Every parent feels the dread of leaving a crying toddler with a caregiver, but there are effective ways to prepare your child for time away from mom and dad. Until he learns that he can rely on people other than family and feel completely safe when you leave, your child will likely protest even brief separations.
Your goal in the beginning is to help your child have good experiences with the caregiver in your presence. Talk about the caregiver in a positive way, allow your child to see you have friendly conversations with his caregiver, and have a photograph of the caregiver holding your child for reassurance that he will be well cared for in your absence.
Spend a few minutes with your child at the child care center, helping him become comfortable with other children and adults. Try short separations to start out, and gradually extend your time apart, allowing your child to adjust to separations. Don't return when your child cries, or he will think that crying will bring you back. Have a standard parting routine that helps your toddler know exactly what to expect. Reassure him by explaining what will happen during the day and that you will always come back.
Don't give in to the temptation to sneak out. Explain that you are leaving, stay cheerful, and then leave. Soon he will see that there are fun things to do, and his caregiver can offer distractions for him to calm down and start to adjust. Give the caregiver some suggestions as to what might calm your child, such as looking out the window, playing with specific toys or listening to music.
Help your child feel confident that you will return by being on time, and giving him lots of love and attention when you are with him. Choose a child care setting that's warm and loving and emphasizes emotional and social development. The staff at Endless Discoveries Child Development Center in Saginaw and Glen Rose believe in working with parents as active partners in their child's development and strengthening a child's development socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually.
Your child will eventually outgrow his separation anxiety and form a strong attachment to his caregivers at Endless Discoveries.
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