Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Letting Go - An Observation

I worked in the toddler room (1-2.5 yrs old) on Sunday at my church. It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. When numerous parents dropped off their children though, I observed something interesting.

After I would entertain and distract their child so that they would no longer be crying (usually not an easy task), instead of the parent sneaking away undetected, they announced their departure to the child's back "OK, goodbye Geoffrey (or whatever the child's name is)." At that point, the child would turn around and be reminded that mommy or daddy is leaving them all alone, and thus start to cry all over again. As if that isn't annoying enough, this cycle would then be repeated yet again, perhaps even two more times before they finally leave to attend the service.

Of course, this makes me wonder "What is the cause of this behavior?". Is it too difficult for the parents to admit that their child is OK with them leaving? Do they desire being needed by the child to the extent that they actually want to see their child cry every time they depart to make themselves feel better? Are they still debating in their mind whether or not they trust the people in the room to take care of the child, and maybe making the child stop crying numerous times will prove that the child-care workers are capable enough? Or is it just difficult for the parent themselves to be separated from the child, so that they linger their goodbyes way longer than necessary?

Whatever the reason, it's more work for me and more trauma for their child. So here's a tip to all of you parents with separation anxiety - the minute that you see that your child has stopped crying, especially if their back is turned toward you, take a deep breath and say a little prayer if you must, but then just let him/her concentrate on the activities in the room and get your lingering butt out of there!

1 comment:

I Eat Dentists said...

The answer is simple. Most people are just plain stupid.

counter stats