Leaving your 3-4 year old crying at preschool - Isn't it the same as Crying It Out? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 95 Old 09-13-2013, 11:26 AM
 
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No. The same reason CIO is bad for infants, increased cortisol, changes in the brain, learned helplessness etc... Don't change just because a child is now a bit older.
Put yourself in the child's place. Your partner drops you off somewhere and you ask them to stay with you, maybe even run after the car shouting, "wait!" and they drive away saying its for your own good and you'll have lots of fun with the nice people who aren't them?
Personally my kids didn't cry at preschool at least at first because they had secure attachments and it wasn't a problem. My second child did get clingy about 1/2 way through the second year. We simply stayed in the classroom with him until he was secure enough to let us leave. My husband once stayed 45 minutes before our son was okay to stay alone. Yes, he was late to work. Our children our young for such a short time. We choose to make them a priority.
And yes the teacher kept trying to shoo us out telling us it was okay if he cried. We simply stated we weren't okay with that and then ignored any further suggestions.
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#62 of 95 Old 09-13-2013, 11:31 AM
 
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Good for you to recognize that staying until he was ready for you to go fosters security as opposed to forced acceptance.
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Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

My 2yo (now 5 and happily attending kindergarten)  cried when i tried to leave him at a 2hour preschool/playgroup. Fortunately parents were allowed to stay, and i did, until he said to me 'Mommy get coffee', in other words-get out of here mom, i dont  need you anymore!

I dislike places that force parents to leave...most do.

I know its hard in this modern busy 'gotta-earn-a-living-and-leave-my-baby-behind' world of ours, but our children feel pain when separated from their primary caregiver-they feel pain, they cry, and its that simple.

Leaving the child to cry, whether with a caring adult or not, is saying 'this big adult world takes precedence over your big feelings kid, get used to it.'  In that respect, it is like CIO.
It differs in other obvious respects.

Even after only 2 hours my son would say that his favorite part of the day was when i picked him up.
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#63 of 95 Old 09-13-2013, 12:03 PM
 
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No. The same reason CIO is bad for infants, increased cortisol, changes in the brain, learned helplessness etc... Don't change just because a child is now a bit older.

Except you really can't compare the two at all. A child left to CIO is alone in their crib with no one to offer comfort. A child crying after being dropped off at school is surrounded by caregivers, teachers, peers, etc. to offer comfort and distraction. If all crying had all of those awful effects on a child then why aren't people more concerned about colicky babies.
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#64 of 95 Old 09-13-2013, 12:10 PM
 
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This is really individual.  How much do you trust the teachers and parents at the preschool?  Does your child have experience being left with other people in their lives?  What is your childs temperment and what is your anxiety level?

I am okay leaving my children with people I trust even if it is something they do not want to do.  Children express their feelings by crying, sometimes quite dramatically.  Sometimes my kids cry when I leave them with their dad or grandparents.  But I am showing my children that I trust these people and that I trust that they can be given good care by other people in the world.  I am the primary caregiver, but being the only caregiver could send a message that the world is too scary and dangerous for me to leave you.  It is okay for a preschool aged child to be somewhat scared or disappointed and find comfort for that in someone other than mom.

I am not talking about a child with a crazy level of anxiety freaking out for hours.  That would be a special case.  I have seen parents so untrusting of the preschool that they stayed with their child for almost the full year because they did not want their child to feel abandoned.  That is extreme to me, and appeared to send the message that the child would in fact not be okay if left in the care of the community of the preschool.  

I think it is really beautiful to see a child work through their feelings with help from the community and find their place independent of their parents.  Their is so much joy and so many experiences to be had with a wider community that you trust.  

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#65 of 95 Old 09-13-2013, 12:37 PM
 
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No. The same reason CIO is bad for infants, increased cortisol, changes in the brain, learned helplessness etc... Don't change just because a child is now a bit older.
Put yourself in the child's place. Your partner drops you off somewhere and you ask them to stay with you, maybe even run after the car shouting, "wait!" and they drive away saying its for your own good and you'll have lots of fun with the nice people who aren't them?

??? This makes no sense. Not even apples and oranges here. CIO is an infant, alone, in a crib, or whatever. Daycare is sitting on an adults lap, getting hugs, reading a book or whatever. 

 

The scenario you present is ridiculous. If you tell your DH to stay and he has to go to work, and you have a valid reason, say a death in the family, then of course he would stay. But if you want him to stay for no reason, or because you don't know, or you just feel like it... then either he is fully justified in leaving or he plays hooky with you.

