A teacher's guide to a smooth drop-off
Daycare can be one of the greatest experiences of your young child's life. Your child can flourish and play with their peers and learn and love their teachers. The hard part? Getting them there, and being able to leave. Here is a guide that will provide helpful tips for a smooth drop off...
A parent's worst nightmare is seeing their child crying when they leave. The thoughts that go through the parents mind for the rest of the day are never positive. "What if Johnny was crying the whole day?" "What if they didn't eat?" "What if they think that I don't love them?!" Don't worry! Your child will never think that!
Let's start from the beginning, the first drop-off is hands down the WORST drop-off. As a teacher, my heart goes out to the parents. That is, until it's time for them to leave, and they DO. NOT. LEAVE. I promise you, the best way to do this is to give a kiss goodbye, remind them you'll be back after work to get them and leave. Like a band-aid, the best way is the quickest.
When a child first enters a daycare setting, it takes roughly 3 weeks to perfect that perfect drop-off routine. You know the one, when the child is able to go right to the table for breakfast, or go and join a friend in circle area. Those are the drop-offs parents dream off, and dread. The drop-offs when the children forget to say goodbye or just give a quick wave. But those are the drop-offs teachers LOVE to see. It let's everyone know that the child is comfortable and happy in their environment.
I've had nightmare drop-offs when the child will literally get sick in the sink as soon as she entered. Again, that lasted only roughly 3 weeks. Until she was comfortable enough around her teachers to feel safe. I've had other ones where the parents stay all day, or pop in every 10 minutes JUST as the child is getting settled. Those I shake my head. No matter how many times you try to tell the parent that you've been through this, they just don't want to listen.
Sometimes it's easiest to think of a fun routine with your child, for example; I had a mother that brought her son to see our pet hamster every morning. After they said "hi" to her, she would bring him to the window and say good-bye through the window. Another example is, I had a father that would drive by the window on the way to work, so his daughter would wait at the window and love to see Daddy waving to her!
It's small things that really make the difference, maybe your child loves art, so you can help them start a project. Or maybe they love to read, you could read a short 2 minute book with them and then let them know you have to leave.
It's all in the routine, once you find a good one, that's it! It'll make drop-offs so much easier and leave you that much less stressed.
Final thoughts, have trust in your teachers, they know what they're doing!