Handling Drop Off Time Like a Pro

I can't believe it's already that time--a brand new school year begins this Monday! New school years are so fun, full of excitement and promise! They can also be a little overwhelming--new routines, new transitions, new faces--and not just for the children! One way to make the transition into the new school year easier is to have a good grasp on how to facilitate a supportive transition for your child from your home to our classroom. Here are some time-tested do's and don'ts for dropping your child off for preschool.

1. Don't be taken aback by the tears (or the lack of them)!

Any day chock full of big emotions is liable to bring on the tears. Remember, these little people are still working on understanding what they're feeling and how to translate that into action and all the hub-bub, commotion, and newness of the year can get overwhelming. This doesn't mean they're going to hate school or it's going to break their hearts to go without you--I promise! It simply means they have a lot to process and it's coming out the most natural way they know how--tears.

On the flip side, don't worry if there aren't any tears! Your child still loves you, they just might be a little more emotionally adjusted, or have a temperament that embraces change more readily.

2. Do keep yourself calm.

Our children look to us to guide them. If we're upset, they are 100% more likely to feel insecure and lose it--if there mom or dad can't handle them going to school then it must be scary! You set the tone for how they're going to feel--be their calm in the emotional storm and save your first day tears for after drop off ;)

3. Don't sneak away!

This always seems like a good idea--if my child doesn't know when I leave they aren't going to cause a big scene, right? Very wrong. If you sneak off your child has a higher tendency to feel insecure and wary of this new place where mom or dad disappear without warning. They're just as likely to have a big meltdown--just after they've realized you've left, and the next day they are likely to cling to you if they can't trust when you're going to stay or leave.

4. Do keep your goodbye brief, simple, and positive.

The best goodbyes are simple, calm, and confident. Create a little routine--kiss, hug, and a wave from the window for example. Keeping it consistent helps your child know what's coming. Keeping it brief and positive lets them know it doesn't have to be a huge, scary deal and that mom and dad will be back at the end of the day. Once again, you're their compass for how to feel--if you're confident it shows them that the school day isn't something to fear! Greet the teacher's like old friends (we'll do the same with you!), and you'll show your child these new people are safe and can be trusted.

This is not to say that following all of these tips will make for picture perfect transitions every day--everyone has rough day (and sometimes a rough week, or month!), but doing your best to foster a calm and positive daily transition will help you create more confidence and security in your child in the long run. If you every have a tough drop off and are concerned with how your child fared after you left--send us an email or call the office and we'll be happy to let you know how they're doing!

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