Peer socialization

  • Step 1: Get a job as a playground monitor.
  • Step 2: Observe.
  • Step 3: Consider.

Is this how you want your children to be? Do you really want them socialized by their peers? I preferred that my children be socialized by a reasonable person — me. They managed enough childish things on their own.

A friend of mind, a kindergarten teacher of 25 years, told me she could always tell the children who had been raised at home from those who came to her kindergarten class from daycare. It was the herd-behavior in the daycare kids that tipped her off.

Children raised at home look to the parent as the source of daily authority. Children in daycare realize that the adults are transient.

In daycare the adults will either change because the child moves from early-morning care to school and then to after-school care, or the caretaker is transferred to another section (standard policy in some facilities to prevent attachment between children and care-givers). The one constant is the other children who age-gradedly move along with one another. It isn’t Miss Evelyn your kids have to watch out for at school, it’s mean Bubba. And Bubba will be waiting after school as well; there’s no escaping Bubba.

Miss Evelyn won’t tell Mrs. Williams what Bubba did this morning and Mrs. Williams won’t tell Mr. Zachary what Miss Evelyn didn’t tell her. But your child knows, and Bubba knows. So what Bubba says goes and the kids worry about Mrs. Williams later.


Copyright 2006, Valerie Bonham Moon, former GS-2 (!) playground monitor, Munich Elementary School

This work may be copied and distributed for free as long as the copyright and this notice are included.

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