Dreading leaving your toddler with the babysitter or at daycare and want to prepare him?
Virtually every parent who has left a toddler with a caregiver has experienced the crumpled face, the arms velcro-locked around your knees, the wail that rips through your heart.
It’s the normal response of a securely attached toddler who protests what she perceives as a life-threatening separation from her mother or father. Your toddler will learn, over time, that you do return when you leave, but she is not yet capable of understanding this fully.
Toddlers are designed to spend their time with humans to whom they’re attached: parents, older siblings and cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents. Until he’s attached to his caregiver, and knows that he can rely on the caregiver to meet his needs, he won’t feel completely safe. So your task is to find ways to help your child bond with the caregiver, and to help the caregiver understand your child so she can meet his needs.
Here’s a twelve step program to smooth the process.