 

My kids would cry, even if I overstayed, but as I walked down the hall I could hear them stop. This was maybe 5-10 seconds. They were over it before I was out the door. If I had stayed, they would still be crying. 

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#66 of 95 Old 09-13-2013, 09:29 PM
 
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FWIW, my kids do the crying till I'm out the door thing sometimes with daycare.  Sometimes they run after me.  They do the exact same thing sometimes with the nanny, their grandparents, and their dad, all of whom the kids claim to love and have fun with.  The nanny frequently texts me pictures of my kids smiling, laughing and having fun.  There's occasional video.  I feel confident that they are not suffering the whole time.  (They also cry when I say that the only available drinks are milk and water, and they can't drink red juice even if we have it left over from a party.  They cry sometimes when I make them brush their teeth, or when we don't have maple syrup, or when, on a Monday morning when I have early meetings, I won't make waffles.  Carseats, turning off the television, and subtraction practice are other frequent occasions for tears.  Once, DS threw a fit because, after he disobeyed a lifeguard at after school care, he was banned from the pool for a week and had to choose between homework, free play and floor hockey. 

 

Not all crying is created equal, basically.  In a 3-4 year-old child, it's reasonable for a parent to make an informed assessment of the child and the situation, and a lot of those assessments will end up at "yeah, you'll be fine."  You have to distinguish between the maple syrup and floor hockey agonies and the real problems - partly to keep your sanity, and partly as a way of teaching your kid to distinguish between maple syrup and floor hockey and real problems.  Every study I've seen on cortisol and crying involves kids in abusive situations.  I think there's a fair argument to be made that we do teach our kids something by behaving as though we believe in their ability to cope with minor day to day stresses, like having to leave Mom for Miss Kathy, who has hugged you hello, admired your outfit, and supplied you with toys, art supplies, snacks, water, books, and the benefit of her incredible patience every day for the past six months, whether you cried at drop off or not.

 

If you're going to try daycare, I think you owe the situation a few decent tries at just leaving.  When you stay because your kid is crying you (a) teach your kid to keep you there by crying, guaranteeing more crying, (b) make it hard for the teachers to demonstrate to your kid that they can be comforting, because you're right there, trying to comfort your child, (c) kind of screw it up for parents who genuinely need to leave, whose kids are going to be asking them why a friend's mommy stays when they can't (I don't know why Madison's mommy stays for circle time, honey, but I bring you to daycare so you can have fun while I'm at work and my shift starts at eight, so we just do kisses), and (d) set the expectation for your kid that daycare or preschool is a situation that you are in together, which sets your kid up for misunderstandings down the road.

 

Some kids really do need more help, and slower transitions.  If just leaving doesn't work, then other strategies need to be considered (and I agree the DCP shouldn't lie to parents about it).  But the daycare teachers, in my experience, are right about most kids.  The crying is brief, and temporary, and there are resources right there for everything the kid needs, including emotional support and adult assistance.

 

I try to be really clear about when I'm leaving, so that we can prepare.  The hugs and kisses and getting each kid set up with something fun to do and all the things they need can totally happen, but when I have to leave, I have to leave.  These transitions can be tough.  But I've been through a ton of medical crap, and daycare, nanny, grandparents and dad have been rocks for the kids when I haven't been able to care for them.  The relationship my kids have with the DCP has been vital to their well-being, and given me a ton of peace of mind, and the transitional crying at drop off absolutely pales in comparison to the value of the routine and support available to my kids at daycare.

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#67 of 95 Old 09-14-2013, 04:15 AM
 
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Well said Meepy Cat. Not all crying is created equal. Furthermore, not all crying is bad. I think moms who practice AP can easily get hooked into solving all their child's sadnesses and disappointments through their physical presence and their wish to make the hurt go away. A normal motherly impulse but one that may not really prepare children to actually deal with anything that is challenging.

 

One of the best gifts my homebirth midwives gave me, was the awareness an author named Aletha Solter. And they lent me The Aware Baby, her book. Aletha is a strong attachment advocate and wise professional who states very convincingly in her books The Aware Baby and Tears and Tantrums, that babies and children NEED to cry, with support. Too often we try to hush them and shush them and help them to move past what is causing their sadness. Supported crying about genuine challenges and disappointments is a vital skill and teaches the child (and even the baby, with support) that s/he can experience these strong feelings and then get to the other side of them. That with support, s/he is strong and capable and can express emotions freely. We used her approach with our children, never leaving them to cry, always supporting them or making sure they had the support from a trusted adult, to actually experience the feeling they were having. "Yes, I know it is hard when mommy leaves. You are sad! And Miss Joanne is going to help you with that and help you get settled. And you will be o.k. And I will be back just after snack time." 

