Thursday, January 21, 2010

Attached

So years ago when I was going to college, I had to take a Child Development class. In this class one of the things we talked about is attachment.

The teacher told us there were 3 different kinds of attachment. 2 of which are unhealthy, and one that is healthy.

The first is under-attached. Mom can leave and the kid doesn't notice or care. Mom can come back and the kid doesn't notice or care.

The second is the healthy attachment, I don't remember the name. When mom leaves, the kid notices, but doesn't get too upset, and recovers easily. Has fun when mom is gone, but is glad to see her again when she comes back.

And the third is over-attached. Mom leaves and the child screams. The child refuses to be comforted while Mom is gone, and won't be happy until she comes back.

Now to a certain degree these are stereotypes, because there is no mold that really fits everyone.

The thing is, they didn't tell us what causes the different levels of attachment, or what to do about the unhealthy ones. I think with my kids I have dealt with all three kinds. Ironically in the same order. Cinderella could care less if I left, and HATED to have to leave when I got back. She still does.
Guy notices when I leave, but doesn't have a hard time with it, and is happy to come with me when I get back.
Aurora is way too over-attached. If I leave she screams. And refuses to be comforted. Most of the time. There have been a few times that she is OK, but those are very few. She is better for someone she is familiar with, like Daddy, but she still cries for him too. It is worse if she is hungry, tired or both.

The last 2 times we have left our kids with a baby sitter who wasn't family, we have come home to find the baby screaming, the baby sitter upset, and the sitters mom here. I don't mind that the sitter called her mom. But I feel bad that my baby screams so much that the sitters have a hard time. It makes me feel bad for even calling a sitter. But there are sometimes that I need one.

So what do you do?

Has anyone else dealt with a baby that screams without Mommy? How do you handle it? And how do you do baby sitters?