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My grandson, who is just over 2 years, has recently started to become upset when his Mom leaves him. The first occurrence happened at a fitness club when she left him with a caregiver. Up until now, he had never been in the company of any people other than family. I'm hoping that he will become more used to staying with others, but wanted to see if this is somewhat normal.


Dr. Caron Goode Replied: It is normal at this age, and some children need more reassurance than others. It depends upon the child's natural temperament. Children, especially boys, who are shy may need some transition time to get used to Mom leaving. This means that Mom hangs around in the background until son has left to go explore and play on his own. If he never leaves her side, then she stays for a time period and then they both leave. This is repeated until he can leave her side for longer periods of time and eventually say goodbye to her. This is a way to gradually introduce a shy child to a new situation. He will find his own way when he feels comfortable - I've seen it happen usually in two to four days. A child with a shy temperament will need to be introduced to new situations gradually, play school on up through middle school. Hope this helps. To learn more about styles, see the resource page below. Also on Home page, you will find an article on Parenting with Style that discusses this concept.
Posted On 2004-12-17 16:39:25
Sally Goldberg, Ph.D. Replied: Hi, Life in 2004 (almost 5) has terribly confused parents. They think that putting their child in the care of others is often preferable to being with his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and close friends of the family. While it is not preferable, in today's times it is often necessary. Therefore, there are ways to handle the situations so that they still continue to provide for the child the necessary nurturing love, guidance, support and protection that he or she needs. Back to the question: Yes, he will become more used to staying with others and yes, this is normal. Continuing to provide much positive family time as your daughter (or daughter-in-law, not sure) is doing is the exact way to help your grandchild with the security he needs to be able to adjust well to the care of others when it is necessary. See for books, articles, and tips related to the important new concept of "parenting from the inside out".
Posted On 2004-12-12 09:19:42
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