Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sad Children

As I was checking out of the grocery store today, a woman was sitting nearby, holding a sobbing child.  A couple of people inquired if there were anything they could do to help, but the response was a gentle and caring "Thank you, but she's just having a bad day."  I assumed the little girl was having a tantrum because mom didn't buy the cookies she wanted, or it was getting to be naptime and the child was having a meltdown.  You know -- nothing to be concerned about.  Something that all parents cope with.

By the time my groceries were loaded into the car and I'd returned my cart, the sniffling preschooler and the woman were walking out to their car parked next to mine.  Turns out the child wanted her mommy!  And the woman was assuring her that she'd "see Mommy after she's done working." 

We think it's normal and acceptable for mommies to leave their children to go to work.  Yes, sometimes it's necessary.  But the child's tears should teach us something.


  1. When I was director of a local preschool, over 40 percent of the children cried at least once a week because they missed mom. Even the "well-adjusted" children who enjoyed coming to school each day would have preferred being with their moms.

    Day care for most children is almost all of their waking hours. They might see mom or dad for an hour before bedtime. Many children were dumped into the car while wearing their pajamas and then hustled out of the car and into the day care for dressing and breakfast. By the time they were fully awake, mom was long gone. I remember being asked if I could call mom so a child could say goodbye because they didn't remember saying goodbye.

    It's so sad that daycare (even reputable daycare with caring adults) is the norm. I often wonder if so much of the behavioral problems with children is partially caused by the extensive amount of time most children are away from their parents during their infancy through kindergarten time.

    from Karen in MI
    (I apologize Karen. When I hit "publish" on your comment, my hand slipped and I hit "delete" accidentally. So I cut-&-pasted your comment to get it uploaded here.)

  2. How heartbreaking. Poor little sweetie.