I’ve seen hundreds of children dropped off and picked up from school and preschool hundreds of times. Some parents do it right; some do it wrong. Here are 4 steps to ease the process.
1. Prepare your child and yourself.
Talk to your little one about daycare and encourage them to be excited. Also, make sure you explain the “Ws” – who, what, where, when, and why. As adults, we know how important information and advance notice is; kids need this as well.
It is also important to realize that this process may, in fact, be more difficult for you than for your child. Embrace this feeling and learn to handle it. It’s important to come to terms with the fact that your child is growing up and gaining independence; you should be proud!
2. Talk to the teacher.
Regularly interfacing with your child’s teacher is so important. Things change daily, and you don’t want to miss signing a field trip permission slip or an update about classroom policies and procedures.
Additionally, teachers are uber busy, and you may have noticed that the take home reports you receive are usually a bit vague. If you want specific information about your child as well as classroom activities, verbal communication with the teacher is the way to go.
3. Leave them in an activity not in the classroom.
Walk your child into the classroom, drop his or her stuff in the cubby, and then introduce your child into an activity. Children who are left standing by the door will stay there. Immediately introducing your child into something fun and engaging will allow you an easier exit.
4. Make it quick.
Ripping off a band-aid is much less painful if you do it quickly and so is leaving your child. Don’t draw it out. This does not mean you should just bring them to the classroom and then disappear. Resist the temptation to sneak away because this will backfire; you’re likely to create a bigger problem and your child will feel abandoned.
It’s also important to remember that children are sponges and imitators. In developmental psychology, we call this social referencing. Children intentionally search for information about others’ feelings to help explain the meaning of uncertain circumstances and events. In layman’s terms, if you begin to cry when leaving your child, he or she will cry. If you exude positivity and excitement, he or she will too.
What tips and tricks do you have for leaving your child at preschool?