Is this a phase or what?

Selina - posted on 01/26/2011 ( 20 moms have responded )

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I have a 3 year old who has been going to the same sitter since she was 4 months old. There are times when she cries when I drop her off & WERE times when she wouldn't even care that I left. Well lately, she has been crying everytime, EVERYTIME, I drop her off. As soon as we pull up to the drive way, she would say, "I go home, I GO HOME!". Normally if I stay for a few minutes, she would be fine. But lately she has been catching on to me sneaking out. Well today was just a really bad day. She screamed & cried (nothing new) but I don't get it. When I pick her up from the sitters, she is all happy, says bye to the sitter & gives her a kiss. Could this just be a phase that she is going through?

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Rachael - posted on 01/31/2011

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My 3 year old started preschool this year and it was the first time I've ever dropped him off and left him with anyone but family. He cried almost every morning from September through November. I was ready to pull him out. I cried almost as many mornings because it wasn't like him. His teacher reassured me that once I left, he was fine and she said that consistency is the key. So, every morning I was loving and quick with my goodbyes. Since Thanksgiving break, he has been a new child and loves going to school and hasn't cried at all.
If you feel strongly that something is wrong, follow your gut and pursue it. However, I think 3 years old are beginning to find their voice and are learning how to manipulate our feelings to get a response they want.
I also babysit as my regular job and have had MANY kids do the same thing. As soon as mom is out of sight...happiest kids ever! Hope this helps.

Jackie - posted on 01/26/2011

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I would find some comfort in teh fact that she's happy when you arrive for sure, but...but it's strange that she's gone from one extreme to the other. I would 1. ask her about her day in subtle ways...see what you cang et her to tell you without asking whats wrong and 2. make a few "surprise" visits somehow over the next week or two...just to check in on mid day activities. I know it can be tough with jobs...but it will etiher put your mind at ease or answer your questions....both need to be done. And I would show up at different times each day.

What is the sitters answer as to if anything is going on?

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Rose - posted on 02/09/2011

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Its funny that she is behaving that way with some one she has been since she was 4months,something has changed with your sitter its obvious that she is not treating her right and the child doesn't feel safe anymore being left with her, that's why she cries when you go,do something.

Ivy - posted on 02/08/2011

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I agree with the moms that said to drop in unannounced and see how things are going then. I wouldn't jump to any rash decisions like pulling your daughter out suddenly which may just upset her more. My son went through this stage when he was 3 and was in preschool a few days a week but at the same time period, if I left him anywhere else he would do the same thing. It can be so stressful. On the flip side, I also watch children in my home and the little girl has gone through periods like that off and on. If something out of the ordinary happens it can throw her off as kids that age like routine. And it can take awhile for them to feel comfortable again. It's stressful for the sitter too. I know she is safe, loved, well cared for and has fun here and I want her to be happy too. As soon as mom pulls out of the driveway she is fine. When we go through a rough patch (when her mom had a baby, when I had a baby, after a vacation etc.) I always call her mom's cell phone as soon as she is fine (without the child knowing) and let her know. She can always hear her in the background too which is reassuring. It helped mom feel better because she usually hadn't even gotten off my street yet. Maybe you can set something up like that. I also periodically email photos of the kids playing during the day to the mom.
Last note, because the circumstances in a foster home are a little different it may be beneficial to spend more time there when she gets new kids to see their behavior. I hate to label kids in any way, but statistics can be scary with fosters, especially if they are older. Your sitter will not know their personalities right away either if one of them is abusive to your child it may not come to light right away. Plus your child may be sensitive to the fact that kids come and go there and it changes things up.
Good luck and hang in there. Oh, and don't sneak out-too much stress for kiddos!

Arlene - posted on 02/07/2011

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My daughter is going through this stage right now too (and has been off and on since she was 2.5yrs old) - and her daycare is her grandparents! But as soon as I am gone, she is a happy camper. With my evening job, I used to tell her she was doing the babysitting,not the other way around, and she seemed to like that. But she had some all out scream sessions that had me in tears and calling my parents or the babysitter every 5 minutes - only to find out she was fine. But I also agree with the other moms, follow your gut, and do your research on the daycare.

Joy - posted on 02/07/2011

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As someone who was raised having foster kids in my house I would adv you check to see if the company she does foster care with knows that she also has a daycare in her home and check to make sure the other kids do not have issues that would you would not your child exposed to. I know there are a lot of privacy issues so you won't get much of an answer but there is probably a social worker in the company to talk about what kind of children are placed in her care. Personally from my experience I would not place my child in a home where there are foster children. I know that may seem harsh and judgmental but my child would be the #1 priority not the other kids.