 

I have known in the past children raised in AP homes in which they have never really had to face disappointment, or sadness, or anything really challenging. And when in the world they have to begin facing some of these things, it can cause them to fall apart. 

 

I also  want to point out, since we are in the Learning at School forum, that the topic here is preschool. I don't think it will help the thread if people get side tracked on whether day care is good or not. We are talking about structured preschool, usually part day, usually with experienced, nurturing teachers, accredited by national boards like NAEYC (if someone has done their homework.) I think we are assuming we are dropping off with qualified teachers that know child development inside and out and who understand the challenges of saying goodbye to mom or dad.  

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#68 of 95 Old 09-14-2013, 08:05 AM
 
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It's heartbreaking hearing your child cry like that, isn't it?  I've been hugging heartbroken moms all week, as they drop their crying kids off at my son's school.   I hug, because I've been there!  My son cried for the first 4 weeks, much longer than the average child.  Then I thought it might be related to tiredness.  We started putting him to bed far earlier than we thought he'd need, and within TWO DAYS he switched and decided he loved school! 

 

Don't underestimate how exhausting it can be for their brains to adjust to new routines and rules, their hearts to adjust to the separation, and their immune systems to adjust to the new bugs.  Early nights and mellow weekends can definitely help the transition.

 

My son just started full day kindergarten at that same school, and he loves it, but he definitely needs more sleep and more cuddles than usual!

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#69 of 95 Old 09-14-2013, 10:06 AM
 
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Kids will cry to express discomfort.  This is new, this is different, this is scary.  As long as there are caring adults ready to support them in the transition and in developing skills to deal with the change, this is an opportunity for them to learn and grow.  It's ok to be sad, it's ok to cry, and it's ok to be comforted by someone other than mom.  Then it's ok to run off and play!  This is part of how they will learn that they can handle the world.

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#70 of 95 Old 09-14-2013, 02:17 PM
 
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There are many,  many wise and caring replies here!   Thank you, everyone.  I also wish I'd thought to say what Mammarama said about the need for sleep--I'd like to repeat it for emphasis and say that her child is not the only one!   Even life's hardest challenges can be handled more easily when we get enough sleep (this goes for parents also) and sometimes it's so very hard to help our children get enough, or even to know what 'enough' is.    I've seen many many times how it can sometimes make the difference between a miserable or rebellious or fearful child, and a sunny, easy-going, resilient one.  (Not always, though!  Sometimes it works like magic, other times it doesn't.) 

 

I also wanted to affirm what someone figured out for herself (Sorry I can't greet you by name and give you a symbolic hug, but I'm not too skilled with the forums yet and am afraid I may lose my reply if I try to go back to read page 3 again!)---that it is most likely not her fault that her child is sensitive--some children are just born that way--and to remind you that this temperament has its own gifts, even though it's not as valued in our culture as it ought to be.    Hang in there, ignore the judgments  of "experts" and parents who haven't been there unless you find there's truth to their perspective when you reflect on it, and remember that these "over-sensitive" children are often the most compassionate, perceptive, wise, and wonderful children.  Don't try to make a violet into a gladiolus,  or let people blame you that s/he isn't one, just provide the best conditions you can to help your violet thrive.

 

It's good for kids to learn that they can be comforted by someone other than mom.  On the other hand, I've never seen any child damaged by not learning this until later on due to never having been left by mom, just so long as, when s/he DID feel ready to leave mom, s/he wasn't held back.   There is plenty of time, there is no rush.

 

I'm not wanting to make already-conscientious parents worry more about their children,  or to imply that we should always do anything it takes to help our children stop crying, but I do feel that nearly all crying (at least for some sensitive children) feels the same  inside the child and has the same effect of causing acute pain, raising cortisol levels, etc (though of course a three or four year old both has the basic sense of safety and trust built up over years so it won't necessarily have long-term ill effects, AND at that age can handle the pain and raised cortisol levels in a healthier manner than a newborn can.).  Just because, from our adult perspective, the crying is for an absurd reason, doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.  It's difficult but possible to find the balance, and say at the same time "I know, this is so hard" and also to say "you can handle it" (either now, if that's the choice you as the parent has decided is in the family's best interests concerning preschool, or at some point in the future if your choice is to wait until you feel you and they are ready to try it again.)  But do stay aware that, even though YOU trust that s/he's in a safe environment with caring people, s/he doesn't yet have any reason at all to believe this, especially if s/he is a sensitive or anxious child.  Have faith in them in two paradoxical ways at once---believe in their wisdom about themselves (they are not generally faking or trying to manipulate you), but also believe in their strength.

