The parents who participated in the Dinner On Us program, which occurred on Monday, April 8, 2013 were asked to leave their children with lead teacher, Erika Loper, and nine student volunteers while they attended a workshop, put on by the Office of Family Resources. Each family had a different method of preparing their child for an hour and a half of separation.
Below, are the three most effective methods to prepare your child for your departure, according to my observation of the participating families.
“Mom and Dad will be just down the hall, and seeing you soon,” exclaimed an excited parent.
Their daughter, who appeared to be about two years old, looked up at her parents with wide brown eyes, and then, walked away. Their plans were of no concern to this young girl as she gathered herself to play with the other children. Her parents proceeded to leave the room without concern. When they came back, an hour and half, they found a happy, healthy, and sleepy little girl, who was ready to go home to bed.
“You’re going to have so much fun! You’ll get to play with all of these toys and the girls while Mommy is gone. I love you and I’ll be back soon,” said another mother with a grin on her face.
Though her daughter did not seem old enough to understand. The mother’s reassurance to herself, that leaving her daughter was okay, seemed to be enough. Her daughter cheerfully grabbed hold of a grey and red car, sending it careening down a Lego coaster, and failing to notice that her mother had left.
“You have to be good. Okay? I’ll see you at seven,” said another Mom.
While a less encouraging approach than her peers, this mothers words stuck. Her three daughters sat quietly for an hour and a half at a children’s table. They played with Play-Dough, puzzles, and books without making a fuss. This Mom showed us that sometimes, the direct approach is best!
And, that perhaps, mother does know best!