Since I work from home, my almost-2-year-old has stayed home with me since she was born. Other than an occasional quick stay with close family or friends, my youngest daughter has never really been separated from Mommy and Daddy. To help Riley – who has always been pretty attached to my side – learn that she will be OK apart from me for a little while, my husband and I have been trying to drop her off in the toddler room on Sunday mornings when we go to church.
Each Sunday, Riley cries when we drop her off, and instead of playing with the other children, she basically sits in the lap of one the workers for the bulk of the morning. This Sunday was probably the worst drop-off experience yet. Riley started crying when we pulled into church, and she continued fussing as we printed off her name tag and walked toward her room. As I tried to pry her off of me and entice her with toys, I couldn’t help but start tearing up as she sobbed.
After a few minutes, I was finally able to walk out of the room, but I could still hear my precious little girl crying as I walked down the hallway. During the service – which is only about 90 minutes long – my husband went to check on Riley twice. He didn’t return after the second time because he had decided to take my very sad baby from the classroom and sit with her in the “wiggle room.”
My eldest daughter started preschool at a very young age, so she was used to being apart from Mommy. We were able to avoid big, dramatic scenes during drop-off times with her. But I am at a loss with my little one. Do I continue trying to drop her off? Do I try to find more opportunities for her to be apart from me? Or do I wait until she’s ready to spend time away from her Mommy and Daddy?
Do you have a child who struggles during times of separation? How have you handled it?