5 Ways to Make School or Daycare Drop-Off Easier for Kids (and Parents)

5 Ways to Make School or Daycare Drop-Off Easier for Kids (and Parents)

Oh the first day of school. The day when there are tears on both sides of the fence. This year, I get the double whammy - first day of a new school for my big kiddo and first day of preschool for my littlest. That’s two big days for two kids, and one ball of nerves Mama.

If you have a little one heading to the first day of school (or daycare / preschool) on Tuesday, I’ve rounded up some tips for you. Some that I’ve learned from past experience, and others are tips from daycare providers and teachers that will hopefully make the drop-off experience easier on all of us. 


1 - Stick to a Routine 


Any big change delivers with it a great deal of uncertainty for children. Creating a routine and talking about it in advance lets them know what to expect. Say “I’m going to give you a hug and you’re going to walk into the classroom and I’m going to go to work. I’ll come back to pick you up when school is over”. Make sure to tell them that you will be back.


2 - Visit the School in Advance 


Take a walk or drive to the school before the first day to show your child where they will be going. If the school has a playground, spend some time there letting them get used to the surroundings. If it doesn’t, take a walk around the building or walk from your car to the door to familiarize them with the setting.


3 - Make School Sound Fun 


Reading books about school or talking about all the fun things they’re going to get to do during their day without you can help your child to get excited about this new place. We have a whole list of books to read before starting school



4 - Don’t Turn Back 


This is the hardest part. When you say you're leaving, you need to leave. Don’t keep turning back if they cry. One trick I’ve tried is to give them a lovey and say “If you’re feeling sad, you can hug (lovey’s name)”. Whatever you do, don’t wait until they're distracted and sneak away. This will only make them more upset when they realize you’ve left. Always make sure they see you leave, even though that can be really hard.


5 - Make a Plan for After School 


Give your child something to look forward to. Telling them what you’re going to do when you pick them up can give them something to look forward to and helps to reassure them that you are indeed coming back. It can be something as simple as “when I come back we’ll go to the park” or “when I come back we’re going to talk all about your day”. 


Adjusting to a new school routine is hard and it may take a few weeks for your drop-off to look like this picture, but with time and a little patience it will pay off. 


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