 

I also wanted to clarify a couple of things about some of the schools that I worked at.  Someone talked about "Cornflowerblue's school" and she probably just meant it like I meant it, a school that I worked at.  But I wouldn't want anyone to think that I'd allow a school that I was in charge of to have policies like that!  I also would like to say that, sadly, these kind of policies and attitudes still seem to be the case at the majority of preschools and daycares even nowadays, even otherwise good ones, and they are still being taught at teachers' colleges.  I would say these ideas are believed in 90 or 95 percent of the local preschools in my area,  and probably 80% or more of the family daycare homes, and I live in a very liberal, APing, extended breastfeeding, family bedding, baby-wearing, home birthing, homeschooling, psychologically sensitive kind of community.  If you have a child who moves into new environments easily, or one who cries only a little bit and then is happy, you may never become aware of these attitudes, but if you happen to have the unusual child for whom separating is truly agonizing, it will become clear to you.

 

 

I also wanted to both agree and disagree (in a friendly way) with the person who spoke of children who never experience pain or frustration and who turn our badly and unable to cope.  I DO believe that it's not our place as moms to shield our little ones from ALL pain and frustrations,  and my grown children and I have certainly at times been shocked by other mothers' overprotectiveness of their 16-25 year old children, but the thing is, it's natural to want to somewhat protect our children especially when they are small.  Even when they're adults, we WISH we could but only stop ourselves because we have faith in them and we know it would interfere with their ability to be fully human and alive and to grow from challenges.  And I believe it is a sad fact that life is challenging and frustrating and painful enough (in addition to being beautiful and joyous) for our children no matter what we do, so we don't need to go out of our way to make things hard on them now, when they are still so tender, in order to make things easier for them later on.  The more protected (within reason) they can be when they're young,  the stronger they will be as adults.    Even those parents who go overboard on the protectiveness, if the relationship is basically loving and respectful and healthy, generally raise kids who eventually grow up well; it just may take them a little longer and be more painful.    I have seen this again and again, but it's something our culture doesn't want us to believe.

 

Blessings on all of you as you try to make the best choices for your families.

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#71 of 95 Old 09-14-2013, 08:27 PM
 
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People aren't more concerned about colicky babies for the same reason no one was concerned about tobacco, or DES for years. Money. Where is the money to be made in telling parents they need to hold their child more or stop eating dairy?
I believe the latest studies show 50% of Americans taking anti-depressants.
Crying is a stressor. Stress has effects on the chemical and physical composition of the human body. Children crying is a "normal" situation in Westernized cultures, it is not a norm in other cultures. Yet, most psychology (and other) research uses almost exclusively Westerners as their only subjects.



are
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Except you really can't compare the two at all. A child left to CIO is alone in their crib with no one to offer comfort. A child crying after being dropped off at school is surrounded by caregivers, teachers, peers, etc. to offer comfort and distraction. If all crying had all of those awful effects on a child then why aren't people more concerned about colicky babies.[/quoar
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#72 of 95 Old 09-14-2013, 09:13 PM
 
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[quote name="Linda on the move" url="/community/t/1389451/leaving-your-3-4-year-old-crying-at-preschool-isnt-it-the-same-as-crying-it-

I don't think that leaving my child with another caring adult is leaving them to cry it out.
[/quote]

What if your husband really wanted to talk to 'you'? Would you think it's okay to say, sorry, but I'm going to leave you with this other really caring woman?
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#73 of 95 Old 09-14-2013, 10:48 PM
 
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What if your husband really wanted to talk to 'you'? Would you think it's okay to say, sorry, but I'm going to leave you with this other really caring woman?

 

I think that comparing a mother/child relationship to a spousal relationship shows a tremendous lack of understand of what emotional health looks like in EITHER relationship.

 

My husband is an adult. He can spend the whole day without me and not throw a fit.

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#74 of 95 Old 09-14-2013, 11:01 PM
 
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I think the op was referring to a situation where the child is new to the center and needs time to develop trust in the new caregiver not a situation where the child is just having a brief moment of needing support from a trusted caregiver at drop off time. Staying and supporting a trusting relationship with a new caregiver is a wonderful thing to do and should happen.

Once trust is established though it doesn't mean a minute of crying won't happen. Transitions can be emotional for children for several weeks and staying won't change that, the same child who cries when mom goes for a minute cries the same way when transitioning from breakfast to free choice and then to outside time, and even when mom comes to pick up. This is not the same as crying because of being scared about being left with new people or being scared about having to go home with the mother you know and I find it silly to say that all crying is the same.
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#75 of 95 Old 09-15-2013, 06:24 AM
 
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In what culture is it NOT a norm for babies and children to cry? I want to know. "Non-western" is insufficiently specific, because I know plenty of those in which infant and toddler crying is routine. Non-westernized" really doesnt help either. So name me one where it's not.

Colic is developmental, and for some babies, constant holding and maternal elimination diets do nothing. Colic appears at around 3 weeks and disappears around 12, no matter what parents do. Some colicky babies are comforted by swaddling and rocking, and some are helped by elimination diets, but mostly they're helped by getting to be three months old.

I don't know why so many people are on antidepressants, but if crying in early childhood were all of it, I'm amazed that massive depression didn't bring civilization to a grinding halt thousands of years ago.
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#76 of 95 Old 09-15-2013, 08:06 AM
 
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I think that comparing a mother/child relationship to a spousal relationship shows a tremendous lack of understand of what emotional health looks like in EITHER relationship.

My husband is an adult. He can spend the whole day without me and not throw a fit.
I didn't say anything about your husband throwing a fit. It's about respecting those you love. You would not walk away from your husband in his time of need. Why would you do so with your child?
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#77 of 95 Old 09-15-2013, 08:11 AM
 
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I didn't say anything about your husband throwing a fit. It's about respecting those you love. You would not walk away from your husband in his time of need. Why would you do so with your child?

A lot of people don't have a choice. They HAVE to go to work.

ETA: Or they have a job that they don't necessarily need but that they love. It's important for their happiness, which means in actuality they do "need" it.
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#78 of 95 Old 09-15-2013, 09:13 AM
 
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In what culture is it NOT a norm for babies and children to cry? I want to know. "Non-western" is insufficiently specific, because I know plenty of those in which infant and toddler crying is routine. Non-westernized" really doesnt help either. So name me one where it's not.

India to name one. there is a thread here about too much attachment, and their inlaws come into the bedroom to pick up the baby instead of letting it cry. a few other mothers married to indians had the same issue with their inlaws. 


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#79 of 95 Old 09-15-2013, 09:35 AM
 
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I think that comparing a mother/child relationship to a spousal relationship shows a tremendous lack of understand of what emotional health looks like in EITHER relationship.

 

My husband is an adult. He can spend the whole day without me and not throw a fit.

 

I wish I could like this post a hundred times.  

 

A parent's job is to support children in developing the skills they need to thrive in the culture they are growing up in.  When I live, a certain amount of individuationin adults is expected and necessary.  I support my kid in developing the skills she needs to separate from me and have her own feelings and boundaries.  For many families the separation is a necessary part of sustaining the family.  There are many gentle ways to accomplish this.  There are many ways to say "This is hard, I'm going to help you, I know you can do this."  Some of these ways do involve some crying, some of the time.  That's ok.  My goal is not to stop my child from feeling any discomfort ever, or from expressing any discomfort ever.  It's to empower her to know that I've got her back and she can handle it and that I support her in expressing her feelings and building her skills.  That way someday she can be a grown up who can handle it when her partner says, "Babe, I know this conversation is really important to you, but I cannot be late to this meeting.  Can we agree on a time to talk?"

 

But, you know, I also kind of view her pre-k as part of our "tribe."


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#80 of 95 Old 09-15-2013, 10:25 AM
 
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A lot of people don't have a choice. They HAVE to go to work.

ETA: Or they have a job that they don't necessarily need but that they love. It's important for their happiness, which means in actuality they do "need" it.

 

Or their child really needs preschool for reasons that are known to the parent, and that the child can't possibly understand due to chronological and developmental age. The child may also need to learn how to move forward from a sadness and a disappointment, because this is an important skill to learn. The parent may understand this; the child may not.

 

My teenagers each day tell me things that they think they need and cannot do without. They fuss and storm and I have to remain committed to the things that I know they need, with my greater wisdom and life experience. Teaching them how to handle this idea that I will not always do what they want me to, started in preschool. They may feel that their life will be over if they do not get handed the car keys. They may cry a lot. 

 
The world is full of people who believe that their needs supersede the needs of all others. There are even many husbands and wives that feel that their needs cannot possibly wait, that their partner should stop dead in their tracks and meet their needs, even when there may be some really practical reasons that the person cannot do that. It is part of learning reciprocity-----that all the needs of people in a family or community need to be held in tandem; that one person's in the moment need, does not always supersede everybody else's. 
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#81 of 95 Old 09-15-2013, 10:36 AM
 
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Meemee, is that intense attachment strategy effective at preventing all crying? Or does it run aground on colic and teething, when there's crying anyway? Is there an endpoint to it when primary caregivers in India think crying is okay?

(India is not one culture, and complaints about in-laws on parenting boards are not a complete cultural picture. I believe that the in-laws do this for cultural reasons, but not that it indicates a total cultural rejection of crying. )
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#82 of 95 Old 09-15-2013, 12:07 PM
 
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I imagine that Lauren and I probably parent (or in my case, "parentED" because most of my active parenting is in the past) in very similar ways, and I agree with most of the things she said about balancing needs, the need for the parent to be the decision-maker, how a child benefits by learning to work with other people's needs, how parents are allowed to have needs met also and it benefits their children, etc. But I'd like to stress again that for at least the first 21 years or so of parenting, the needs of the child come first, most of the time and in most situations. That doesn't preclude making decisions that appear to the child or the outside world to put the mom or the dad first--the parents have a perspective that the child or nosy bystanders may not have. I 'm sure that, like all of us who love our children, Lauren has made many sacrifices for her children, so I'm not preaching to her. I just feel like so many of us in our culture are afraid to make sacrifices for our children, to put them first, etc, often because our own parents didn't put US first or hear US when we needed that. (I speak in generalities here, I was lucky to have very giving and accepting parents.) We as a society in general don't put the needs of the small and powerless in a place of priority, and we don't in general feel a responsibility to the group--we're so attached to our egos and our "needs" and don't realize that often we don't actually need what we think we need; it's always "me first". Freedom and autonomy are good things, but so are compassion and working harmoniously within a group. We also have the false idea that our children can be trained to be unselfish by having to put others' needs ahead of their own, but in truth the way to help children grow towards unselfishness over time is to listen to them and meet their needs. These attitudes are not true for most of us in this forum, but I still feel I need to get on my soapbox.

On the issue of crying in different cultures--in my travels in Africa, India, Japan, and visiting Lakota reservations in the US--yes, there were children who cried, but it wasn't seen as normal. It was seen as signalling some problem that the parents needed to deal with. There are children everywhere with colic, and in most places parents try to figure out how to help. But, not meaning to blame the moms whose children have colic (two out of four of my children had mild colic, and a dear young friend of mine recently went through the trauma of having a baby with severe colic), it's interesting to wonder why it's so much prevalent in the US, Europe, and Australia/NZ than it is elsewhere.
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#83 of 95 Old 09-15-2013, 12:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Cornflower Blue View Post

I'm not wanting to make already-conscientious parents worry more about their children,  or to imply that we should always do anything it takes to help our children stop crying, but I do feel that nearly all crying (at least for some sensitive children) feels the same  inside the child and has the same effect of causing acute pain, raising cortisol levels, etc (though of course a three or four year old both has the basic sense of safety and trust built up over years so it won't necessarily have long-term ill effects, AND at that age can handle the pain and raised cortisol levels in a healthier manner than a newborn can.).  Just because, from our adult perspective, the crying is for an absurd reason, doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.

 

Im glad  you said this. The raised cortisol is the one of the things leaving a child to cry in any situation  has in common with CIO.

 

 
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#84 of 95 Old 09-15-2013, 12:30 PM
 
