What should we tell our children?

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    We are finally taking an overdue week long vacation alone. We are leaving our 4.5, 3.5, & 2.5 year olds with their savta.

    What should we tell them so that the situation is easier for them to handle, or should we just leave quietly?


    i dont think you should leave quietly some explanation is necessary


    “easier for them to handle” ?

    You’re not deserting them, and if anything are doing them a favor by getting some much needed alone time with your spouse.

    I don’t know what your situation is, but as a kid bubby coming to us to “babysit” was a lot of fun. You can tell them[use applicable names] “Mommy/Ima/Daddy/Abba/Tatte need to go take care of something(your mental health and relationship)and Savta will stay with you till we come back,”but with kids that young I don’t know if it will make a difference.enjoy your vacation!


    Thats a tough one.


    Never lie to children or decieve them. Tell then you are going away for a week. If they know what to expect, kids can be very resilient.

    always here

    haha! I would almost think I’m that savta, except that I’m ‘Bobbe’ & mine are 6.5, 5, & 3 ka’h.

    g’luck telling them… I don’t think u can just sneak away… & g’luck to Savta.. she’s probably younger than I am, but I’d do it.

    I babysat my grandchildren for the past 6.5 yrs: my daughter’s a teacher & my s-i-l’s in kollel.

    I’d do it, of course, but it wouldn’t be so easy. it would be a little easier cuz the boys’ yeshiva is just across the street from my house.

    at those ages they don’t have much concept of time, so if you tell them you’re going away for a few days, they’ll probably just ask if you’ll be home soon.


    Honesty is the best policy! Most of the times parents who lie, do it for themselves -they have more of a separation anxiety than the kids!


    It’s always good to let children know when you are going away for whatever reason. However, just tell them no more than 1-2 days before the departure as children’s concept of time is different than ours. When our children were young and i went away for a longer time, i made a Mommy tape. For each child there was something.For example, for the older one that had a hard time waking in the morning i put on different versions of Modeh Ani.For the younger ones there was the usual morning routine with a Good Morning, “did you remember to was negel vaser” and for the night a story with Krias Shema. It ended up being so helpful that the young one would listen to the tape even upon my return and i watched as he responded non verbally to my questions on tape with nodding. Another suggestion is to make a calendar with only the amount of days you will be leaving for, beginning with the day you leave. So for example if you are leaving from Sunday thru Sunday, you will make a calendar of 8 boxes. You will sit with the child(ren) and show, “today is Sunday and we are leaving today, so mark with an “X”. Then tell them to make an “X” on one box each day and the day that they mark with the last “X” is the day Daddy/Totty/Aba and Mommy/Ima will be here to take us all home.This works for even if one parent will be going away.

    Another suggestion is not to talk to them via phone when you are away. With the younger ones especially it creates issues as crying for parent(s).

    Enjoy your trip/vacation!

    Oh, i forgot to add, it’s best not to leave children with total strangers even if you pay them!

    At home bubbie

    From experience I know thet the children who are told what’s going on- in this case Mommy/Tatty- Abba//Ima are going away for a few days vacation- handle the situation far better than those children who are told nothing. Children, especially at this age don’t need long explanations. My grandchildren of these ages have been left before with their Bubbies and Zeidies and they do just fine. Just call them everynight before bedtime. I’ve always found that makes bedtime easier.


    girls? or boys? girls play with dolls but need alot of att. and on the other hand boys play with toys longer and quietly and yes definetly tell them the truth no diff their age.they should know their parents are ok just leaving for a small break and not b/c their hard kids or close in age.thats important to them. relax and restock your strength.p.s please dont leave quietly,worse thing for them their too young, theyll think its their fault that you both ran away…….


    I think you should leave without telling them, and pretend you never left when you come back.

    With enough reinforcement, they’ll block out the memory and it will never make a difference.


    Lia, I love your idea with using a calander. maybe even make it an activity before departure day.


    Shev- you should NEVER send children to other homes without explanations.

    It confuses the child terribly. They will not trust you if you do this to them from time to time.

    Please please tell them your plans! It’s ok! You’re allowed to take the break.

    (SORRY! One letter I can’t type it- is broken on my keyboard. I guess you figure out which one!)

    I figured out which one


    I like Lia’s advice. You have to be honest with them.

    Your trust is the most important thing you have with your children. Don’t break it. Without trust, they have no reason to listen to you (except for fear – but that’s only in front of you). Tov Shem m’Shemen Tov.


