2 yo says she doesn't want to go...everyone is telling me to make her go anyway. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 04-07-2010, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So my 23 month old daughter is normally loves to "pay" with other kids. I, unfortunately, got out of my routine of going to the YMCA to work out and only recently returned. As in, last week. DD seemed excited to be back playing with kids and having new experiences. Then, this past Monday, I took her in so I could catch a pilates class and as we walked in, she told me she was hungry. I asked her if she wanted to play for a while and then go eat and she said no. So I tried to color with her for a bit and then go. She seemed okay, and then as soon as I got to the door, the crying started. So we ended up going to eat and play at the museum instead. Yesterday was a no go since she took her nap about the time of class. Then this morning, I was getting us both ready to head to the Y and asked, "Are you ready to go play? Wanna play with the kids?" "No." So I left it alone for a while and then asked about 5 minutes before we left and same response.

So I posted on facebook that I wasn't going to make it so my friend, the pilates instructor, would know I wasn't blowing her off. This has gotten me a few comments from friends and family that I am just supposed to make her go anyway. I really don't want to invite any separation anxiety by leaving her when she doesn't understand. I was hoping some more like-minded momma's might have some ideas or words of wisdom for me.
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#2 of 26 Old 04-07-2010, 03:31 PM
 
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My DD, after one great class i was sooooo pleased about, and one terrible class where she cried on and off for the whole hour (which was agony for us both), has decided not to go dancing anymore. She's 4. I'm not about to make her. I guess for us some things are negotiable and some are not and this is in the former category. There are also people who think you have to let a baby cry alone to "make it" learn to self-settle....it's ok to ignore advice you don't agree with
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#3 of 26 Old 04-07-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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I can understand that. I don't have any great ideas, though. At age 2, it will be very difficult for her to really communicate any issues to you. My very verbal 4 year old had difficulty communicating to us why she didn't want to go to preschool (which she decided she wanted to go to, and then loved for the first few weeks). We wanted to know so we can address the problem, whatever it was. The story kept changing and often didn't make sense. After a couple weeks of that, we decided that we didn't need to solve it, preschool was supposed to be fun and for whatever reason it wasn't fun, so we pulled her out.

Obviously a lot of people thought we were crazy for doing that... you know, the usual stuff. She'll never learn to stick with things or work out problems. Well, I don't believe that DD is going to grow up completely unable to work out issues just because at age 4 she couldn't deal with something all by herself. A 4 year old (and certainly a 2 year old) needs help to handle problems, deal with fears, whatever.

It sounds like it's not a big deal for her to stop going. It would change the issue if it were daycare for a job you had to work, for example. But when the point is fun for her (and, sure, maybe a break for you too but apparently one you're not that set on having?) then there really isn't any reason to force it. Most people feel like "if you don't force it, she'll never be flexible and never learn to deal with anything." I don't agree, I think forcing a 2 year old to deal with something she can't deal with will make her inflexible and unable to deal with things later. Yes, kids need to deal with stuff, but as appropriate to their age and maturity. Throwing a kid who can't swim into the water will make them... drown.

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#4 of 26 Old 04-07-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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DS4 is a little younger but I go 1 or 2 x a week to the Y. He does NOT like to be left but I am with him 24/7. I really really need an hour or 2 by my self and the ladies in the child care know what his level of up set is. He always crys when I hand him over but his "favorite" caregiver can usually settle him down. If not they give it a bit and come get me. 90% of the time when I return he is happily running around with the other children I always send his favorite snack and drink ( the ONLY time he gets 50% juice).
For me it makes me a better mom if I can get some exersize in and I know he has fun ( Ive sttod and watch him through the glass).

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#5 of 26 Old 04-07-2010, 04:07 PM
 
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My dd is 2 and in a stage where she protests my leaving her at both the gym child care and church nursery. This is a pretty recent development as before she was happy to go and would smile and wave bye-bye to me.

It's not a major freak out, just a bit of fussing and clinging to me. I kiss her and say, "I love you! Have fun and I'll see you soon." and hand her to the care giver. She stops crying, usually before I'm out the door and is always happy and playing when I get back. The care givers have instructions to cal me if she's not calming down pretty quickly and I know she is safe and not afraid so I have no problem leaving her.

Of course YMMV, but I'd try leaving you LO once in a place where you're comfortable that she could have fun and trust the workers to get you if it's not working.

Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.

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#6 of 26 Old 04-07-2010, 04:49 PM
 
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I say go with your gut.

PPs have said that their child was okay within a few minutes of momma running out the door and saying "bye"... I would love it if my DS was like that. He is sensitive and it would literally traumatize him if I did that to him.

