About a month and a half ago, I went to pick the girls up at the sitter's. As I always do, I asked our babysitter how the girls' day was. She just rolled her eyes. When Jaden walked up to me, I could tell she was in trouble. Now, we had never had a problem with Jaden at daycare up until that point. She always does what she is told and is very polite. Our sitter has told us on many occasions that she wished more of the kids would act like Jaden. I knew that if Jaden was in trouble, something pretty out of the ordinary happened. When I asked, the babysitter told me (in a louder-than-needed voice) that Jaden is a liar. Jaden is bad. Jaden gets no go-home candy. Jaden is a LIAR. The babysitter was so over-the-top. I felt bad for Jaden and felt angry that this woman was yelling such negative things about my child. It seemed as though she was intentionally trying to hurt her feelings again. At this point, I still didn't know what happened because each time I asked, she just said Jaden lied. Then she told Jaden to go show me what she did. Jaden timidly led me into the playroom. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Honestly, the room was cleaned and kids were playing. Then a kid pointed to a chair. I assumed that Jaden was told to sit on the chair at some point during the day?? Then I saw it. A tiny heart. On that miniature folding chair was a perfectly drawn heart. But what does this have to do with Jaden? I just looked at the babysitter questioningly. She (with a raised voice) told me that Jaden drew that heart on the chair and LIED to her, telling her that she didn't. I asked if she saw Jaden draw the heart. She replied that no, she did not see her but she knows it was Jaden because Jaden is the only one that can draw a perfect heart. Surprised, I told the babysitter that I had never seen Jaden draw a heart. I can tell you, as Jaden's mom, that she did not do it. I know in my heart that it was another child. At home, Jaden draws all the time. A day doesn't pass that she doesn't draw, whether it be with crayons, colored pencils, or on her Magna Doodle. I would have seen her draw a heart. Our babysitter stood there accused J of something that she had no proof of; something that Jaden was probably innocent of. When we got to the car, I explained to Jaden that because she got in trouble at daycare, she wasn't necessarily in trouble at home. I told her how important it was to tell me what really happened. I kept reinforcing to her that I was not mad at her and she is not a bad girl. She looked me square in the eyes and said, "I didn't do it, Mom." That was the truth. She was being honest with me. I asked her if she knew who did it. "It was Alyssa."
When we got home, Jaden and I were in her room playing. She had her Magna Doodle out. I asked her if she wanted to play a game. I told her that I would draw a circle and she could draw a triangle. We did. Next, I told her that I would draw an oval and she could draw a square. We did. I'll draw a house and you draw a face. Done. I'll draw a star and you draw a heart.... I drew my star and waited. Jaden tried to draw a heart. She messed up and started over. She messed up again and started over. She couldn't do it. She was getting frustrated because she couldn't get the heart right. She asked me if I would show her how. I drew a heart and had her copy it. As proud of her as I was, her hear was far from perfect. Jaden's heart didn't have a point at the bottom and looked more like a circle than an actual heart. That was proof enough for me.
I know Jaden is not perfect. I know that she can tell a tall tale... we are working very hard on that. I am totally for putting her in time-out when she does something wrong. But, I also know when she is being truthful. I also know when not to make a mountain out of a mole hill.
I never brought this issue up to the babysitter again. In fact, now that it is almost two months later, I still hold a tiny grudge. You would think that being a daycare provider for over 30 years would teach her a few things. For starters, don't let the kids play with markers unsupervised. Second, if somebody does draw on something that they are not supposed to, and nobody will confess, take the markers away. Explain to the kids that if they don't tell her what happened, than everyone will be punished and nobody will get to draw. Third, practice what you preach. Don't tattle. Don't finger-point. Don't call names. Be kind. These are some of the many things that she instills in these kids. Lead by example! I understand that being around kids all day long may take it's toll on a person. Fine. Have a glass of wine at 6:00 when they are all gone. Do not EVER put your finger in my child's face and call her a liar again. Do not EVER put her down and make her feel ashamed again. Do not EVER embarrass her in front of her friends again. Love her and care for her. Be there for her when I can't.