Saying goodbye can be just as hard (if not harder) for parents as it is for children. Goodbyes are a very important part of the process in helping children feel safe and confident when they’re apart from Mom and Dad.

1. Spend some time with the baby sitter and your child before you leave for the first time, so that your child knows that you trust this baby sitter.

2. Say goodbye to your child every time you leave, even if your child is busy playing.

3. Keep it short and sweet – drawn-out goodbyes are hard on everyone.

4. Tell your child (no matter how old) that you are leaving and when you will be back.

5. Remind your child that the baby sitter will be caring for her.

6. Establish a goodbye routine, such as a big hug and kiss or a last goodbye from a window.

7. Communicate clearly with the baby sitter about ways to help your child separate from Mom and Dad.

8. Encourage your child to hold something special, such as a soft blanket or toy, to comfort herself as she is saying goodbye.

9. Keep photos of Mom, Dad and others around for her to gaze at when she is missing the family.

10. Ask about her day and encourage her to talk about her feelings when you come home.

11. Keep in mind, strategies for successful goodbyes that work with one child may not work with another.

12. Remember, your child can sense your stress. Trust your instincts and try to say goodbye with confidence and love.

Read to your child from a book that tells about another child spending time with a baby sitter, to help her cope with feelings of anxiety about separating.


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