Each child is different, YKWIM? And each child goes through different stages. Maybe some time in the future I will be able to leave DS and just say "bye", but right now he's not there. It won't last forever.

And what your facebook friends don't realize is that YOU are the only one who knows your child well enough to make that decision.

Wife to - Mama to DS 6/08 and DS 9/11
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#7 of 26 Old 04-07-2010, 09:06 PM
 
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I just don't know if I would take a 23mo's "no" as meaning that she really doesn't want to go. My DD likes to say no to everything - including if she would like a pony, or a car for her 16th birthday. LOL.

My 21mo is also starting to go through a bit of separation anxiety. She is with DF or me (95% me) 24/7 with the exception of the church nursery, and a 90 minute class we do together once a week and we leave her with a sitter. Neither experience is important for her at this stage, but it is important for us, so we do it. I find it best if I get her busy with some toys and then give her a quick kiss and leave.

So do I think you should make her go? Not necessarily. I don't think there is really anything all that important going on in a gym childcare that it would be a shame for her to miss. But if the pilates class is important to you I would definitely give it another go.

Wife to DH (06/10) and Mummy to DD (07/08).

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#8 of 26 Old 04-07-2010, 09:17 PM
 
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If she said she didn't want to go have her broken arm set, or her rotten tooth fixed, or to daycare so you can work to support her, then I'd say, sure, you have to make her go even if she doesn't want to. But at 23 months, lots of kids have trouble separating from parents, and don't enjoy group settings with lots of other kids, and feel socially shy. Especially if the instructor changes or the kids aren't always the same kids. If the pilates class is really important to you, I think it's a good idea to see if you can give it another go, and maybe see if she calms down quickly once you're gone, but I think it's preposterous to think that she's going to be held back socially for the rest of her life over something she didn't enjoy at 2 years old. So if you feel like it's better not to force the issue, I would say that sounds just about right to me.

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#9 of 26 Old 04-07-2010, 09:31 PM
 
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DS4 is a little younger but I go 1 or 2 x a week to the Y. He does NOT like to be left but I am with him 24/7. I really really need an hour or 2 by my self and the ladies in the child care know what his level of up set is. He always crys when I hand him over but his "favorite" caregiver can usually settle him down. If not they give it a bit and come get me. 90% of the time when I return he is happily running around with the other children I always send his favorite snack and drink ( the ONLY time he gets 50% juice).
For me it makes me a better mom if I can get some exersize in and I know he has fun ( Ive sttod and watch him through the glass).
I feel the same way in my real need (I don't think it's just a want) for time to take care of myself through exercise by myself. DD doesn't like being without me, and our gym daycare isn't great. She also isn't a big fan of preschool (2 mornings a week for about 2 hours) but the care and attention there is fantastic and I feel ok having her go there, even if drop off is hard. I guess I'm just trying to balance our needs so I can take care of myself well enough to take care of her. We decline a lot of things if she really doesn't want to go, but I really need even just a couple hours of time each week for myself. I feel sad when I know she doesn't want to see me go, but I feel like I'm doing the best I can.

Mama to DD (06/30/07).
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#10 of 26 Old 04-07-2010, 10:09 PM
 
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I'm another who votes leave her and see how it goes. Tell the staff if she is super upset to come get you but otherwise, see if she'll calm down. You really won't know until you try and see how it goes... My DS1 was the same way at that age, even if we were leaving him with grandpa/grandma or somebody else he knew really well - he was super upset for about the first 5-10 minutes, and then he was fine. If its something that you feel like you really want/need to do to make you a better mom, just take her. Some folks I know didn't show up to playgroup for months cause' their dd/ds "didn't want to come" DS1 tells me this occasionally, we go anyways and he has a blast.
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#11 of 26 Old 04-08-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
I can understand that. I don't have any great ideas, though. At age 2, it will be very difficult for her to really communicate any issues to you. My very verbal 4 year old had difficulty communicating to us why she didn't want to go to preschool (which she decided she wanted to go to, and then loved for the first few weeks). We wanted to know so we can address the problem, whatever it was. The story kept changing and often didn't make sense. After a couple weeks of that, we decided that we didn't need to solve it, preschool was supposed to be fun and for whatever reason it wasn't fun, so we pulled her out.

Obviously a lot of people thought we were crazy for doing that... you know, the usual stuff. She'll never learn to stick with things or work out problems. Well, I don't believe that DD is going to grow up completely unable to work out issues just because at age 4 she couldn't deal with something all by herself. A 4 year old (and certainly a 2 year old) needs help to handle problems, deal with fears, whatever.

