Never Leave Without Saying Goodbye

Never Leave Without Saying Goodbye

Last update: 21 December, 2017

Mothers often avoid certain situations that can upset their children because they don’t want to see them cry, kick and ask to be taken to where we are going. Although it is difficult, you must sometimes be away from your child for a little while, but never leave without saying goodbye

Surely in your role as a mom, you have had to act as an escape artist at some point or another: walking on tiptoes, generating distractions and finally disappearing without saying goodbye in order to prevent your child from seeing you leave or getting upset.

Taking on the role of a spy, trying to accomplish an impossible mission just to go to work, shop or do other tasks, as well as being exhausting can turn into a vicious cycle that we should put an end to for the wellbeing of the whole family.

Don’t trick your children and avoid saying goodbye every time you leave

Once your child discovers that you have left, they will feel deceived, unprotected and disconsolate, even if it is the opposite of what you want to project.

“Silent exits” can be continually frustrating and complicated, resulting in a delay to our destination, worries or anxiety, as well as enhancing inappropriate behaviors from the child.

Saying goodbye naturally and allowing them to remind you to come back will be healthy for both of you and will make this event less traumatic for your child and your family.

As time goes by you will be able to leave behind the subconscious warning message and negative feelings about “disappearing” without saying goodbye.

You will be communicating with appropriate techniques that will be more convenient for both of you, even though your infant may not fully understand in the first few tries.

Include the habit of saying goodbye as well as being pleasant as part of their education in society, and gradually they will grow accustomed.

Explaining that you will leave should be part of your daily communication as a mother until your child takes the event very naturally. Eventually, you’ll be able to get away from the thousands of tricks you have used to sneak away so far.

never leave without saying goodbye to your children

Send them a positive message

Mothers often show the pain that leaving our child makes us feel, either through gestures or words. If we avoid transmitting or disguising this negative message, our little one will feel more comfortable and safe, which will facilitate this daily process of leaving.

Emphasize that they will be safe. Repeat who will keep them company during your absence. Remind them of when you will return. These are the keys to make them feel safe in your absence.

It should never be an option to leave without saying goodbye, given that children often repeat the behaviors of their loved ones and is an undesired habit for their development.

Telling them a beautiful message or giving them an object or toy they like will allow them to feel support and provide a healthy distraction when you are gone.

Reinforce the positive message

Once you return, ask how they behaved or what they did during the day. Describe what you did or show your child the item you bought, if possible. This will eradicate any negative behavior. They will notice that it was true that you would return and it will reinforce the security and trust between both of you.

It’s good to reward their good behavior from time to time, as this can help control any irregularities associated with a bad attitude.

mom and son together smiling at each other

Recognize your feelings

Clarifying that it is normal to feel fear, restlessness, and attachment will help you feel understood. Explain that this small separation will serve both of you to do different things, but that you will always return and be there to offer love and understanding.

To belittle their feelings or emotionally blackmail them prolongs their anger or suffering. Remember that as an adult we can have control of the situation and our duty as a mother is to help them whenever they need our support.

Recommendations that will make the moment less traumatic

Below you will find some recommendations so that you do not leave without saying goodbye and how to turn this moment into something natural:

  • Stay calm
  • Be as brief as possible
  • Show affection
  • Remind them that you will return
  • Let them know whoever is staying
  • Suggest activities they can do in your absence: such as a drawing or craft for you, pick up toys, etc.
  • Remind them how beneficial good behavior can be
  • Reward good attitudes
  • Listen to what bothers them
  • Answer or clarify their doubts

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Bowlby, J. (1986). Vínculos afectivos: formación, desarrollo y pérdida. Madrid: Morata.
  • Bowlby, J. (1995). Teoría del apego. Lebovici, Weil-HalpernF.
  • Garrido-Rojas, L. (2006). Apego, emoción y regulación emocional. Implicaciones para la salud. Revista latinoamericana de psicología, 38(3), 493-507.
  • Marrone, M., Diamond, N., Juri, L., & Bleichmar, H. (2001). La teoría del apego: un enfoque actual. Madrid: Psimática.
  • Moneta, M. (2003). El Apego. Aspectos clínicos y psicobiológicos de la díada madre-hijo. Santiago: Cuatro Vientos.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.