    Hey Mod!

    Thanks for fixing up my post.

    Now, the Spacebar isn’t moving!

    Ok, I Won’t Post Till My Keybord Works aGain


    keep them coming


    Hey i geuss youre enjoying youself!

    I kneed the loop birthing their kiddush if you’ve got extra time



    I did the same with my good lady a few weeks ago. The shver n shvig came to our place for the weekend whilst we went to a nice hotel.

    The shver n shvig got nachas from the Kids, the kids got to know their Bubba and zaida, and we got a weekend of bliss.

    A WIN-Win situation.

    The kids were warned well in advance that Daddy & Mammy are going away, and Bubba & Zaida are coming to stay. After shabbos when Daddy & MAmmy come back, Biubba & Zaida are going home. They were so well prepared, they were even excited for the little adventure!


    Personally,I’ve been married almost 15 years. I have 4 kids,the oldest is 13 and the youngest is 4. I have never,ever spent a night away from my kids,unless it was to give birth to a sibling or to stay in the hospital with one of the children who was sick from the time he was a few months old till not too long ago…

    Anyway,I am not a believer that couples should abandon their kids for selfish reasons,such as a ” much needed break”. I understand mothers need a break,hey,I’m human and I say those words often,sk I will go out with my husband for dinner,or a walk or an ice cream. But we come back relatively fast. We don’t go and recharge for days! By all means,take a break,but not a week long one. These are your kids. All they have is you. They didn’t ask to be born. You chose to have them and now you are choosing to abandon them for selfish reasons.how will that make you feel?

    Imagine your husband came home one day and said to you, Shevy,I love you so much,you are the world to me,but I am going to Florida, upstate or wherever,with such and such because I need to rest up and recharge so that I can be a better husband to you!

    You would flip,rightfully so,because your husband belongs right here,next to you. So do parents belong right here at home with their children. Husbands or wives don’t have the luxury of just deciding to go on vacation alone just cuz they need a break. Why does a couple believe that it can just abandon the kids to have alone time?!

    You want a vacation,by all means,go,but take everyone. You can hire a local babysitter when the kids are sleeping and have a night out for a couple of hours. Or you can have a date night once a week and get your alone time then.

    I believe parents have no right to just go away without their kids. My parents never did it to me,and I will never do it to my children. Hashem gave you treasures and you are willing to just let go of them for a few days for your own selfish reasons? I am not really understanding the logic. And I am also quite shocked that none of the previous posters called you on this.


    Bravo estherhamalka! Well said! I wish I had the courage to say it like it is, and put it down so beautifully. But me always being Mr. Nice Guy I just couldn’t get myself to say it so forcefully — and correctly — and beautifully.


    Mods-breathing-um-but hot tub-shower








    Am I getting warmer?




    Which modem



    Without almost

    Pit science







    Lugging hinges


    I give up.

    (The spcebr woke up)


    u must say something abou tgoing away, or they will always fear u disappearing


    Anyway,I am not a believer that couples should abandon their kids for selfish reasons,such as a ” much needed break”

    Esther, that was a little harsh-sounding, and my response is from a mom who never went away without the kids (or with the kids for that matter), with the exception of one shabbos when my son was two and a half and I was pregnant with the second child.

    Your use of the word ABANDON implies a very negative connotation for a vacation that many parents need from their families. Although I would not go for a week, that is for each parent to decide. The kids are witha loving Bubby and Zaydie, that is surely not abandonment by any stretch of the imagination. And you think this is SELFISH????? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but once in a while parents NEED to be “selfish” so that they can reconnect with each other without little ones tugging at them. If they did this and left the kids frequently for a week at a time, I might agree with your assessment. But I think you are sounding a little judgmental about this. I wish I could have afforded to take such a vacation once a year.


    It is very IMPORTANT for parents to have alone time to be a couple and get to know each other in a private setting where they have real time to reconnect. I have babysat for my kids on various occasions.

    NEVER, EVER leave your children without telling them. THEY don’t like surprises. It terrifies them.

    What we do is tell the kids, “your so lucky you are going to have a sleep-over with Bubby and Zaidy. You are so lucky, how much fun is that going to be? Just you and them?” and then after they get excited about that, tell them Mommy and Daddy are going to go away for a few days while you and Bubby are going to have your sleep-over.

