Never Sneak Out While Baby Is Distracted!
June 15, 2015|Posted in: Happy, Healthy, Smart Kids!
Loving parents don’t wnat their kids to be upset, that’s a given. Lots of kids have separation anxiety, so I guess that’s the reason so many parents who are leaving their children with a sitter sneak out when the little ones aren’t looking.
Sometimes we forget there that just because we can’t see them, doesn’t mean that they aren’t upset. Inevitably your little one will discover you are gone and become upset when they realize it. You won’t be there to see them upset, or to see them cry. So you might feel better, but will your child? All of a sudden they realize you’re gone and you didn’t tell them it would be alright, or that you would come back and that can make them feel abandoned or betrayed. In over twenty years of childcare I’ve seen many parents do it and it never works out well.
To help your child with separation anxiety, the right thing to do is to tell your child you’re leaving and that the babysitter is going to care for them while you are gone. Tell them you will be back soon. Even if your baby is too young to completely understand your words, they may pick up on a few words and they will definately understand the meaning conveyed by your manner and tone of voice. Kiss and hug them and tell them they will be alright.
Don’t prolong the goodbye process or try to sooth them repeatedly or for an extended period of time. If your child gets upset it’s acceptable to tell them one more time that you will be back and they will be alright. Give one more hug and then leave right away. Your calmness and matter of fact manner will reassure your little one that the things you have told them are true and help them feel more confident. If you sneak away while your little one is distracted it will increase their fears and anxiety. It can cause feelings of mistrust. They may worry that you will just disappear without warning at any given moment.
Your words are golden to your children, especially if you are always honest. Your promise to return and your expression of confidence in their well being will be a great encouragement to them.
Life is often difficult and we all have to do hard things. It’s important to help your child learn to face their fears and do hard things while they’re young and have you to help them. It’s something they’ll have to do all their lives and the sooner they learn to do it the happier they will be.
Separation Anxiety and the Proper Goodbye:
1. Tell your child you have to leave for awhile and who will be caring for them while you are gone.
2. Tell them you will be back soon.
3. Assure them they will be alright.
4. Give hugs and kisses (only a couple).
5. If your child is very upset repeat steps 2,3 and 4 – ONLY ONCE! Don’t prolong the goodbye.
6. Give them the opportunity to wave goodbye.
7. Leave right away.
This process is honestly the best way to spare your child’s feelings. Just like your child must be brave while you are away, you must be brave enough to give your the proper goodbye they deserve (even if it involves a few tears)! Your child will learn confidence, trust and how to be brave and do hard things. They will be able to be proud of themselves for being brave and doing something hard.
When you return mention to your child how all the things you told them were true. They were ok while you were gone, and you did come back. Let your child know you are very proud of them.
Leaving an upset child with the babysitter is one of the hard things many parents have to do. Be brave and focus on your little one’s feelings rather than your own. It might be difficult, but you’ll be glad you did!
You might also enjoy reading Earning Your Children’s Trust.
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