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6-Year-Old Cries When Mom Leaves for Work

Question:

I have a 6-year-old boy who cries when he does not get his way. He cries when I leave for work, even after I have explained to him why I must work. I don’t want to raise my voice to him.

Answer:

Talking to a 6-year-old about why you have to leave is difficult. It is hard for him to understand the importance of making money to pay the bills. When we talk or teach our children, it is important to use “kid reasons” and not “adult reasons.” 

For instance, when we tell our child that we want her to clean her room because it looks messy, this is an “adult reason.” Put it in terms a child can appreciate. Say she needs to clean her room so her toys don’t get lost or broken. A child would become upset if a toy was lost or broken. So when you talk to your son about leaving, give him a “kid reason” and keep it positive.

Try pre-teaching about the situation before you leave. Say something like “OK, honey, in a little bit Mommy has to go to work. When it is time, you can come give Mommy a kiss and hug and then go back and play with your toys. Let’s practice.” Then role-play the situation with him. Always remind him that you will be back soon to play with him.
 

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