    Usually what happens is that when the parents come to pick them up they don’t want to go home.


    While we never yet left our children to go away I dont think its selfish for parents to do so. and its not fair to judge others, maybe the parents are working themselfs to the bone to end the month and they need to recharge so they can be better parents to their children.


    Thanx gabboim.

    Deiyezooger,you’re right it’s not fair to judge others. I did come off a bit strong (ya think??)but that’s because I believe in what I said. It could’ve been said nicer. Sorry for screaming. But I still think parents belong at home with their kids. Abandon is harsh term,I still feel like you are abandoning them even though it’s with a loving Bubby and zaidy. Maybe it’s ok for a night or two,but IMHO a weeks a bit selfish. I keep saying that when our kids are married then we will have time to recharge and reconnect. For now,mom and dad should stay put or go out for a coupla hours at most.

    And oomis, while I do respect you and your opinion,here I have to respectfully disagree. I don’t believe parents have a right to be selfish.we need to be selfless in raising our kids.I can BH afford to get away for a bit alone with my husband but that would never enter my mind.


    Sorry to tell you this, but if you put your marriage on hold until your kids are married, you won’t have a relationship to recharge or reconnect – you’re going to have to undo the damage from decades of neglect. The best thing you can do to prepare your kids for marriage is show them that you and your husband cherish your marriage and each other, and that includes spending time without the kids.

    Leaving the kids with Savta is fantastic for all involved! The kids get an adventure, Savta gets to spoil them without you looking on in disapproval, and you and DH come back refreshed & reenergized.


    going anywhere, even safta, is changing rules, schedules, anything you train them wont be kept the same way. Takes long to bring back everything to good order. Meal times, Jobs, Brachos, clean up, where one may may not walk around with food, whatever. take it into account, and Enjoy your trip!


    Hey chanie- whoever said we put our marriage on hold? All i said is that we put our thoughts of recharging and reconnecting ON VACATIONon hold until the kids are married! We go out on “dates” pretty often,and that’s enough to keep us going. My idea of recharging and reconnecting is actually taking my whole family on a trip. I love seeing their faces when they get on a plane,or see Disney world or other experience other treats. THAT recharges me. THIER FACES.THE LOOK OF WONDER. I love it. I wouldn’t even enjoy going on a trip without them. If they can’t come,you know what? I’d rather stay home WITH them.


    Prof, I abide by my kids rules and always teach my grandkids to listen to Mommy & Daddy also to apologize to Mommy & Daddy when they don’t listen. So if you DON’T have that kind of relationship with your parents or in-laws, I guess you should stay home.


    shev143- go and have a gr8 time. don’t even think about what some pple say here. the chart is a gr8 idea, as the older kids can actually see when you will be back. and a trip with bubby should be alot of fun. kol hakovod to your mom for helping you out and letting you rest up with your husband.

    m in Israel

    As has been said already — always tell your kids what to expect, and never “sneak away”. That being said, don’t overdo the explanations due to your own anxiety, as the kids will pick up on that. Just be matter of fact and excited, and they’ll be fine.

    estherhamalka — Every couple is different and has different needs. I have never left my kids for a week long vacation — my husband and I usually do the “date night” thing — but I can understand those who do it – and certainly don’t see anything wrong! I find it interesting that you started the thread complaining about midwinter vacation. You are upset that you have to deal with your kids needs for one week. When it comes to winter vacation, why don’t you also feel that “These are your kids. All they have is you. They didn’t ask to be born. You chose to have them . . Hashem gave you treasures and you are willing to just let go of them for a few days for your own selfish reasons?” It is not the job of the schools to entertain or babysit your kids — they are your kids! But you are upset at the idea of having to deal with them during their vacation — don’t begrudge other people what they need!


    estherhamalka…you are way off base. Who are you to say what a married couple should or shouldn’t do? And leaving your children with their grandparents is hardly abandoning them. There is nothing, let me repeat NOTHING wrong with a married couple taking a time to reconnect as husband and wife. If it’s not for you fine, but you have no right to look down on those who do.

    Secondly, Do you want to make your kids nervous every time you leave the house wondering when you will return? Make staying with their savta exciting, build it up during the week…they’ll be very happy to go on their adventure…so, honesty is the best policy!


