Is your child ready for their first school day drop-off? If you're not sure whether to linger, give a quick hug and leave, or select an in-between type of separation, take a look at what you need to know before your child starts preschool.
Do Leave Sooner Rather Than Later
Should you stay or should you go? There's no definitive answer to this dilemma. Your child wants you to stay for their school day—and you may want to spend as much time with them as possible. Even though it's normal for both the child and the parent to feel anxious about separating, it's often better to leave sooner rather than later.
Don't Rush Out of the Room
The longer you linger, the more difficult the process may become. But this doesn't mean you should rush out immediately after drop-off. A hasty exit may leave your child feeling lonely or confused. Take a middle-of-the-road approach and stay long enough to say goodbye without intruding on the pre-k's daily classroom schedule.
Instead of a quick, sneaky getaway, take the time to separate with your child in a positive way. Create a goodbye or drop-off ritual, such as three hugs and two kisses, a special song, or a silly handshake. These parent-child rituals provide concrete cues to your child. This can help your preschooler to understand (and come to expect) the separation process.
Do Talk to the Teacher
Are you still nervous about drop-off time? You may have talked to your child, created a goodbye ritual, and are ready to go. But you may still not sure how the separation will go. Contact your child's prekindergarten teacher before the first day of class. The early childhood educator has the knowledge and experience necessary to help you through this transitional time. Ask the teacher for ideas that can make the separation process easier for everyone involved.
Don't Forget About the Other Parents
Even though the teacher can provide valuable information on ways to separate at drop-off time, they aren't the only adult who can help you during the first few days or weeks of preschool. Get to know a few of the other parents in the class. Parents with drop-off experience can help you to navigate this new territory. Talk to the other moms and dads about real-world strategies that worked for them. They may have tips or tricks you haven't thought of.
For more information, contact a preschool.