Blogging Baby Size Six: The flawless drop-off

Filed under: Development/Milestones: Babies, Childcare, Day Care & Education

For those of us who have children in day care or preschool, we deal with separation anxiety for both ourselves and our children. Sometimes it is a chronic issue, other times it is circumstantial. Whatever the case, there are steps we can take to ease the angst for our kids. Following are a few suggestions I have gleaned over the years of either dropping of my kids or talking with day care providers.
  1. Organization is key. If you have diapers, special food or extra items to deliver to the facility, have them in a separate bag that you can easily hand to the teacher or care giver. If you have to stop and dig through a back pack or diaper bag, it will break the routine of the drop-off and create confusion for your child.
  2. Explain the routine to your child at home or in the car. Let them know that they will be at school and outline the basic routine for the day. This will prepare your child on a very basic level. My son, Devon, has been in preschool for nearly five months now, but I still explain the daily routine to him to give him an added bit of security.
  3. When unexpected situations arise, such as the teacher needing to dispense medication or provide a new food, call ahead and give the instructions, then include a note. This will prevent a long winded explanation at your arrival. Again, this will make the drop-off a bit more smooth.
  4. Never tell your child, "I'll be back soon." A child doesn't have a grasp on that concept. Give him/her a run down of the schedule so that he/she can focus on something concrete.
  5. Don't stay and watch your small person for long. Walk into the school, do your business and get out. If you hover, you child will wonder if there is something wrong and become anxious. The kindest thing is simply to drop off your child, get on with your day and let your child get on with his/hers. If your child does cry at drop off, you can always call the school to get an update.
  6. Finally, be confident. Children can easily pick up on our emotions. If you have spent the time to choose a great facility/school for your child, then you know it is safe, educational and fun. Your child is there to learn and have fun. Smile, carry yourself with confidence and reassure your child that school is a fun activity.

Last but not least, here is yet another biggie, if you work in a place that has on-site child-care, don't poke your head in during the day. Again, this creates confusion and just ends up hurting the child.

The above tips have helped me immensely over the years. Sometimes my kids have shed a few tears at drop-off, but by sticking to these suggestions we have been able to eliminate most anxious days. Do you have any ideas? If so, please share

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.