    Mike-the kids can stay at savtas,that’s not the problem. The problem occurs when parents leave their kids at savtas for an extended amount of time. Of course savta is the best babysitter in the world. But savta is not mommy. And kids need to be home with mommy. And daddy. Yes, I do look down on people who abandon their kids to the grandparents. It botheres me.I don’t think I’m off base. I think I’m actually very on base. I take my child rearing very seriously. No I’m not perfect,but i do the best I can. And going away without my kids is not doing the best you can. Sorry. No way. If husband and wife need to reconnect,they can go out for an evening. If that’s not enough then a night alone is more then enough. A week is way too much. Imagine your wife told you,mike.I’m going away for a week so I can recharge…would that seem fair to you?she will argue that she needs time away from you so she can get reenergized and be a better wife when she comes home, would you accept that? I think it’s ludicrous. You want to recharge then you shouldn’t have had so many children so fast and so close together. We are not in a contest or a race. The kids you had dint have t suffer being left at savtas cuz mom and dad are so over worked and over tired from them. I repeat- you had them,they didn’t ask to be born. Now do what you have to do. For shame.


    Leave the kids with a family picture of them with you and your husband, as well as a calendar showing the day you leave and when you come back. Let them and Savta check off one box every day on the calendar


    1-who ever said I’m taking my kids ti Disney??

    2-criticize?maybe,didn’t mean for it to vpcome out that way. Just started off saying that parents need to be at home w thier kids.and when people started attacking my point of view then I got a bit harsh, I did apologize. As far as respecting others,I can respect others. I figured the OP was asking our opinions on the whole matter of what to say to the kids regarding her “escape”. And it bothered me,so as far as respecting the OP,dont think I can. Criticize,yeah that i can not do…in the end each person is free to do as they please…they don’t need my permission. I just felt bad fir the kids.


    your post above mentions Disney..


    esthermalka, a grandparent IS a parent and there is nothing wrong for a grandparent stepping in so the parents can get a break. If the mother has a baby and is in the hospital for anywhere from two to 4 days depending on the delivery, the grandmother will step in. It is not up to you to decide when the Grandmother’s services are appropriate or not. The point is that the grandmother is perfectly capable of caring for the children and the children are perfectly happy and adjusted to the arrangement. It is a win/win situation all the way around. IF you choose NOT to do it, it certainly is your choice but it does not make you a better mother than others who choose to avail themselves.


    Yes,that I have taken them there in the past,don’t know how soon I’m doing that again…anyway,I’m done with this topic. I’ve said my piece and I’m ready to move on ( :

    Mike,are you related to charliehall?


    esther, to answer your question: yes, it is ok for a spouse to say ” I need time to rejuvinate” and go on a vacation. To have time apart is healthy for the relationship, it allows you to miss your spouse and it reminds you of how much you should appreciate each other.


    Shev- that is very true. Nothing wrong.

    My kids love to go to Bubby! They wouldn’t mind if I leave them there once in 2 weeks!!


    esther, your post in “Frum People/ Traif Restaurant” is a omplete contradiction to everything you’re preaching. You left your poor kids inorder to buy some Mexicans dinner (when it wasn’t even necessary for you to go along).


    Yes, tell them. Not too far ahead of time, and you don’t need to use the word ‘vacation’, just ‘mommy and daddy will be taking a short trip.’ I’ve always had a feeling that our children have a better sense of time, based on landmarks. You can say something like ‘We’ll be away the rest of this week and one Shabbos and we’ll be back the day after Shabbos.’


    “My kids love to go to Bubby! They wouldn’t mind if I leave them there once in 2 weeks!!”

    they wouldnt mind but would bubby or zaide? or any other members of your family that r still at home


    your so lucky you are going to have a sleep-over with Bubby and Zaidy.”

    This was so cute, it reminded me of what my 4-year-old ainekel said to me yesterday. My son and DIL came over yesterday with their older son and newborn baby boy. By the end of the visit, my grandson looked up at his parents solemnly and said to them, “Abba, one Shabbos I want to go sleep over by Bubby and Zaydie without you and Mommy. Just me, Bubby and Zaydie. You’ll take me to their house for Shabbos, and then AFTER Shabbos, you will come back and pick me up to go home. Now THAT’S a good idea!”

    I wanted to eat him up. But I am restricting my sweet intake.

    always here

    oomis1105~ we both have such delicious stories of what our yummy ainekelech say! 😀 … B’H


    The Goq- that’s the reason why we don’t do it every 2 weeks!

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