Starting an early learning program can be an emotional time for both parents and children. Saying good-bye to Mom/Dad can be scary. Creating a Good-bye Routine can help children feel safe and secure:
- Tell her what to expect ~ “When we get there, we will put your coat away. Then we can read a book together. After that, Mom/Dad will give you a kiss and then go. Mom/Dad will be back to get you after your nap.” If she shows any concern, tell her that it is ok to feel that way, but that there will be lots of fun and exciting things to do at the program.
- Stay a little while. Explore the classroom, read a book. Then, it’s time to leave.
- Stay upbeat. If you look worried or sad, so will your child.
- Make it special. Give your child a kiss to hold all day. Have a saying or handshake just between the two of you.
- Resist the urge to rescue your child. If your child cries and you run back in, it sends the message that she is only ok if you are there. Wait outside the classroom until her cries diminish or call later to ensure all is well.
- Be timely! Returning at the same time each day keeps your child from worrying that you have forgotten her. This will make the next drop-off easier, as she learns that you will always come back when you say you will.