For toddlers, transitioning from one activity to the next takes time and reassurance. The same is true for transitioning from one physical space to another. Does your drop-off routine have you and your preschooler feeling tentative in the mornings? You’re not alone! Veteran and new parents alike know that preschool drop-offs don’t always run smoothly. You can help make the transition easier on them by following these tried and true tactics to achieve a peaceful start to the school day.
1. Arrive Well-Rested and Well-Fed
Ample sleep and a full belly make for happier kids at drop-off. Set your child up for success by making sure that she’s getting at least 10-12 hours of sleep per day (including naps). This may mean adjusting her bedtime so that she’s able to log enough hours before waking up for breakfast. Serve complex grains like old-fashioned oatmeal or whole wheat toast and a source of protein (think eggs, yogurt, or peanut butter) to give your child lasting energy. However, the best breakfast in the world won’t help much if your child doesn’t have enough time to eat it before heading out the door. Plan accordingly if you have a slower eater.
2. Model Confidence
Children naturally pick up on their parents’ emotions, so don’t let your fears about drop-off become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead of fretting about how it might go, do your best to project calm, cheerful confidence. Smile when you talk about school activities, and let your child “overhear” you praising the school or his teacher to your friends. If your child senses that you are excited for him and anticipate a good day, he’ll look forward to his time at preschool, too! If the preschool’s location is close to your home, even better. You can walk or drive by on the weekends to help build anticipation for the upcoming week.
3. Pack a Security Object
While preschoolers can seem a lot more grown up than they were at the toddler stage, they are still quite small and may need a reminder of home while they’re away. You can ease that discomfort by sending along a well-loved blanket or stuffed animal along with them. With a security object in hand, your little one will feel more confident in a new place.
4. Redirect Attention
Occasionally, drop-off difficulties are rooted in a child’s anticipation of the separation. You can help them transition into their preschool environment by giving your child something else to think about right before you say good-bye. Teachers are always happy to help by engaging kids with a new toy or fun activity.
5. Create a Farewell Routine
While it might be tempting to sneak away without saying goodbye as soon as your child looks the other way, that kind of unexpected change can make farewells even more difficult in the long run. Instead, come up with a quick and easy goodbye routine that’s specific to your morning drop-off. Maybe you can share a special handshake with your child, or whisper an encouraging phrase in his ear when you hug goodbye. Whatever you choose, make a regular habit of it so that your child knows exactly what to expect. Our schools are equipped with lobby monitors for parents to watch their child’s classroom before they leave. This helps provide a peace of mind that their child is adjusting and engaging with toys, friends, and teachers before they depart.
At Precious Memories Preschool of Sandy Hollow PreSchool of Sandy Hollow, we offer a special place for children to not only grow and develop along the way, but a place for them to CELEBRATE each and every step. If you are interested in enrolling your child in our program please fill out the form on this page or call us at 860.572.9958