappy and another friends daughters nappy. The whole time I felt nervous. I don't know why, its only wiping up poo or cleaning away wee but still, its not something I feel comfortable doing. I even asked my friends 2 year old daughter how I would change her nappy and whilst doing it, asked if I was doing it right.

And choosing a task for the children to play in the playground. I would have no idea where to start!
Too young for What's The Time Mister Wolf and British Bulldog is banned now I'm sure?
The 'drill' game that the dad came up with was great and wasn't something that would've entered my head.
Standing there performing old Steps dance routines, now that would be more of my kind of thing to do!

One part that made me extra angry was the manager stating that she didn't trust one of the men.
When working with children I would never, ever, ever want to hear the manager of a nursery/school say that they do not trust one of the carers/teachers.
If she really didn't trust this man then she should've told the Producers that she didn't want this man involved anymore.
I also think it was terribly rude of her to assume that this man would put the children's lives in danger. Ok, at home he may not be as hands on as his wife, but that in no way means that he would put any child in danger or in harms way.

This programme had so much potential but turned out to be "cleverly" structured almost saying "these men a rubbish because X" so we gave them hard challenges so you [the viewer] could watch them struggle and fail, then we'll give you the predicted and obvious sob story and then WOW these men are actually not that bad and learnt a lot!"
I'd like to see next weeks programme including the production staff replacing these dads and running nurseries and controlling 12 hyperactive todders and preschoolers.

I wanted to see a programme I felt was realistic and natural, instead I felt it was far too set up and unrealistic.