2

My son is 4 and a half, and is going on holiday with his grandparents and 6-year-old niece. I'm a bit apprehensive about him being without us, his parents, for 8 days so I decided to fly over for just a day and a half, to make sure he is fine.

Edit: He is with his grandparents two days a week, and he has been away with them twice before for a shorter period (about 4 days).

My question is, for what length of time is it OK for a kid to be separated from parents?

I know it will depend on the child and on who he is with, but I'm expecting there will be some rules of thumb. When I was 10, I spent about 10 days at a friend's house when my parents and brother were abroad, and while this was a good friend and everything went smooth, it still felt like a very long 10 days.

The end In the end i went and he was very happy to see me. Never had a tighter hug. There had been no problems before i came, he had actually behaved really nicely and started misbehaving a little while i was there. So no clear answer, other that it was a nice micro-holiday for me.

  • 1
    Thanks for asking, Marzipanhetz, i've edited the question! – Ivana May 1 '18 at 8:30
8

I'm a bit apprehensive about him being without us, his parents, for 8 days so i decided to fly over for just a day and a half, to make sure he is fine.

This is an awful idea.

If you act like this is some monumental scary separation, he will think that's what it is. If he sees that you are anxious about it, he will be anxious about it. If you treat it like no big deal, just a thing that will happen, a fun thing to look forward to, he won't think he has any reason to be upset.

If your kid is really upset at being left, he won't be so for days and days. But if you visit, it will reset the clock on him being upset. He'll wonder why you are leaving again. So don't do that.

I left my 15-month alone with grandparents for a week. She was fine. No problems at all. I spent a few days with her and them, just to show my mother and aunt her routine, but then I left, and she didn't bat an eye. She's spent the following two summers with her grandparents for 5 days, and she's fine. Starting from when she was very young, she knew that Mom and Dad sometimes leave but we come back. She expected nothing different from a longer trip.

  • " Starting from when she was very young, she knew that Mom and Dad sometimes leave but we come back. She expected nothing different from a longer trip." - I think this is very important. Fortunately i have this covered. Its mostely the length of the trip that worries me. From my own experience, after a while i was just tired of of adjusting and not being home with mom and dad. – Ivana May 1 '18 at 8:35
  • @Ivana, you're right, the commenter's situation is different because they've been going on trips, but they're absolutely right that you showing up midway is likely to destabilize how "okay" he is. Very best case scenario, he's happy to see you but uninterested because he's so busy having fun already. – kmc May 1 '18 at 18:41
5

This is absolutely fine. My son has spent 8 days at his grandmothers every year during the summer holidays before we go over to have a shared holiday together for a week- we never made a fuss over it, he's always loved it.

I decided to fly over for just a day and a half, to make sure he is fine.

But....why? Why would he not be fine? It sounds like it's you that is the one that needs to be close to him, not the other way around! If they needed you there, you'd know about it.

Bear in mind that kids draw a lot from the reactions of others- so if he sees you making a song and dance, all anxious and needing to be there, it isn't going to do anyone any favours. The more fuss you make, the more he'll be inclined to make as well.

If he's doing absolutely fine, is meant to be there for however long etc- then leave it at that. It's a lot of pointless stress and worry you're putting into the pot for no reason other than your self-manurfactured worry. If there was a need for you to be there, or anything happened, then you'd be informed.

Seperating yourself from your children for any length of time is going to be harder on you than it's likely to be on the children- they're provided for, looked after and no doubt given a treat in the process. It's no different to going away for camp or a long school trip- nobody's parents are going to fly out to check their kid(s) are "ok" on those without their kids getting a serious ribbing off their peers. :)

Relax, don't stress.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.