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Frustrated Mom Says Daycare Gave Her A 'Warning' After She Refused To Make Daughter Clean Up Before Taking Her Home

Photo: Mikhail Nilov, Artem Podrez / Pexels
Kid at daycare, frustrated mom

A mom has sparked a heated debate after explaining that her daughter's daycare teacher felt "undermined" by not having her daughter clean up the mess she made before leaving for the day.

Posting to the subreddit "r/AmItheA--hole" (AITA) — a forum where users try to figure out if they were wrong or not in an argument that has been bothering them — she explained that her two-year-old daughter has been attending a "home daycare" for the last few months.

While everything has been running smoothly, there was one hiccup in the road that left the mom feeling a type of way about the teacher in charge.

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She was reprimanded by her daughter's daycare teacher after refusing to have her stay and clean up.

In her Reddit post, the mother wrote that while the daycare teacher, Sasha, is pleasant and hasn't given her any problems, she insists that her daughter and all of the other children at her daycare clean up their messes before they leave.

"I find when I arrive, Sasha expects my daughter to finish cleaning up whatever she was playing with. Which again would be fine, but it delays us getting out the door and heading home, sometimes we have plans, etc," she pointed out.

As a solution, she began texting Sasha before arriving, so that her daughter would have time to clean and by the time she arrived, she would be dressed and ready to head out the door. However, when going to pick her daughter up, she forgot to text her daycare teacher in advance after running a bit late and having some car troubles. 

"We had a lot to do this afternoon and I was running behind," she recalled. "When I arrived, my daughter and some friends were in the middle of cleaning up a big mess. I told my daughter that we had to go and get her coat."

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While attempting to get her daughter out of the door quickly, her teacher interjected, saying that the young girl needed to "finish cleaning" before she went home for the day. The mother attempted to be reasonable, saying that on any other day, that would be fine, but they were already running late and didn't want to miss an appointment they had.

"Sasha tried arguing that the kids need to learn responsibility and I flat out said no. I grabbed my daughter, put her coat on, and left."

Shortly after, the mom checked her phone and saw that she had several angry text messages from Sasha, who told her that not planning things in advance didn't mean she could break the rules of the daycare.

When she pointed out that nowhere in the daycare's contract did it say her daughter needed to stay and clean, and she had the authority to take her child home whenever the need arose, Sasha then accused her of "undermining" her authority.

"I was given 'a verbal warning,' which I found ridiculous," she concluded.

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Reddit users debated whether or not the daycare teacher had a right to interject in the mother's authority of taking her daughter.

"I completely agree with the [daycare] teacher's sentiment, BUT it is your kid and you can leave whenever you want," one Reddit user wrote.

"Daycare pick-up should not take 20 minutes. Working parents need to get home, run errands, make dinner, do extracurriculars, and then have quality time left with their children."

Another user added, "It’s all well and good that she’s trying to teach the kids responsibility, but once a parent shows up to take the kid home — their authority supersedes the daycares."

"The daycare should switch to quick clean-up activities for her around pickup time," a third user pointed out. "Unless you arrive at wildly different times every day, it should be pretty easy."

"The teacher should be more proactive. It’s not fair for parents to wait while a kid cleans up a mess they made under someone else’s care at 2 years old."

According to Sara Olsher, a children's wellness advocate, teaching kids to clean up is actually a vital life skill that helps prevent overwhelm. She suggests helping kids break down a cleaning routine into "manageable chunks" and going through the steps with them until they get the hang of it.



"Research shows that clutter can have profound impact on our mental health," Olsher explains adding that teaching kids to clean up will help kids, "learn a skill that will benefit their mental health for a lifetime."

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics.