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Discussion Starter #1
It isn't very often I leave the house without DS. Normally if DH is awake, he goes with us, or I am going to something that DS would enjoy, like the store. But there are times when I just don't want to take DS because it would be so much quicker, or it's something like a doctors appointment where he isn't really welcome, but they allow him if DH isn't home.<br><br>
So, I use to just sneak out the front door, which worked great. But then I started thinking that maybe I should start saying goodbye that way he gets use to me leaving, and know that I will be back when I tell him Goodbye. However, whenever we leave a playgroup, or someones house, we say goodbye and that's how DS knows it is time to go. The same thing at home. I say "Ok, lets go bye bye" and he goes to the front door.<br><br>
The last two times I left the house without him he cried when I left and he was crying / sniffleing crying when I got back (20 - 30 minutes later). DH doesn't know what to do to comfort him, so when I come back DS is either standing by the door or standing by my computer. I know when I leave that DS freaks out and pushing DH away, so DH gets annoyed and just puts him down.<br><br>
Is it really that tramatic to just sneak out of the house without telling DS goodbye? He is only 18 months and I think he may be too young to understand that bye bye has two meanings.
 

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It might help if DH got him engaged in playing a few minutes before you go so he doesn't have time to notice you are gone, maybe they could even go to the park to play or go for a walk together and look at fun stuff. If he is engaged in his game or with his dad I wouldn't interrupt to say goodbye because that will break his focus on how happy he is playing, if he is not engaged with dad then I would kiss him and say goodbye because either way he will cry.<br>
Try to encourage your husband to play with him when you are there too so he doesn't associate play with you leaving and encourage him to be loving even when it is hard. It will help both of them if you let him comfort and play his own way and encourage him to be creative. You could write a list of the things that you normally do with him and then tell your husband that he can steal some of your ideas or make his own but that you expect him to try for at least 30 minutes every once in a while.<br>
It may be that he thinks that since your son is a boy he is naturally tough inside even at a young age and this may be why he gets annoyed when your son cries. Try talking to him about his feelings on that and he may realize how silly it is to expect an 18 month old to act like a 30 year old.
 

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I know that when we wake up in the morning and DH isn't there, DS looks around the house for him. (DH goes to the gym early sometimes, so he's not home when DS wakes up some days.) I know that he knows daddy's not there. I'd say don't sneak out but use some other word besides bye. Like "See ya later, Honey." Or something like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Kat. DH does engage DS in play and DS doesn't get upset if I DON'T say bye bye. He just wanders around the house a little, then goes back to playing. He may wine a little, but he doesn't scream and cry. He only screams and cries when I say bye bye. I just remember reading on here a while ago that some woman felt it was mean to just sneak out. I wasn't sure if I was unintentionaly ruining my son. LOL<br><br>
So to make it a little more clear. Sneaking out = no crying. Saying Bye Bye = crying. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I try not to sneak out on dd. I just think I would personally be much more traumatized in the long run by turning around and suddenly not finding someone there rather than by saying goodbye to someone. I feel like it makes it seem like I know it's a bad thing to leave her with dh or daycare and thus I'm trying to avoid the consequences. That said, I also don't put on a sad face when I say goodbye, I keep it short and sweet and don't look back. Sort of the same principle if I make a big deal out of it and seem sad then it's going to make dd feel sad. It also helps that I know dh and daycare instantly try to distract her if she gets upset (frankly leaving her at daycare it's a little more upsetting to me the mornings she's not upset to see me go). Dh has a bag of tricks and while he holds her and reassures her that mommy will be back soon he shows her they'll have fun in the meantime.
 

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I wouldn't sneak out - I would do the opposite - start preparing your child in advance by saying soon mommy is going to the doctor's but she'll be back soon, maybe start 30 minutes before you leave. At 2 your child is old enough to understand you left without saying something. And getting the child involved in something like snack or playdough is good.
 

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I am really opposed to sneaking out. My brother and SIL did that with their kids and it really made them feel insecure in the long run--they began to worry that anyone could disappear at any time. I still remember having to go over and over it with my nephew (then about 2): Yes, I will be here when you wake up. Yes, I will be here tomorrow. I will tell you when I am leaving so we can say bye-bye. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Even if your DS is not that verbal, his receptive language skills are probably very good. We talk to our DD (16 mo) all the time about times when we need to be gone, and prepare her. ("Mama is going to go in the car to the store. YOu can stay here and play with dada. Mama will be back very soon." "Dada has to go on a trip to see his mama and dada. (Show her a picture of them) "Dada will be back the next time you wake up." "Dada will be back when you wake up and eat lunch." Etc etc.) She seems to understand this in a rudimentary way--when my DH was with his parents for a few days, when she asked for him, I would tell her she was with Nana and Grandpop, and she would go to the picture we have of them and point to it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hunnybumm</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So to make it a little more clear. Sneaking out = no crying. Saying Bye Bye = crying.</div>
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In that case, I think sneaking out is the kinder approach. When my dd was around that age, she was the same way - if she noticed me leaving, she was likely to get upset, but if she didn't notice me leaving, she'd be content to play with dad the whole time I was gone. So for a while I usually used the sneaking out approach.<br><br>
By the time she was 2, it didn't seem to bother her much if she saw me leaving, and now I don't try to sneak out. But I don't make a big deal of leaving, either, with hugging and kissing and speeches about where I'm going. Maybe just a casual "bye" as I head out the door. I think if I don't act like it's a big deal, it seems like less of a big deal to her.
 

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Never, NEVER sneak out on your child. It can be very damaging to their trust of you and your dh and ahrm them for life. It really is that important! Children need to know that you are leaving, that they are safe without you (tell him that if you need to), and that you will return. Sneaking out is much worse than a little crying. I assume that you would like your ds to trust you without worrying if you were going to vanish soon or not! This is a real issue for me because I remember my mom doing this to me and feelling so scared that she was going to leave at any moment. I would cling to her when she was around and she didn't do it very often either! When I was doing my field work and studies, I found out that her doing this to me most likely impacted my ability to trust.<br><br>
(My Masters degree is in Early Childhood Development and education and children who are disturbed or have major behavior problems are my focus. I also focus on infants and toddlers.)
 

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I never sneak out because I'm afraid it'll lead to ds being very concerned about my leaving without warning at any time. Some kids do end up clinging more because they're afraid if mom isn't in sight or physical contact, she might be gone before they know it. It doesn't sound like that's been happening in your case, but I've just always been concerned about my ds deciding that clinginess is the safest bet.<br><br>
I agree with the suggestion of changing what you say. Maybe part of the problem is he hears "goodbye" and thinks you're saying that the two of you are going out together, like at other times? Something like, "Mommy's leaving. See you later!" might be worth a shot.
 

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I never have snuck out on my child. Even if he is sleeping, I kiss his cheek and say "I love you. I'm going now. I'll be back soon/in x number of hours/x no. of minutes." No he still doesn't understand time like that, but that is how we adults talk about time, so I have been reinforcing it since he was born.<br><br>
And I have never had him cry when I leave except once when he was sick and cranky. And I stayed with him until he stopped crying that time. I just allow enough time to leave properly. My fault if I have to "rush", not his.
 

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I don't have to sneak out--DS (19 mos) is fine when _i_ leave. It's when DH leaves in the mornings that DS loses it. So i try to get DH to sneak out, but he often fails because he's forgotten something and has to come back. When DS loses it, he does get over it fairly quickly (especially if nursing is involved), but DH is completely traumatized and afraid to leave. If DH starts making a habit of saying goodbye, will DS eventually get used to the idea and take it in stride?
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>prath003</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">... If DH starts making a habit of saying goodbye, will DS eventually get used to the idea and take it in stride?</div>
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I would assume so.
 

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Yeah, I'm anti- sneaking out too, although it was fine for a short time when babe was an infant (I'm thinking 6 mos old).<br><br>
I always say goodbye, but find things go much better if *she* leaves *me* to do something fabulous with her father or trusted caregiver, while I try to stay still and look as boring as possible. Always goes much better this way.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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i'm a wohm who was very lucky to find extremely nurturing care for my ds (his school is very accepting of extended bfing, they'll use cloth on him, lay with him at naptime, etc) and they are absolutely adamant that parents never leave without saying goodbye to their children. every day, when i drop liam off at school, i give him a big hug, tell him i love him and that i will be back to pick him up after he plays. he does cry sometimes, but i know telling him i'm coming back (coupled with the fact that i do come back every day) helps him to trust that even though i can't be there right then, i will always come back for him.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok, now I am going to be a little more indept in my question. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> How exactly do you leave? I will try and say "See you in a little bit" or something similiar, with out saying "bye bye" to see if that helps. But I think it might be the act of me stepping out the door that freaks him out. Should I have DH stand at the door and DS watch me leave (which will freak him out)? Should I say my goodbyes then have DH distract him? If the latter, then how is that any different than me sneaking out?<br><br>
I really don't want him to be afraid of me dissapearing at any minute. Also, we are pajama people, as soon as I get home I get in my PJs. If he sees me getting dressed he knows that we are going somewhere.
 

