Daycare: Tips for Smoother Morning Drop-Offs
Aili: Keep in mind that they are in a place that they are loved and cared for as they are at home, and that the experiences and friendships they build with their classmates is something really special.
Rachel: Allow enough time to not be in a rush. The whole day is better when you didn't fly in to the center, peel your crying child off of you, and rush out the door hoping that's not your kid crying (knowing it is). When you get there early, you can linger a bit. Let your munchkin show you something she's excited about in the classroom, chat with the teacher, or just allow yourself a breath. Of course there will be days that all the planning in the world won't get you there early...but you can try.
Emily: For my kids, having a good-bye routine made it easier. It can be as easy as a hug and high-five, but something that you consistently do every day.
Heather: I struggled a lot with drop-off. My daughter did pretty well for a long time. We would hang out, chat with the teachers, and things usually went pretty smoothly. Once she turned 3 it went downhill. There was crying and clinging to my leg. Each time I would get a report half an hour later that she had calmed down quickly and was having a great day…but it was a tough way to go to work. Her teacher suggested making drop off very quick – and it worked. I walked her in the door, waved to her favorite teacher, turned around and walked out. No lingering in the classroom led to no tears and no leg-clinging. Be flexible, and ask the teachers for help – they’ve usually seen it all!
Laura: Spend some extra time in the classroom letting your little one get comfortable. Also, have a discussion with the teachers ahead of time so you’re on the same page about your approach to drop-off. For example, some days you may be able to spend that extra few minutes until your child is immersed in something in the classroom, but have a signal for those days when you can’t stick around and need the teacher to swoop in to help.
Media Mom: Be brave and confident for your child, even if you're a mess inside. That means be willing to leave your crying child in the arms of a loving teacher while you wave and smile and blow kisses. Save your breakdown for when you're out of sight. If you can't show your child that you're confident, it will be harder for him/her to adjust.
*This post was originally published in Sept 2015.