Let me just throw this out there before I begin: I am not a mother. So I know that I don't have that magic touch, nor do I have that odd parental wisdom that seems to come to most women when they become mothers. However I do know a thing or two about children as I have been a nanny for the past three years.
Inspired by my love for children I decided to volunteer to help in my church's Wednesday night nursery. It started out with just me but now I have a helper, so its not quite so crazy and really, in all honesty, is fun. Something I have noticed is that each child is unique in how they deal with the initial shock of their mother or father leaving them in the nursery.
As you can suspect there are those kids who can't wait to get their hands on all the new toys that they only get to play with once or twice a week and there are also those who cry endlessly until their parent returns and there are kids who are a mix of everything in between. Tonight there were four boys who exemplified very well the point I'm trying to make. Boy 1:
He wasn't too thrilled that his mom was leaving him, especially since there weren't any kids to play with yet. Also he was more tired than usual so he cried until we were able to entertain him with building block towers and knocking them down. For the rest of the hour he would occasionally start to get a little sad looking but would find a new toy that would distract him. But he was still excited for mom at the end. Boy 2:
His grandmother stayed for a bit with him to make sure he was playing happily before she left. And when she did he was oblivious to it all and played pleasantly for most of the time. However when mom wanted to come in and check on him (since that was his first time in the nursery) he cried because she picked him up to hug him and talk to him a bit then set him back down and left. He was kind of weepy the rest of the time and was happy only when mom returned. Boy 3:
His dad came and said "You know the drill." He quickly set him down and left. Immediately the boy started crying, which is what he always does. One of us usually just holds him until we can find a toy that distracts him from his tears and he's perfectly fine the rest of the night. Boy 4:
He wasn't in the nursery at all tonight. In fact his parents gave up long ago. They would bring him in, play with him for a bit, then sneak out when his back was turned. He'd cry and cry and cry and cry... It was to the point where he wasn't breathing right because he'd get himself so worked up. So his parents decided that it wasn't worth it and gave up trying. So tonight his mom stood outside the nursery holding him while we played happily inside.
Since I hope to some day be a mom I'd like to know: Is there a way to prepare your kids for short time spent away from mom and dad?
I know things like daycare or hiring a babysitter work because its long term and kids get used to it but I feel like every week its a struggle to remind some kids that hanging out in the nursery is fun and mom/dad always comes back.What do you think? Is it possible to train your kids to trust others when mom and dad need to leave? Or is it just something they have to learn the hard way and get used to?
Does age affect this at all?
Does stay-at-home parenting affect it?
How about birth order?