Toddler Tricks – 41: When You Leave Someone

Ways to Trick Your Baby:

Problem: Sometimes you take the kids somewhere, leaving someone else still in the house. The babies usually want everyone to go together everywhere and have trouble understanding that the person being left behind wants to stay or needs to stay. This can lead to tantrums and crying, even if you’re all going some place fun. Oftentimes, the babies and I will leave my husband at home to go grocery shopping, for instance, or we’ll go to the park before he leaves for work. They will start getting teary-eyed when they realize he’s not coming along.

Solution: Have them say a big goodbye and explain to the person where they are going and that they’ll be back. This puts them in control of the situation. They become the “adults” telling the person being left about their plans for the day, instead of being babies that are being dragged along for whatever ride their mommy is going on.

Ways your Baby Tricks You:

Problem: That doesn’t work.

Solution: Have them tell the person not to cry. This works for us at least 90 percent of the time. It is magical, truly. This allows the young child to feel empathy (though it be false) for the person being left behind. They remember how they feel when someone leaves them behind, and instead of being upset at the present situation, they feel for the person and concentrate on making them feel safe and loved. “Don’t cry, daddy! We’ll be right back!” And as they say the words aloud, they hear them as if those words are meant for them. They’ll know, since it came from their own voices, that we will be right back and that no one has to cry.

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About parentwin

Parent of twins, blogger, writer and journalist. I write things. Sometimes people even read them.
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