It sounds like it's not a big deal for her to stop going. It would change the issue if it were daycare for a job you had to work, for example. But when the point is fun for her (and, sure, maybe a break for you too but apparently one you're not that set on having?) then there really isn't any reason to force it. Most people feel like "if you don't force it, she'll never be flexible and never learn to deal with anything." I don't agree, I think forcing a 2 year old to deal with something she can't deal with will make her inflexible and unable to deal with things later. Yes, kids need to deal with stuff, but as appropriate to their age and maturity. Throwing a kid who can't swim into the water will make them... drown.
I just want to tell you that your post really resonated with me and articulated something i feel deep down which has been tough for me to articulate. Because DD is 4 there have been a lot of comments about cutting apron strings which i'm not loving, but feel a bit defenceless against - i have friends who HAD to put their kids into nursery school and those kids cried at first and those parents are i think a bit baffled and maybe even feeling a bit judged by my choice to keep DD at home with me until "big" school next summer and my reluctance to make her do things she's not able to handle yet. I just feel that i am home anyway, we have the luxury of choice, and this is working for us. I might PM you in moments of weakness! Thank you SO much for posting this. x
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#12 of 26 Old 04-08-2010, 07:46 PM
 
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I think it depends on how important/necessary the exercise time is for you, and how she actually acts once she's there. Does she really not like being there? I've found that my DD often thinks mostly of what she wants to do right this minute. And right this minute she might prefer playing at home. But that doesn't mean she wouldn't also enjoy the gym daycare when she got there.

And honestly, if I asked her before we went anywhere, we would never leave the house. Because what's right here is always more entertaining than, say, the grocery store or the bank. Am I going to stop going to the grocery store because DD doesn't want to ride in the cart right now? Not exactly. Riding in the cart isn't as fun as playing, but it's not exactly a form of torture, either.

So anyhow. I think it's up to you to decide how much you're going to let her opinion of the moment sway your decisions. At that age, I know my DD did have separation anxiety if left anywhere, and so we avoided leaving her places. But I wouldn't necessarily base my decision on her just saying "no". I'd base it on how I expected her to handle actually being there once she got there. Since I didn't see you say your DD actually gets upset or distraught to be left, and it sounds like she enjoys playing, I'd probably just say it was time to go to the gym and play because realistically, my need for exercise would outweigh her desire to stay home.

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#13 of 26 Old 04-09-2010, 02:47 AM
 
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If my Dd2 said that she didn't want to go but didn't cry at drop off and was happily playing when I returned I may continue to go. But if she said no, cried at drop off and was clearly no having fun I would listen to her and not make her go. I would try every month or so to see if the phase has ended.

I may be told that is wrong by people, but I think my children should get a opinion on what happens to them, just like when they are mad and tell me not to try and hug them I respect that and leave them alone. I think what you did is fine.

~Katie~ married to J, mom to DD- A 13 yrs ,DS- L 7yrs , and my little nursling DD2- R 5yrs.

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#14 of 26 Old 04-09-2010, 04:22 AM
 
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It also depends on what her "no" means. I've learned that when DD says "no" to something, she really means it. And I trust that and respect that.

But I've also had kids say "no" all the time, or randomly, or for reasons other than what the caregiver thinks, etc.

If my daughter gave me a sincere no, I might try a test and distraction. Still no? I would really trust that.

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#15 of 26 Old 04-09-2010, 11:41 AM
 
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I agree - how serious is your daughter about saying no? I don't mean, is she forceful - does she say "no" to you a lot to get her way, or does she really mean "please please please mommy don't leave"? I have one kid of each. Neither is "bad" but one says no to everything even if she's OK with it, the other mostly if there's something big (in his eyes) that needs to not happen.

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#16 of 26 Old 04-09-2010, 04:06 PM
 
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I agree with some others about the ambiguity of saying "no." there are two scenarios-- one where you ask if she is ready to leave the house, and the other where you leave her at the Y. my son NEVER wants to leave the house--I always have to trick him into leaving, then when we get where we're going, he never wants to go home.