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I imagine that Lauren and I probably parent (or in my case, "parentED" because most of my active parenting is in the past) in very similar ways, and I agree with most of the things she said about balancing needs, the need for the parent to be the decision-maker, how a child benefits by learning to work with other people's needs, how parents are allowed to have needs met also and it benefits their children, etc. But I'd like to stress again that for at least the first 21 years or so of parenting, the needs of the child come first, most of the time and in most situations. That doesn't preclude making decisions that appear to the child or the outside world to put the mom or the dad first--the parents have a perspective that the child or nosy bystanders may not have. I 'm sure that, like all of us who love our children, Lauren has made many sacrifices for her children, so I'm not preaching to her. I just feel like so many of us in our culture are afraid to make sacrifices for our children, to put them first, etc, often because our own parents didn't put US first or hear US when we needed that. (I speak in generalities here, I was lucky to have very giving and accepting parents.) We as a society in general don't put the needs of the small and powerless in a place of priority, and we don't in general feel a responsibility to the group--we're so attached to our egos and our "needs" and don't realize that often we don't actually need what we think we need; it's always "me first". Freedom and autonomy are good things, but so are compassion and working harmoniously within a group. We also have the false idea that our children can be trained to be unselfish by having to put others' needs ahead of their own, but in truth the way to help children grow towards unselfishness over time is to listen to them and meet their needs. These attitudes are not true for most of us in this forum, but I still feel I need to get on my soapbox.

 

 Agreed.

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#85 of 95 Old 09-15-2013, 01:16 PM
 
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I am not referring to stressful crying with no support. Aletha Solter says it better:

 

Many parents find it hard to understand and accept their children's tears and tantrums, and are confused by contradictory advice they have read. On one hand, much of the advice in parenting books is based on the assumption that crying and temper tantrums are behaviors that should be discouraged. Some people assume that these are indications of a "spoiled" child who is used to getting her own way, while others think of them more as immature behaviors that children must learn to control. It is generally believed that as soon as children are old enough to talk, the job of parents is to help them express their wants and feelings using words rather than tears or outbursts of rage. Even people who recognize crying as a sign of stress and frustration sometimes consider crying to be an unnecessary byproduct of stress. They assume that children will feel better once they stop crying. This belief may lead to efforts to distract children from their crying.

On the other hand, there is an increasing tendency to regard crying as a beneficial expression of feelings that has therapeutic value. Many therapists encourage children to cry, especially in situations involving loss. Therapists assume that crying is an important and necessary part of the grieving and recovery process. John Bowlby, the father of attachment theory, pointed out that failure to accept a child's painful emotions can have negative consequences. He claimed that children should be allowed to express their grief openly by crying during situations of separation or loss. He also felt that children should be allowed to express anger at their parents. The result of all this contradictory advice is that parents often wonder what to do when children cry or rage. Should they comfort, ignore, distract, punish, "give in" or listen empathically?

In my four books: The Aware Baby, Helping Young Children Flourish, Tears and Tantrums, and Raising Drug-Free Kids, I propose a stress-release theory of crying, and I recommend an accepting and nurturing attitude towards all crying in children from birth on (assuming all immediate needs have been met). Evidence from several different sources indicates that crying is an important and beneficial physiological process that helps people of all ages cope with stress.

 

From:   http://www.awareparenting.com/tantrums.htm

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#86 of 95 Old 09-15-2013, 01:36 PM
 
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I agree with Lauren that crying can be therapeutic and should not be repressed.  I would definitely feel happier if my child cried or yelled at me than sat there apathetically, and I'd like to be there loving them while they feel their grief or rage even though that's not always easy on a parent.  But I don't feel there's any need to, on purpose, give our child situations that make them grieve.  They will get plenty of practice in childhood with things that make them angry or sad.  Because of our own unresolved griefs, it can be hard to leave when we ought to leave, and also hard to stay when we ought to stay.  Make your choice based on your philosophy and priorities, and love them through it the best you can.

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#87 of 95 Old 09-15-2013, 04:08 PM
 
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I have to comment about the "other cultures see baby crying in [x particular way]."  That is an awfully broad statement to make.  I suspect the observers' statement says as much it not more about themselves than it does about the observed culture.

 

Second of all, I was raised in a bubble of high context culture (within a larger "mainstream" of low context culture) and I was taught to carefully observe my child in order to see what she needed and provide it before she cried.  This is a different perspective on infant crying.  I am very good at understanding a grunt or the turn of a head.  But I had a lifetime of training in anticipating the needs of everyone around me, too.  And, she still cried, because sometimes kids do just cry.  

