GRAND RAPID, Mich. – A mother is outraged after a daycare sent home a note saying her 9-month-old baby was “aggressive.”
The note, which was obtained by Babble, claims the baby was “playing roughly and aggressively with the other babies.”
According to the note, the baby, Samantha, was also “smiling and enjoying herself” while other babies were “crying and upset.”
Even after daycare staff told the 9-month-old while using their “firm voices” that “it’s not OK to hurt her friends,” they claim Samantha didn’t listen and continued to play aggressively.
The note suggests that the girl’s parent “help us out by maybe discouraging her to not play roughly.”
The upset mother then posted the note to a Facebook group for working moms, asking others to weigh in.
After seeing the note, Babble talked to Dr. Adelle Cadieux, a psychologist at a children’s hospital.
“Kids go through that stage where they just want to see cause and effect: ‘If I do this, this happens,’” she told Babble. “They’re learning. They get excited about the learning aspect as opposed to recognizing, ‘Oh, what I’m doing is wrong.’”
The psychologist told Babble that it’s normal for babies around Samantha’s age to behave “aggressively” because they are eager to express themselves, but can’t speak yet.
Dr. Cadieux says the way the daycare handled the situation isn’t productive. Telling a mother her baby is being aggressive is too vague.
She says the best way for a daycare provider to address a baby’s behavior is by expressing concern through an actual conversation with the parent.
Saying, “‘I’m concerned about your child because I’m observing something different,’ is a great way to begin a conversation as opposed to ‘Hey, your kid’s being aggressive and you need to do something about it,” she said.
Full transcript of the note via Babble:
Samantha has been playing roughly and aggressively with the other babies; they will be crying and upset but she is smiling and enjoying herself — even our using firm voices to tell her it’s not OK to hurt her friends and remove her from area, she is smiling and going right back. Can you help us out by maybe discouraging her to not play roughly with her friends and her dog.