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Drama During Preschool Drop Off? What to Do

A Preschooler
Some kids have a hard time when their parent drops them off at school. This is common, especially in the first few months of preschool. Knowing what to do and how to help your child in this situation can make the transition from home to school much easier for everyone. Although there isn't a magical solution for this problem, these tips can help you make drop-off time easier, faster, and less dramatic for everyone.

Practice Drop Offs

Some kids just need practice. The drop off in the morning can come as a shock, and a child who has not prepared for the experience of being dropped off may react strongly to the experience.

Practice the morning drop off at home. Play a game where you imagine that you've arrived at the school, and it's time for you to go. Describe the scene to your child. Have your child wear a backpack or whatever he or she would wear to the preschool.

Pretend that the teacher and classmates are there, and it's time for you to go. Make the game cheerful and happy. Tell your child what to expect. Practice this game several times so your child will know what to do and how to react when the real deal is happening.

When the time comes to drop your child off, remind your child about the fun game you played and how your child did so well when you practiced. Help your child get back into that head space that helped them during the game.

Experiment With Timing

Some children react strongly to their preschool drop off because they need a moment to ease into the classroom world. If their parent leaves too soon, this can be distressing. Time together in the classroom helps make the transition smooth.

Other children have the opposite problem and will come to rely on their parent's presence with every moment they spend together in the classroom. For these children, a short and sweet drop off is essential.

As a parent, you'll need to experiment with your timing and technique as you drop your child off at school. Arrive early to preschool so you have a moment with your child to adjust. When your child is engaged in an activity or is talking to a friend, make your exit. Don't sneak away, but make your exit as low-key as possible. Your child should know you're going, but it should be a non-event in your child's day.

If this doesn't work, take the opposite approach. Drop your child off quickly, give your child a kiss, and leave with expedience. See which one works best.

Get a Good Night's Rest

Some children are more emotional when they're tired. Getting a good night's sleep helps to ensure that your child has the energy to cope with their strong feelings. Start getting your child ready for bedtime earlier in the evening. Help your child wind down by reading extra books before bedtime. Make sure that your child is not hungry and has gone to the bathroom so that when it's time to go to sleep, your child will be ready.

Work With the Teacher

Each child is different. Some coping strategies will work better than others, depending on your child's character and personality. Your child's teacher will have a lot of experience with different coping mechanisms and may have a good sense of what will work best for your child. Ask the teacher what they would recommend to help your child get over the goodbye drama.

At Riviera Daycare & Preschool, we're always happy to answer parent questions and give them ideas about how they can prepare their child for preschool. For more information about easing drop off drama, contact one of our staff members today.