So if I were in your situation, I would ignore the "no" at home and get her out of the house, then feel out the situation once you get the Y. You risk getting ready to work-out only to have to abort the mission once you get there, but then at least she'll know what she's really saying no to!
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#17 of 26 Old 04-09-2010, 07:24 PM
 
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You know what, my DS is only 14mos and for a while everyone kept telling me DH & I needed to try going out on our own occasionally, DS would be fine with a family member, etc. My gut told me no but he was getting really attached to my sister (who was about to move across the country) so right before she left (several weeks ago), we gave it a shot. We were only gone an hour & DS was so miserable the whole time, my sister even called as we were heading home because he just wouldn't settle. Some people's kids might calm down fine after a few minutes but my DS wasn't/isn't one of them and I do not feel comfortable pushing him on this, and I feel bad I didn't just trust my instincts. So I say go with your gut. If she's saying no because she really doesn't want to, I wouldn't force her (maybe find another time to go to the gym, perhaps when DH is home or something?) But if you think she might just be getting a kick out of saying "no," or she doesn't know what she's saying no to, or that she might enjoy it once she's there, I'd get her there & see how she reacts, telling the staff to come get you if she's still unhappy after several minutes.

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#18 of 26 Old 04-09-2010, 07:43 PM
 
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Sigh. I quit the gym because my 28 mo old hated the childcare there.
However, she goes to preschool 2 times a wk, period. I warm her up with questions like "what are your school friends doing now, what will you play today?"
If I asked, she'd always say no. But afterwards she always says she has fun, and I peek and see a happy camper. Its just hard to say goodbye...
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#19 of 26 Old 04-10-2010, 01:51 AM
 
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I have a 17 mo. old who I do not take to our Y daycare for several reasons, one of which is I don't feel they're adequately staffed to watch him. In two ways--one is ratio of children to adults, the other is that I *rarely* see anyone over near the big slide equipment, which I know my little guy would go over to because his siblings would be on it! And he is not big enough to play on it safely.
I've witnessed a few scenarios that have affirmed my instinct.

The other reason is that I know he would not be happy staying without me.

My 5 and 3 year old however, are perfectly happy and beg to go. (And I don't have the same safety concerns for them--they are big enough to know things like "don't stand at the end of the slide" and won't get completely trampled by 'big kids.')

Right now I am struggling with how to go because even when I leave him here with my mom or his own daddy, he wanders looking for me and crying... (this is a new dev. one that I plan to experiment with to see if maybe the playground would be a good diversion, etc. I NEED to get out alone once in awhile!)

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#20 of 26 Old 04-10-2010, 02:09 AM
 
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here is what my v. articulate 3 year old told me.

mama i know you have to work. i know i have to stay here [dc]. but just because i have stopped crying doesnt mean i dont miss you and feel sad. my friend g when he sees me sad acts silly to make me happy.'

i did not have a choice. if i did she would definitely NOT be going to dc.

now at 7 though her memories are different. she remembers it as a place of fun and great times.

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#21 of 26 Old 04-10-2010, 02:13 AM
 
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In January I started leaving my son at the Y childcare. He was 25mos. The first time he was eager to play with the kids, but once he realized I wasn't there, he cried until they came and got me from my class.

The second time he cried as soon as we entered the room. I stayed, got him started coloring, and talked to the worker about how I sah and childcare is new for him. I told her that I want it to be a good experience for him, and that I trust her judgment in assessing whether or not she should come get me (she is an established, experienced worker--I could not have that conversation with the high school girls who work there.)

That particular worker engaged him and eased his transition (I kept tabs through the hallway window.) She made it work.

It's been four months now (I sah, I homeschool, I *need* the time by myself, I *need* to exercise for my mental health,) and while sometimes he's reluctant to go, he always settles down. He likes playing with the kids, he likes the toys, he likes several of the workers.

I say, if the workers are capable of engaging the kids--if the ratio is ok, if the workers are caring, if they are assertive/calm/confident enough to help a stressed out toddler, then just leave her and see if it works out. If the workers are inexperienced, if the ratios are too high for personal attention, if your dd is truly miserable, give it another six months.

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#22 of 26 Old 04-10-2010, 05:22 AM
 
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I believe what is referred to as "separation anxiety" exists for a reason. In mammals in the wild it is a protection mechanism designed to protect young from danger, particularly predators. Nowadays we do not generally have to worry about lions carrying off the young for a snack, but that need for proximity to parents is still very much hardwired in humans since our physiology has not changed much since those times. Our young may not be able to pinpoint why they do not want us to leave them, but they feel it very strongly. Their desire in this situation would be for a parent (preferably the lactating female) to remain in the room where the play with others happens so that they could bounce back to that safety at will. In this situation, you are desiring to go to the gym for some workout time, yet the child does not wish to be separated. Since it sounds like it is important to you to do this, as a compromise I would suggest leaving her with the father at home while you go to the gym. If that is not an option, I would suggest waiting until the child is ready for separation on her own, perhaps at 4 or 7 yo she would handle an hour or two away from you better. Also I would suggest something may have happened at that particular place that she did not like and so she does not want to go back there. Something as simple as needing to poopy and mom not being there, or bumping her body and wishing for comfort nursing and mommy not there. If we all wait to do separation on any level, nighttime, in other's care, out of arms even... it makes for stronger more self assured individuals- what the whole of AP is about IMO.

