Successful Morning Drop Off
Drops offs can be difficult for both the child and the parent particularly if the child is reluctant to transition in the morning to school. Young children are very reluctant to change and same days may be more difficult than others. With a few tips and techniques and by working with your child’s teacher, anxiety during morning drop off can be alleviated.
1) Communicate with your child’s teacher – Your child’s teacher is an excellent resource. Please communicate with her regarding your child’s morning after drop off and for the rest of the day.
2) Be consistent – From a young age, your child will benefit from the same drop off routine day-to-day. When the child knows what to expect, he or she will be less anxious about the process. Develop and stick to a set routine.
3) Don’t sneak out on your child – Leaving without saying “goodbye” will undermine your child’s trust. Open the classroom door for your child and allow her/him to walk in unassisted. A quick hug and kiss at the door makes departure clear but quick and the child will understand it as a part of the morning ritual.
4) Don’t insist on a goodbye – After you say “goodbye” (at the door) to your child, please leave in a timely manner. Many parents make the mistake of waiting too long after saying “good bye” in order to wait for a response. Some children will respond and others will not. However, if the parent lingers too long inside or outside the classroom, it can confuse the child as s/he doesn’t understand if the parent is really leaving.
5) Prepare your child for the drop off – As you approach the school each morning, prep your child for what is about to happen. Take a few minutes to describe your set routine. Knowing what is coming next will go a long way toward making your child feel comfortable.
6) Walk with your child into the building – If your child can walk encourage your child to walk into the school and classroom. The physical separation makes it much easier for the child.
7) Include your child in the process – Children feel empowered when they are included and have some control over their environment and what happens to them. Give your child set tasks to complete upon entering the classroom. Your child can help hang up her coat, or put extra clothes into her cubby. The more included she feels in the process, the more comfortable she will be.
8) Be positive – Drop offs can be just as hard, if not harder, on parents. It is extremely difficult to leave your child when you feel he is sad, or upset. Remember that your child takes his cues from you. If he can sense that you are anxious, chances are he will be anxious too. However, if you are happy and excited about going to school, then your positive outlook will rub off on your child, too.
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