The Telegraph published an article stating that new research indicates that: ‘Sending youngsters to nursery is likely to be better for them than being at home, because it helps them to develop social and everyday skills…’ The article went on to suggest that children who stay at home have been found to have ‘poorer speech and movement’ then their peers who attend a Nursery.
I really really dislike articles like this in any form of publication. It’s not that people have different views to each other – I think that it’s important to have a healthy debate about things. Instead it is the use of ‘research’ that I dislike. It can be so easy to ‘research’ anything these days – put out a Tweet, ask a question and, bam, you have your research. However, would you form an opinion based on this? It seems unlikely!
So, who was the study group for this research? Well, it turns out it was a group of 800 mothers (note, mothers, not parents!) and they were asked a range of questions from whether their child could use scissors, to the language skills of their children. On the basis of this, the outcomes suggest that going to nursery is better than staying at home for children.
I do have some real problems with this type of research. There are the obvious things ranging from whether the study included children with special needs, or whether the mothers they interviewed were from a certain background. But this isn’t my biggest bugbear. Nope – my biggest bugbear is that, articles like this, give parents yet another thing to beat themselves with!
This is very close to my heart at the moment. As regular readers of my blog will know, I decided to homeschool my daughter from September this eyar (I’ve written about it in this post) and, even though I know I have done the right thing, occasionally I will doubt myself. I have friends who have sent their children to nursery for a whole range of reasons and who doubt whether it is the right thing. And then there are the parents who choose to keep their children at home – and doubt whether they are doing the right thing.
It’s what we do as parents. We doubt ourselves! We really want to get it right for our children, and there are so many articles and studies which say the opposite of what we are doing, that we doubt ourselves. It has to stop! We know our children. We know what works for them, for us, for our families and for our lives. And we know that we only make decisions with the best interests of our children in minds.
So, I’ve decided that I will no longer pay any attention to any articles that try to tell me what is best for my child. I know what is best, not some random study, and I will continue to make decisions for them based on my gut instinct. I may not always get it exactly right, but at least I know I’m doing it all for the right reasons – my children’s happiness and wellbeing! And that is the most important thing.
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