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#23 of 26 Old 11-19-2010, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! I want to thank everyone that replied to this post.  I didn't realize I had my notifications turned off and when I never really got a notice in my inbox, I figured it had just gone unnoticed. lol.  We are now at 2 1/2 and she is back to enjoying group time with kids at our new gym.  We just went through one of those phases.  As someone with a LOT of diversity in the friends that are on my facebook page, I get a lot of support and a lot of crud, too.  Unfortunately, our time out of the gym resulted in several pounds on my hiney that need to get gone, now. :)  Thanks again to all who replied and I'm sorry i didn't see this earlier.  (Yes, I have been away from MDC since then. I know, I know, bad momma. lol)

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#24 of 26 Old 11-20-2010, 11:34 AM
 
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In total agreement with this.  My MO is never to ask a toddler a question unless I am prepared to deal with whatever answer might come my way AND be okay with it.  Instead of asking if he wants to go, I give my son a heads up that we're about to do something new or different (letting him finish what he is doing if it'll only be a few minutes) and then really play it up as something exciting.  98% of the time it works and he is ready to run out the door before I am, LOL!  I do ask yes or no questions but those are mostly regarding food and drink, that kind of stuff.

 

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Originally Posted by Aufilia View Post

I think it depends on how important/necessary the exercise time is for you, and how she actually acts once she's there. Does she really not like being there? I've found that my DD often thinks mostly of what she wants to do right this minute. And right this minute she might prefer playing at home. But that doesn't mean she wouldn't also enjoy the gym daycare when she got there.

And honestly, if I asked her before we went anywhere, we would never leave the house. Because what's right here is always more entertaining than, say, the grocery store or the bank. Am I going to stop going to the grocery store because DD doesn't want to ride in the cart right now? Not exactly. Riding in the cart isn't as fun as playing, but it's not exactly a form of torture, either.

So anyhow. I think it's up to you to decide how much you're going to let her opinion of the moment sway your decisions. At that age, I know my DD did have separation anxiety if left anywhere, and so we avoided leaving her places. But I wouldn't necessarily base my decision on her just saying "no". I'd base it on how I expected her to handle actually being there once she got there. Since I didn't see you say your DD actually gets upset or distraught to be left, and it sounds like she enjoys playing, I'd probably just say it was time to go to the gym and play because realistically, my need for exercise would outweigh her desire to stay home.


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#25 of 26 Old 11-20-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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Do they have a TV monitor you can watch her on, or one-way glass so you can check on her?  If so, I'd try dropping her off and then watching instead of going to class, if it were my son.  I'd need to see for myself whether he calmed down or not.  The reason is, you can' always trust that people will call or come get you, even when you tell them that you do want to be interrpted to come back if the child won't settle. 

 

My 14 month old  and my 5 yo ds have been dropped off 3 times with their grandmother.  The baby did really well twice, and the 3rd time he was too tired and we shouldn't have gone.  But since it had gone well 2 times, we thought he might be OK.  We told Grandma and her sister and various cousins who were there to call us if he didn't stop crying.  We even texted them several times in the first half hour.  Nobody told us to come back. When our movie was over and we went to pick them up, we found out that he never did settle.  He wailed for 1/2 hour straight, and then was in tears repeatedly for 2.5 hours.  It was just a movie, we'd made it clear we wanted to know if he was still crying.  I wish I could have chcked on him... note to self, install hidden camera in MIL's house. lol 


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#26 of 26 Old 11-20-2010, 01:11 PM
 
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If it were me, I'd probably do what mamadelbosque suggested, and go there, let her play around with me in the room (go early) and then ask her, "Do you want to stay here or go home?"

 

If she says, "Stay here," then tell her, "I need to go to a class but I'll be back soon.  Okay?"  If she says okay, then it probably really is okay.  If she freaks out, then it's probably separation anxiety and not a transition thing, and you could either stay longer and try again, or just go home.  But I think that would be a better judge of how she feels.

 

Lots of kids don't like to leave the house at that age, and they don't understand that if they want to go 30 minutes later or next week, they can't just up and go.  (Wouldn't that be nice, LOL!)


It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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