Dropping your little one off at Daycare/ school is very bitter sweet. I have had a front row seat to the back and forth that caused anxiety and frustration in both parents and children. You did not want to let them go and miss out on the fleeting precious moments, but you also want to set them up for good everyday.
If you are new to parenting and/ or to taking your baby to school there are so many questions or concerns that you might plague you as you walk out the door. But here are 5 ways to help your child bond with their teacher and help with peace of mind at morning drop offs.
1. Have a conversation with the teacher ahead of your first day
there are childcare centers that are very a time to the parents desire for a nurturing environment for their child. I’ve worked at places that allowed parents an intake meeting with teachers and I’ve worked at places where every portion of intake was handled by the administrative staff. Regardless of which model, alsways make sure you can meet with the teacher so you can ease your mind. If you are sure about the environment then your child will also be at ease during drop offs. Tell the teacher about your child, your concerns and come up with a plan to address them all.
intakes were essential to my ability to bond with every child I came in contact with. They allowed me to figure out how to approach each child and address what it would take to make them feel comfortable at school. It also helps parents to know that it is safe to talk to you about concerns they might have or ideas about how to help with issues.
2. Prepare your child
this is the most sound advice you will ever receive. Talk to your children about Everything! Let them know about plans. Take them to tours and intakes if you can. I know this might seem a little hippie-dippie , but let them guide your choice. Kids are a tune to so much. My fiancé and I took our nephew apartment hunting with us. Out of the six locations we visited that day, there were only two locations where he was at ease and wandered and he gravitated towards the leasing agent. We let distance from work and money be the deciding factor between those two, but we feel at home and he feels at home and that is what matters. Trust their instincts in order to have more meaningful connections. Talk to them about school. Show them pictures of the children and teachers in their class. Make it exciting for them. Talk about school like the magical experience it can be for them. Preparing them also prepares you and sets expectations.
3. Create a drop off ritual
Helping children adjust to school becomes easier when there is something they can count on everyday. I had a practice of greeting each and every child in a way that helped them feel welcomed and wanted. I also tried to respect the last few moments moms and dads tried to steal before heading out to work. The greeting would sometimes looked like a quick cuddle session. Sometimes it was asking about their night. For others it was just sitting and sharing a meal. One friend wouldn’t let go of her parent’s hand until I had her hand. Every ritual allowed for bonding opportunities for my students.
4. Let your child walk in the door
Letting toddlers and preschoolers walk in gives them the opportunity to explore their new environment to bond with teachers and other children. It also keeps them from absorbing your anxiety. You can carry them in the building, but when you are approaching the door put them down and encourage them. It will make the transition easier on the both of you.
5. Give them an idea of when you will return.
I know that the parent that drops off isn’t always the parent who picks up. — One of the first families I got to know had a one parent pick up and drop off routine. I referred to Dad as Snuffleupagus because I never saw him. It was our running joke for the year and a half I was her teacher. — Letting children know about when you are returning helps them to adjust to their day.
Early childhood teachers are there to partner with you in reaching your parenting goals. Building a rapport with them is important. Ask for details about you child’s day. Be honest with the teacher and yourself about behaviors or concerns. Having open communication with your child’s teacher in all situations will really help you child thrive.
What are some some morning rituals you had with your parents or that you have with your child or students?