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.