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TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2916
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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My almost three year old son has stayed home with me full time

Resolved Question:

My almost three year old son has stayed home with me full time until now. I am back in school, so he started going to a babysitter three days a week.
For the first two weeks he would sit the entire time and not play or say a word(and he’s typically very social). Now he plays, but he still has a huge anxiety attach when we tell him he’s going in the morning. I feel so bad for him, but I know it’s for the best.
His sitter wants him to come more often. I don’t want to become a part-time mom.

Do you have any suggestions on how to help him, and me, get through this?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 4 years ago.

CoachJenK :

Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families. I am also a mom of Twins.

CoachJenK :

You are doing all of the right things. It is a tough time for both of you. He is having some anxiety around the sapration which is completely normal at this age.

CoachJenK :

He is used to being with you on those other days and it could be beneficial for him to go more frequently. that does not make you a part time Mom and it could actually help in his growth and in his ability to develop coping skills as he begins to gain trust in you and the world at large tha tMommy always comes back.

CoachJenK :

I would keep good byes short and sweet and as you can already see he has made tremendous progress by beginning to play.

Customer:

We are just afraid he’s not going to get past it. I had horrible separation anxiety around the same age, and it’s all my first memories.

CoachJenK :

He absolutely will by you continuing to give him encouragement. Dont let your memories and feelings get placed onto him

Customer:

he actually got sick on himself this morning because he had to go

CoachJenK :

yes and it is so hard to see that. Is he sensing anything from you?

CoachJenK :

would it help to know I have children the same age and have dealt with this same thing?

Customer:

I don’t know. I try to be really tough about it when I’m around him. But when he starts crying when I tell him he’s going, I hug and comfort him. My husbands thinks I need to stop doing that.

CoachJenK :

you should always comfort him but do it in a way that gives him confidence. Hug him and say you can do this. Mommy loves you and I have faith in you.

Customer:

Yes, it is comforting to know other moms go through the same thing. I know this is the right thing for him, but sometimes I second guess myself and just want to homeschool him until he’s 20. LOL

CoachJenK :

yes that is a great idea....keep him home and then you never have to deal with it until he is 20 and then it will be so easy. :-)

Customer:

Should I give him something, like a pin of bravery or something when he goes in the morning? something to make him feel proud?

CoachJenK :

So what i do...is I keep the goodbyes short and sweet. mommy loves you, have a great day

CoachJenK :

yes that is a wonderful idea.

CoachJenK :

and you can make one together when he is home and it can be a project that he feels proud not only to wear it but to make it as well

CoachJenK :

sticker rewards are huge at this age too.

CoachJenK :

he will learn that he is safe and can internalize you when you are not there and then he begins to have trust in himself that he can do it thereby trusting the world at large.

CoachJenK :

that is what we all hope for with our kids.

Customer:

Ok, great suggestion. We will make one together. Ok, I feel better now and will keep going. Thank you for the reassurance!

CoachJenK :

my pleasure. Come back and ask for me anytime. Let him design it however he wants.

CoachJenK :

sometimes a picture of you and Dad on his backpack can also help to keep with him

CoachJenK :

Let me know how else i can support you. Please click accept if i have been helpful.

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