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Furious mum pulled toddler out of daycare because staff kept 'hugging her'

Poppy Bilderbeck

Published 
| Last updated 

Furious mum pulled toddler out of daycare because staff kept 'hugging her'

Featured Image Credit: Chris Rout/PJP_daily/Alamy Stock Photo

People have been left divided over a mum's decision to pull her toddler out of daycare simply because she was hugged by staff.

Sophea Manzl dropped off her daughter at daycare one day only to see the three-year-old's daycare teacher pick her up and 'try to hug her' shortly after.

Manzl has since removed her daughter from the daycare and enrolled her in another, revealing the important reason why.

Before her daughter started at the new daycare, Manzl told teachers her three-year-old 'does NOT like cuddles and that they should never try to hold her or cuddle her to help her calm down'.

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A mum decided to pull her daughter out of daycare after a teacher hugged her child. Credit: Marlene Ford/ Alamy Stock Photo
A mum decided to pull her daughter out of daycare after a teacher hugged her child. Credit: Marlene Ford/ Alamy Stock Photo

In a post on Kidspot, the mum explained: "I know some other babies, even my son who is one, love cuddles and feel safe that way, but my daughter doesn’t.

"I gave them a list of other tools they could use to help her feel safe. Her favourite toy. A quiet place in the corner by herself. Reading a book. Some space and time so she can come over when she is ready."

However, one day at the daycare, Manzl glanced through the window to the outside area to see a teacher picking up her daughter, 'trying to hug her'.

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"My daughter was absolutely beside herself. Screaming. Terrified. Kicking. Yelling," the mum explained.

The mum explained her daughter doesn't like cuddles. Credit: Chardia/ Alamy Stock Photo
The mum explained her daughter doesn't like cuddles. Credit: Chardia/ Alamy Stock Photo

Manzl continued: "Now before you start, I know drop off is not easy for anyone. I understand that children cry and sometimes even scream.

"[...] This was different. I had specifically asked them not to do something to help my daughter feel safe and they went against our wishes. At the time, I tried to be understanding and brushed it off.

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"I mentioned it again to the manager and made it clear to that teacher not to do it again. Yet the next few times we came in, they kept offering her cuddles. [...] She would cry and I would have to remind them."

The mum acknowledged it must be 'hard' for teachers to 'remember everything' about each child in their care because there are so many in one room, and noted she has 'huge respect for all teachers'.

The mum reported her daughter was left screaming after a teacher tried to hug her. Credit: Hager fotografie/ Alamy Stock Photo
The mum reported her daughter was left screaming after a teacher tried to hug her. Credit: Hager fotografie/ Alamy Stock Photo

"But this was different," she added. "I felt like I was constantly repeating myself and fighting so hard just to help my daughter feel safe at childcare.

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"It shouldn’t be this hard to help each child feel safe? It didn’t feel right to me."

Manzl subsequently decided to remove her daughter from the daycare - resolute after her daughter told her: "I don't like my teachers mum. I don't like when they cuddle me."

However, other Kidspot users have been left divided over the mother's decision to remove her child from the daycare centre.

One wrote: "The trick wasn't coddling and trying to make the environment mould around the kids but rather teach the kids how to cope and deal with what is going to happen in the real world. Once your child is on their own in situations, the world won't bend to them."

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The mum explained her daughter told her she didn't like her teachers. Credit: Hager fotografie/ Alamy Stock Photo
The mum explained her daughter told her she didn't like her teachers. Credit: Hager fotografie/ Alamy Stock Photo

However, others defended the mum, another writing: "This child clearly has sensory needs that were completely ignored in her first childcare centre. It's not difficult as an educator to remember and implement boundaries set by a parent or a child."

A third added: "Meeting the parents wishes and protecting the child is their job. Good on this mother for removing her from the centre and finding a more accommodating one."

Thankfully, Manzl notes her daughter is now in a different daycare where she is much happier and most importantly, 'feels safe'.

Topics: Parenting, Health

Poppy Bilderbeck
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