Many parents know all too well that leaving their little one's sight to take a shower or grab a snack can lead to a full-on meltdown fueled by separation anxiety. Even if their partner or other caregiver is present, kids might lose their cool. But a mom from Japan named Fuki Sato has come up with a genius trick that seems like a winning solution to this common problem: a cardboard cut-out of her likeness. Sato's husband recently presented the tip on Twitter, where it has racked up over 47K retweets and 123K likes.
In his tweet, Sato's husband, who goes by @Sato_Nezi, wrote that their 1-year-old cries as soon as his mom leaves the room. "As a countermeasure, I experimented with what would happen if I set up a 'life-sized panel mother,'" he said in Japanese, sharing photos of the cardboard cut-outs—they actually created two, one of Sato standing and the other sitting—and an adorable clip in which Sato quietly leaves the room with the standing cut-out in place while her son plays with his dad.
"As a result, it is not noticed for about 20 minutes," the proud father shared.
Parents all over the internet are loving Sato's trick. One childcare worker chimed in that she did something similar, writing that toddlers follow her out of the room, so she started to put a photo of her face on a balloon to keep them content.
Of course, it's never advisable to leave a little one completely unattended, but in cases like Sato's, where another adult is present, leaning on an inanimate likeness of yourself to serve as your proxy seems like a brilliant way to take those much-needed, well-deserved breaks.