Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bye Zack! Zack?? BYE!!!!

As many of you know, I have been babysitting at church lately to make some extra money. I have been babysitting for a long time and one thing I have observed, and noticed A LOT lately, is the “I miss my Mommy syndrome.” Some children have a harder time leaving their mom or dad for the 2 hours I have them, but the problem isn’t with the clingy child. Let me set up a scenario for you.
The parent brings the child into the church classroom. The child whines “No Mommy, NOOOO” The parent makes an attempt to ease the child into a comfortable state (well…comfortable enough for them to be able to leave the classroom). I finally distract the child with a toy or another friend. The parent seems to be “sneaking” out of the classroom, when ALL OF A SUDDEN “Bye Zack! Zack?? BYE!!!” My immediate response is “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”
I believe the parent does this for one of two reasons:
1. He/She wants to avoid the child spiraling into hysteria when they realize their parent is no longer in the room. They feel it would be better to risk having them cry as they leave for the good of the situation. Even though they are WRONG, at least they have good intentions.
2. He/She feel LOVED when the child screams and cries for them as they leave. They are happy that the child feels like they cannot be away from their parent for two seconds without losing all function. Now this is a HUGE problem.
The problem with the second reason is the parent is thinking only of themselves and their feelings, instead of their child’s temporary happiness. OH WELL…..I know that this will never change, so I guess I will have to deal.


  1. This is a very common syndrome. When my Mother ran a home daycare she had a rule that parent's weren't allowed to say goodbye to their kids if they had this problem. She would make them sneak out. Too bad you can't enforce rules on adults too.

  2. When Chris and I kept nursery, we had an issue with some parents wanting to peek in ... and of course, their child always saw them at the door and always started crying which started the other kids crying. I had a firm rule that no parents were allowed to "peek in". I threatened to quit volunteering over that issue.