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saying goodbye to helper

  1. #1
    lalligirl is offline Registered User
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    saying goodbye to helper

    I'm finishing up work in the middle of next month to stay at home with my two daughters (2yrs; 3mths). We have decided not to continue employing a full time helper, as our main reason for having one is that I was working.

    Our helper (L) has been with us since my oldest was around 10 weeks. My daughter loves her and, obviously, is very used to having her around. She is going to be quite upset when my L leaves so I'm thinking about how to handle the situation in order to cause the least amount of distress to her. I want to tell her before L leaves in order to prepare her, but i'm not sure how far in advance to do it - being two, everything is immediate, so I don't want to tell her L is leaving, have her think it's right now, then be confused when she's still there the next day/week etc. does that make sense?? also, she's extra sensitive at the moment - still adjusting to having a little sister.

    The good thing is that L will go to work for friends, so my daughter will still get to see her (although this may create some confusion initially!)

    I know she will adjust eventually, but it will probably be a bit rough for her in the beginning.

    Has anyone been in this or a similar situation? I hope someone can share some ideas/experiences with me.

  2. #2
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
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    My son, now 2y5 months has been going through a lot of changes. I had another baby 5 months ago, we had a full-cum-part time helper, MIL visit, international travel, moving back to home country soon, and thus losing his bed, seeing us pack away his toys little by little to send overseas, finishing his playschool and saying goodbye to everyone he knows(now). I can say that in my experience, lots of advance warning has helped a lot. I think at 2(at least for my son) there is enough understanding of what's going on, and even of language, to accept these kind of changes. For big things I would mention it every day, talk about what life is going to be like then, talk about what is happening. Not make a big deal, but just mention is matter-of-factly. Sometimes just a line or 2, no need to seriously engage in a speech each day. And sooner or later, after this kind of 'drilling', they understand it and it appears to seem normal, at least easier to accept. For example, now when my son sees his toys missing, he just asks, "new home?".
    Since you also recently had a new baby, and I'm sure you prepared your daughter well for that, I think you can also deal with this situation similarly, with openness and honesty.

  3. #3
    lalligirl is offline Registered User
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    Thanks, shennzhenifer - that's exactly what I was planning to do, but keep putting it off, unsure about the 'best' time to begin! but the time is getting closer so i really can't put it off any longer if i want her to be prepared in advance (which i do!). thanks for sharing your experience...that is exactly the type of response i was hoping for!!

  4. #4
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    erina320 is offline Registered User
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    I always explain things to my little girl (3yrs) well in advance (new baby sister, moving to Hong Kong, sending her paccies to the babies in heaven, etc.) and include her in the process. She always has an easy transition and adjusts to changes very well.

    They understand more than we give them credit for and I think appreciate being kept in the know just as much as we do. ;-)

  5. #5
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Hey lalligirl,

    I think SZJ advice is spot on. I would always just talk about it as if it's an exciting change like, "L is going to be doing something new! It's going to be exciting for L. And you and I are going to get to spend a lot of time together now. Isn't it fun when we can play together? I'm really excited to spend a lot of time with you and baby sister. Sometimes we will go visit L too and then we can all play together!" I wouldn't even make it into a sad thing at all. Just help her be excited about a new change.

    One day L will leave and then she will eventually "get" that L is not there all the time and she'll ask questions like, "Where is L?" You can then just remind her, "Remember, L is doing something very new now. Remember, mommy told you about how much fun L is having and we are having fun too, right? We will go visit her soon. Won't it be fun to play with her when we go visit?" Or you could tell her something like, "Every time you miss L, you can draw her a picture and then when we see her we can give her the pictures, okay?" Or you can maybe see if it's possible for your daughter to call L up if she really misses her and talk to her on the phone. Or even use Skype if possible.

    Two-year-olds adjust fast to things. I'm still so surprised that my son rolls with the punches the way he does. I think your daughter will be okay. :)
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  6. #6
    lalligirl is offline Registered User
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    thanks! i saw a good opportunity the other day to drop it in to the conversation, so i just rolled with it. Z (daughter) screwed up her face & looked sad for a second then carried on with what she was doing - so i guess she understands!

    What you guys have said is pretty much what i was thinking (at least in terms of giving plenty of advance warning/preparation) but it's good to 'see it' outside of my head, if you know what i mean. your ideas of how to go about it are maybe not what i would have thought of myself, so thanks again for giving different perspectives.

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