Saturday, October 13, 2012

Italy loves children ? (Part 2)

So on to the second piece of interesting information. My bambino was playing with another bambino who is 9mths older than him. His mother told me - told me! - that my bambino needed to go to the crèche. She actually got very heated on the subject. You're going to have to send him some time, she insisted. This time next year, definitely, she said. My bambino will be two at the end of the month. So this time next year, he will be three. The difference between a child of two and one of three, is huge. They grow and develop so much! I pointed out. She also thought it was a legal obligation to send one's child to school at three, but in Italy, it is 5years old. She obviously did not know what she was talking about. In September I did take him to a crèche where his other Italo-Irish friend goes, but he didn't like it, and neither did I. He was bored. There were about 7 children to every adult. The young girl who was assigned to settle my bambino in (daughter of the owner, no formal childcare experience or qualification) was never going to convince him to stay because at any one time she had two kids who were fighting, one who was crying, one whose nappy needed changed, one who had fallen ... She half-heartedly tried to interest him in some toys (mostly broken, no battery-powered toys had batteries) ... I looked around me and saw a small, cramped, dark space. It was very noisy because the pre-schoolers 3years+ were in the next room, all 15 with one teacher. They were all nice people, but I could totally understand why my bambino didn't want to be there. He hung over the stairgate pointing to the door, calling 'Outside, outside', over and over on each of the occasions that we went there. What most annoyed was the woman's arrogance in assuming she knew what was best for my child. She got so excited about it, I wondered was she just trying to justify the fact that she sends her kid to the crèche - she is not working at the moment. Sicily is clearly not ready for attachment parenting ideas of those presented by Steve Biddulph in his Raising Happy Children books ... that children are best off with one primary caregiver (one or both parents) until the age of three. I thought that was a universally acknowledged truth ...

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