From our experience, we’ve learned that even the most out-going child that you’d think would just wave goodbye had a bit of anxiety heading to preschool.
Although we knew her anxiety wouldn’t last forever, at the time it felt like a million years. However, with the love, guidance and patience of our amazing teachers our toddler runs into school and at pickup doesn’t want to leave!
Here’s a few simple tips that made separation work smoothly for our family:
Consistent, but Simple Goodbye Routine – Decide on a quick goodbye ritual: hug, kiss, high five, then say goodbye. Make sure to let your child know you will be back and head for the door. Don’t linger. Make sure that a teacher knows your plan and is nearby to help re-direct your child to another activity.
Reminders of home– Bring a special lovey to school to cuddle and make sure to fill your family book with special pictures. These items will remind your toddler of love and comfort.
Trust– Trust the teachers and their understanding of the separation process. They are experts at re-directing to another activity, as well as providing hugs and lots of affection when your child is having a hard time saying goodbye.
Keep Your Cool– As hard as the separation process may seem, remain calm with an encouraging smile in front of your child. You can always fall apart when you’re outside the preschool gates.
Be Early– Make sure that you or a caregiver is on time or even a little early! That will make drop-off much smoother the next day, because they know that you are really coming back.
Hope these tips are helpful to parents with little ones heading to preschool for the first time!
Thanks for pointing out that having a routine for goodbyes that are swift is a good practice. As you mentioned, it will make them distracted by other activities when done as fast as possible. I will share this information with my sister since she is already looking for a preschool near their house because their son will be on the right age next year. Their son can be quite shy just like his father that is why this tip will be helpful once they enroll him.
I’m so glad that you read my post and that the information will potentially help your sister! Let me know if the tips helped 🙂