Many parents talk to me about dropping their child off at school or kindy.

Some find it hard, some are worried about whether their child enjoys school, and some tell me stories about staff having to prise their child off them.

Others tell me horror stories about walking away from crying children.

Well if this is your morning, then there are a few things to help you. Firstly if your child is anxious about missing out on things that you are doing then share with them what you are doing.‎

Some of the children I’ve worked with (including teens) have needed an hour by hour schedule.

Others, particularly young children, need the reassurance that you’re not sneaking off to the park (!) and that it’s your work time, just as it is theirs.

If they are going to miss you, which is perfectly normal, you may choose to arrange with the staff to leave something of yours there. Finally make sure your child knows who is picking them up, it’s a simple trick that reduces stress enormously for some children.

Now for those of you reading this screaming at me that this would make your child worse, then don’t fear, not all children are the same.

Some children are anxious about their day and need the reassurance of what they are doing throughout the day, a timetable of their day.

If your child feels overwhelmed by chaos or insecure about transition or what to play with then you can help them by making sure they have the reassurance of knowing what they are doing.

If they are insecure about leaving you, shift the focus onto what they are doing throughout the day, who they are going to play with, what they are going to make.

Plan for your transition into school and make it quick.

As a teacher I can reassure you that the most difficult transitions can be the ones where parents linger. The staff are trained and help children settle to tasks very quickly, more often then not it takes longer for us adults to get over a traumatic separation than it does a crying child.

As with many things, it is the small changes that make the difference.

Small changes can be repeated and become a ritual. Rituals are the key to successful changes, so try changing something small about your drop off routine for a couple of weeks and see what a difference it makes.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • My child’s daycare advise parents not to linger. And I agree about shifting the focus to your child’s day.


  • So long as you are not involved on the P&C or whatever it’s called these days, then drip off and pick up time is relatively quick. Otherwise there is always someone wanting to talk to you.


  • I’m all of that and more. I had the crying at the glass door while I walked away. I had the you don’t need to find in with me talk. I had it all. It was all hard and I cried every time. Doesn’t make it easy, no matter how your kids react to it


  • One about to start a few days of daycare and another starting after school care. I think I need a kid calmer ;)


  • My son has a morning rooster to get ready for school, it helps him get ready. He is a highly emotional kid and helps us get ready in a hurry if needed. He also has a daily rooster which we change every night which helps us with the after school homework, after school activities getting ready for bed etc. If its on the rooster there is no arguing about anything at all.


  • I guess I’m lucky (or unlucky) that my kids could care less if I’m there or not lol they’re typical social butterflies and just wanna play with friends


  • I was lucky to never have trouble taking my kids to daycare or school, they just love going and brig there.

    • too easy then mama lol. great job with the happy kids


  • I think this forgets to take into account the fact that every child is different. I was told with daycare not to linger. My little one would scream and scream. When we started a new daycare they suggested I stay for a bit until she was settled and happy and show her it was a safe environment. We decreased the time I stayed each day. She was so much happier and it was so much easier to drop her off. We were able to work out what things she found scary because she was more comfortable talking to me about it and then we could start a conversation with her teacher together.

    • i like that the daycare was looking out for your child and trying to build trust


  • My personal opinion is that every child is different and that what you expect isn’t always the reaction your going to get. My first son which I thought would be emotional virtually said “ok mum bye, see you later.” Where as my second son cried and clung to me, and I thought that he would have been the opposite. Lets see what happens with my third son??


  • My kids love going to school and daycare. I am worried however about my children changing school next year as they have to catch the school bus and they are only young :(


  • I’m fortunate that my kids aren’t phased by being dropped off at day care, mostly because it’s their routine now and they know what to expect.


  • Lucky me – all my kids have been very happy to be dropped off.


  • I am dreading the day I have to drop of my son. I think I will be in tears

    • Just remember, quick and loving. x


  • my daughter still gives me grief every single week. im sure its all for my benefit but she knows how to make me feel guilty!

    • And I bet she’s fine once you’ve left. Try a few of these tips and see if they make a difference.


  • Have 3 children and they were all different as far as dropping off at kindy and school. Think it’s best to adjust to each child. Also really depends on the teacher and their particular rules – some were quite strict and others were more laid back. Such a mix of experiences.

    • Yes, the staff have a huge impact on supporting children too.


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