Betsy - posted on 02/07/2011

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The weather might be it as well! I know that sounds weird, but I babysit and we love to play outside. In the spring and fall we play in the back yard for hours, go to the park, or take a walk. The kids love it! But in the winter time we just can't go out much if ever. With the infants it is just too cold and too much work for 10 mins. I've found that certain kids have more attachment issues during this time because it just isn't nearly as much fun being stuck inside. I mean I understand, i feel the same way!

Megan - posted on 02/05/2011

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I am having the same issue starting with my 22 month old. She has been going to the same sitter also since she was 3 months. Her cousin who is 9 months older than her also goes to the sitter and they are very close, like brother and sister almost. I like that they get to be together all day, but I think when my daughter turns 3 and is potty trained I'm going to take her to a preschool. I think that it is just boring for her at the sitters. They do some activites, but this sitter only watches young children, there is a 3 year old, my 2 year old nephew, my daughter, and 2 babies. Lately she sometimes really doesn't want to go, I know she loves her "nana" (that's what she calls the sitter), and does like it there, I just think that she is getting bored there, playing with the same toys all the time and not getting enough educational stimulation. Maybe looking into some preschools in your area or montessori's would be a good idea for your daughter. Hope this helps!

Heather - posted on 02/04/2011

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I would find a new sitter. She is most likely being mistreated an isn't old enough to tell you what is happening. Get her out NOW!

Cyndel - posted on 01/31/2011

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My son used to cry when I left, I was always upfront and honest about leaving saying good bye letting him see me leave, etc. The one time he really freaked was when I was in a rush and left without saying good bye and give him a kiss, (we were at my grandmothers and I was running to the store for a few items for dinner 15-20 min. got back and he was fine).
I noticed you said you sneak out. maybe that is part of the problem. I would also do what the other ladies suggest and question her, make surprise visits etc. just in case. But it probably is just a phase, or she is used to you being home when you have time off.
the day my hubby goes back to school after the week end home is rough.

Amy - posted on 01/31/2011

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My son did the same thing when he was about 3-1/2. It didn't last long. I asked them if there were any changes as far as teachers or children. My son's best friends parents were split up at the time and he was affected, obviously. My child is very sensitive and that is all it took to upset him.

Kelina - posted on 01/28/2011

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I used to babysit for a little girl like that. She'd absolutely freak when mom left but would stop crying within a couple of minutes and be perfectly happy the rest of the time as long as there was no fights over toys lol. It's probably nothing but I recommend talking to her about her day anyways. It'll show her that you're interested in the things she's doing and set a good foundation for if anything ever does happen, now and later when she starts school.

Selina - posted on 01/27/2011

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Thanks Dora. She really loves her sitter alot & the sitter & her family love my little one. They really do treat her like if she is part of their family. I just wonder if it is because she gets use to me being home if I take a day or two off & then realizes that she has to go back to the sitters. Like I said it before, when I pick her up, she is the most happiest kid in the world. She says bye to the sitter & even gives her a kiss.

Dora - posted on 01/27/2011

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I personally would be concerned especially after you have indicated the sitter has had mean kids in her home. A daycare/sitter environment should be a happy and comfortable place for your little one. They should want to go and not be frightened about it. I definitely agree with Jackie, ask you daughter questions about her day and see what she says to you. Ask her if any of the kids or the sitter make her sad. You can also do spot checks and see what you walk into and how your daughter is at the time. When I placed my son in daycare for the first time I was constantly doing spot checks. Also kept a close eye out to see how he reacted to his teachers when I dropped him off and picked him up. Also made it known to the daycare that I was not a mom that would put up with anything. I know that sounds harsh but he is my little one and if I don't look out for him no one else will. Our kids depend on us to protect them and love them. I just recommend that you don't ignore any signs and question everything. Also always go with your gut instincts. I hope everything works out for you and your daughter.

Jackie - posted on 01/26/2011

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Haha, I hear you. But until they can communicate well with you it's easy to let your mind run away with your thoughts. But when asked the right questions it's amazing what toddlers will blurt out...I'd def. go that route.

Selina - posted on 01/26/2011

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Thanks Jackie!!!! This is starting to put my mind at ease. It's so hard to drop her off when she always says, "I go home". It's too cute but somebody has to pays the bills around here!

Jackie - posted on 01/26/2011

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That could be the case...and if it's one of the sitters kid she may not be totally up front about that. I would maybe try and ask some leading questions to your child to see if you can pull that out. Just like did you play with so and so today, was it fun? Or do you like the new girl x?

Selina - posted on 01/26/2011

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The sitter will normally tell me how her day went. She always that she cries for like 10 minutes & then totally forgets that I was even there. Now I know she has had some "issues" before with other kids. The sitter is a foster mom also so she will at times have other kids in the house. Well the last group of kids were kinda mean to my little one. But she didn't back down, she stood up for herself. The mister thinks that she is being picked on by another kid.

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