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I stand in one boring spot and say "bye bye." Sometimes I say "give a hug to mama?" and we have a hug. Then the *babe* leaves with her parent or caregiver to another room to do something great or have a treat <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: and then I leave.
 

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HunnyBumm, I am not sure it's really SOOOOO awful to sneak out, esp. if your DS doesn't cry when you sneak but cries when you say goodbye and as long as your DS isn't walking around crying and looking for you while you're gone.<br><br>
To respond to some of the other posts, I get that all the books say you're doing some major pyschological damage by sneaking out, but... do we believe everything we read? Where are the studies on sneaking out on a toddler and trust issues later in life? Besides that, what about the damage you're doing by leaving your DS wailing at the door while you walk away smiling and waving? I mean, how does that not scar him for life? He has no idea whether you're coming back or not. He's not old enough to get that concept. So, in his mind, his mother just abandoned him in spite of his crying and wailing. Couldn't that also cause permanent trust issues? I would think so.<br><br>
This issue is pertinent to me because my DD has always been the same as your DS - wouldn't let me out of her sight. So, until recently, I snuck out. DH would get her engaged in play and I would make my way out. She wouldn't know the difference and yes, she might ask for me, but she didn't cry - she just went back to playing. When I tried to say goodbye, OTOH, she would wail and scream so hard that no-way, no-how was I going to leave my child in that condition. It was clear to me she wasn't OK with that - clear to me that she had no idea what it meant for me to "be right back."<br><br>
So, it sounds to me like you already know what's best for your DS (and for you and your DH too). Obviously, it's no fun for anyone when you leave DS while he's crying, least of all for DS and DH who gets stuck with a crying baby he can't comfort. (My poor DH was/is in the same boat - unable to comfort. It leaves them feeling pretty worthless, I think.) Now that DD is 2, I can say goodbye when I leave, but only if I do it casually and from afar. I.e., DH and DD are playing upstairs and I yell "see ya later!" They hear me but go on playing and DD is fine while I'm out. If I were to make a big "goodbye" scene at the back door, forget it. I'd never get out alone.<br><br>
Do you what you feel is best, I just didn't want you to think you were the only sneaker out there!
 

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I snuck out once on Zoe - never again. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
She was so horrified when she realized I had left without saying goodbye, she cried pretty much until I got back.<br><br>
Yeah - sometimes she has a big screamfest when I leave (after saying goodbye) but I try and find time to stay and reassure her that I'll be back. Otherwise, whoever else is there (dh, nana, caregiver) will hold her close (even kicking and screaming) and try and engage her in something different.<br><br>
I just think I'd be mad too if someone snuck out on me.<br><br>
*Not* to say that leaving w/o saying goodbye to your ds isn't the best solution for you - for us, it was the opposite.<br><br>
And I agree with the pp that said something along the lines of eventually he will begin/have to understand that sometimes people have to leave w/o him - and they do come back.
 

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I don't know what to say to take you from where you are. I started DS hearing "goodbye" when either we left people or I left him with Mimi, or DH goes to work. So I know that 18 mo olds can certainly know that it carries both meanings. He frequently calls bye-bye to strangers he sees across the street waving to each other while walking away, or in a parking lot getting in their car.<br><br>
I'm not a sneaker. I make bye-byes quick and happy. I think dragging it out communicates that it's something scary. I tell ds I'm going and then I'm coming back. I say that he can play with Mimi for a while and talk about what they will do while I'm gone. I <b>ALWAYS</b> say ...and Mommy will come back. If I'm taking him to a grandparents house to leave him, I tell him in the car what's going on. "You going to play with Mima and Bipa, and Mommy will go and come back." And again, I mention what they will do while I'm gone.<br><br>
DH and I practiced this with him at one point and it really helped. He did the bye-bye thing and we said a lot ...and Daddy will come back. Then DH went to the car and got out and came back, at which point I said excitedly, Daddy's coming back!! We did this a few times while it was fun for him and he understands "coming back" well now. Then we worked on coming back "now" and "later" and "soon". He's getting that pretty well (for an 18 m/o) at this point.<br><br>
We did the practice thing with a few other situations, like waking up from naptime and calling mama brings mama. He really enjoyed learning that those situations are predictable. He became calmer in those cases with each thing we practiced.
 
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