 

It's difficult and also pointless to raise my child as to function in a high context culture when she currently lives in a low context culture.  As much as I can, I try to support her ability to code switch, but I think it's kind of silly when I hear people saying, "But they do this in [wherever]."  There isn't here.  Do you have an army of aunties and grannies and older siblings to carry your kid around all day long until the age of five?  And wash his butt?  That is way to develop a very enmeshed and group oriented personality, which may be highly valued in a culture where you have that army of relatives.  But if that is not your cultural context, you will essentially be hobbling yourself by cherry picking some one behavior as though it's a key to anything.  In arms is lovely, if you have twelve other people.  You will also be submitting to twelve other people doing as they see fit with your child, and twelve people bossing you around all day long.  You will have to give up some of your individualism and total control as a parent.  Having in arms, for instance, as an ideal for mothers in nuclear families wanting to retain their own autonomy is....well....going to be quite difficult to meet.  Not impossible but it should be thought of in the whole context of what you are gaining and what you are losing.    In my high context, baby wearing, bed sharing, extended breastfeeding, meet your baby's needs before he needs to cry mother culture, it all went hand in hand with learning to anticipate everyone's needs, including your parents' (and don't forget about the epic beat downs, we had those too!).  I have a lot of love for my mother culture but I am under no illusions that "meet your baby's needs before she needs to cry" is the ideal for me to parent by in the world that I live in today.   Or that my preschooler should never cry. 

 

Also, speaking of the Indian inlaws thread, an important thing to note is it is the grandparents who are making sure the child does not cry.  I know very little about Indian culture so I have little  to say about that but I would not be surprised if various family members besides mother and father have different roles in relating to children.  You can't just say, "But those grandparents soothe the toddler as soon as he cries so therefore in Indian culture kids are never suppose to cry."   The picture is much bigger than that.

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#88 of 95 Old 09-16-2013, 12:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post

Meemee, is that intense attachment strategy effective at preventing all crying? Or does it run aground on colic and teething, when there's crying anyway? Is there an endpoint to it when primary caregivers in India think crying is okay?

(India is not one culture, and complaints about in-laws on parenting boards are not a complete cultural picture. I believe that the in-laws do this for cultural reasons, but not that it indicates a total cultural rejection of crying. )

 

Meepy i have to say my experience with different cultures is very limited.

 
its really really hard to understand a culture. 
 
one thing i have definitely seen is a difference in child rearing in individualistic cultures vs. community cultures. so sorta kinda the west vs. the east. or the developed countries vs the developing countries. 
 
i have volunteered a lot with our local hispanic and asian cultures here in my city. and in those cultures i see how much a child is 'king'. of course severe poverty changes all that. but during the first 5 years - kids there look almost spoilt by outside cultures. i also see it in the attitude with teenage pregnancies - how the community comes together to help with the baby and the young girls are not intimidated with their children. they dont look at their children as a burden to bear. and yes i see children held close to the caregiver whoever that is and they never allow the child to cry. even before i had my dd that is one thing i noticed amongst them. it stood out for me. they would do anything to stop the 0 - 5 year old child from crying. 

 

but i also must point out subcultures within our own here. like the native hawaiin cultures (i have two friends who belong to them). i havent been around babies much so cant answer the crying question, but what i find so beautiful is that i think all teh mothers sisters are treated as mothers. so a girl child has a bunch of moms and a boy has a bunch of dads. and they are all on equal footing and the children listen to all. my friend was getting a cradle and sharing with me how wonderful it was having a bunch of relative take care of her. however if the families were less harmonious - i dont quite know what happened there. 


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#89 of 95 Old 09-17-2013, 02:03 PM
 
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For most kids, the crying lasts maybe a couple of minutes, then it's over. A few kids are more sensitive and need much gentler transitions than the usual dropoff. A few kids really really struggle with transitions and do not accept alternate caregivers until they're a lot older/more independent. I think that generally, in the US, we push way too hard for early independence and early separation for children and I can't help but wonder what the fallout from that is.
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#90 of 95 Old 09-27-2013, 12:43 PM
 
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Exactly. They are choosing for whatever reason, their priorities. That does not make it the healthiest choice or even a harmless choice for the child. It may be the best option for that family's needs. That was not the subject of discussion. We knowingly do potentially harmful things all the time. We speed, we yell at our spouses, kids. We use bad language. We stay up late, we eat junk food.

I find it interesting the majority of commenters who feel leaving a child crying at preschool did so because they felt they had too. Perhaps they made that choice because they felt comfortable with it but comments such as below make me wonder how many want it to be okay because they felt forced to do it?

At least one commenter above complained that she didn't like when some parents stayed because she couldn't/wouldnt and then she felt it was upsetting to her child that she was unable to give the same amount of love. That's called jealousy. And it's ugly. Why should I not give my child what I think is best for them?
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Originally Posted by dalia View Post

A lot of people don't have a choice. They HAVE to go to work.

ETA: Or they have a job that they don't necessarily need but that they love. It's important for their happiness, which means in actuality they do "need" it.
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