isnt it a bit selfish to say goodbye to a child with seperation anxiety?

There are so many parents that insist on showing there children that they are leaving when the child ends up crying uncontrollably when they see mommy/daddy leave. I think its a bit selfish to show them you are leaving, istead you play and get them involved in something else and leave as they are already distracted. Itll break my heart but I think it is so much better for baby/toddler. What do you think?


I agree with a lot of answers, I would never want to make my kid think that i was lying, I will say I will be leaving and they will know that I am going, just to see me leave is when I think it gets hard. My son still doesnt even understand what goodbye means so I sneak a big kiss and hug and its hard for me, then I get him distracted and go... easier for him

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I had the same problem with my oldest, and now my youngest. My oldest is 3 now, and she just asks for a hug and kiss before i leave, but my 2 year old is a different story. I agree with you - I try to put her down, one of her teachers gets her intersted in playing with something, and I sneak away.

    I don't like to leave without giving my kids a hug and kiss, so before I put my 2 year old down to start playing, i just give her a hug and kiss, but I don't say goodbye, or that I'm leaving. She just thinks it's just another hug and kiss. I know that people think the kids should get over their anxiety, but once the parent is gone, the child realizes it, and they just kind of know that they will be back later to pick them up. I think insisting on making a production of leavng just makes it harder for the parent, child, and teachers.

    I've seen some parents at my daughters' daycare say goodbye to their kids, and if the kids don't respond, or just give a little wave, they keep pushing and saying that they're leaving until the child starts crying and carrying on. I just want to slap them! I'm really beginning to think that some parents need to hear their child cry for them just to make sure that their child still loves them. It's really sad.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have four children, I have lived such scenes many times, and I have always found them painful yes.


    But all child psychologists say that it is better to make it clear that you are leaving, rather than try to sneak out. Because at least you will not be cheating, which would be another bad thing on top of leaving.

    In my experience, the separation anxiety phase doesn't last long. Basically, according to child psychologists including the first one of them (Piaget), this phase happens at the time when the child starts realising that we, the parents, are not just images appearing from time to time in his or her field of vision, but that we are independent beings, following our own will. Which means that yes, there are times when we will leave.

    Again in my experience, if you're very clear about when you're leaving, and when you're back, then at least the child will TRUST you. So pretty soon he/she will understand that yes, you do leave at times, but that you say that you will be back and you always keep that promise. So after a while the separation anxiety will go away.

    hope this helps, and good luck


  • Lisa
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I dont know if its selfish. Some parents can't help it even when they try to distract them the child knows they are leaving. My 3 month old is perfect on the weekends when I'm home with him. In the evenings after work he tends to be more clingy and fussy. Children get used to the routine of their life and dont' usually have to be told when its time for their parents to go. Often times after the parents leave and the distraction gets old, they go looking for their parents and then cry because they have left.

  • 1 decade ago

    You may be able to get the child involved in play for awhile but he will eventually go looking for the parent. When he can't find the parent he will start crying. It may seem selfish to say goodbye to the child but the child will get used to the parent leaving and know the parent will come back.

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  • Velken
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I prefer to sneak off when they get busy. But one of my children had a teacher that refused to allow parents to do that. She wanted the child to adjust to saying bye and knowing the parents would be back later to pick him or her back up. So of course there were a few mornings that I had a clingy crying child, but it worked out ok. Keep in mind that this was a teacher of kids that could already walk and talk.

  • 1 decade ago

    I agree with you totally. I have a 9 yr old little man and he still has seperation issues...I never still to this day, take him to school or anyplace and say Good Bye...he tells me "Mom" just say you love me....if you say Good Bye, it makes me sad and think that I might not see you again. We do see a therapist and its getting better. Its hard on me too, letting him go. Knowing he is worried about me.

  • 1 decade ago

    I disagree. It's better to get over their anxiety, even if they cry for a while. It'll make it easier in the long run, when they start school.

    Source(s): that's what my parents did a number of years ago
  • 1 decade ago

    you're right but there are moments/days when it's a bit hard to do that!

  • 1 decade ago

    I agree with you.

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