How to create a good-bye routine for dropping your pre-schooler off (so they don’t cry and start your day without guilt)
*deep breaths - panic - deep breaths*
Anyone who's put a kid in daycare knows the anxiety of dropping them off for the first time. And then, there's the first day of pre-school. You'd think leaving them at school would be just as simple as leaving them at daycare, but no. It's a whole different kind of anxiety. For both you and them.
That's why we love good-bye routines around here. Here's a few tips from some of the experts and a few that work really well for us.
Words, Words, Words
Start with the words. What catch phrase would help calm your child? Or is there a nickname you use when you hold your child? Use this phrase at the end of the routine or use the nickname as you say good bye.
For some kids, it's more helpful to hug at the beginning of the routine (when you're outside the building or in the car) and for others, it's more helpful to do it right before they walk in.
Special High Five
A pre-school teacher at our school asked each of her students to create a special high five to do with their parents before they enter the classroom each day. Let your child take the lead on this and create the high five sequence. This is not only fun, it helps them feel in control of the good bye process.
Speaking of letting your child be in control, help them create a few affirmations. Use "I am..." statements. Here are a few great ones:
I am a good learner
I am the best __ I can be!
I am confident because I know my parents love me
I am a great student
Use these as jumping off points to help build the routine for them - and you'll even find a few points of anxiety relief for yourself!