Q: My three-year-old son often comes home from daycare and tells us one of his friends punched him or called him a bad name. We have asked the caregivers about this; they say they are unaware of the incidents. I don’t know if my son is lying or if I should be concerned about the quality of care. The daycare centre is highly regarded, we don’t have any other reservations and haven’t heard any concerns from other parents.
A: The good news is that, despite his complaints, things seem to be going well with your daycare and the caregivers are approachable. Your son may be making up a story or exaggerating, or there may actually be a problem. Ask him to describe what happens. If you get enough information, you may see a pattern and be able to tell the caregivers what to watch for. Maybe it only occurs when the kids are playing with trucks and cars, so the caregivers can pay special attention when your son is in that play area. If his stories are vague, he may simply be making them up. You can say, “Hmm, that sounds like a good story. Tell me more,” so you are not ignoring him, but also not over-reacting. If you are still concerned, you may want to drop in at the centre and observe for yourself.