For some parents, particularly those of younger children and toddlers, there may be issues that take place when you drop your child off for daycare, preschool, summer camp or any other type of child care activity. It’s entirely natural for some kids to struggle with being separated from their parents when they’re young, especially if they’re just starting out in child care programs for the first time, but there are also several basic themes you can hit on that will help limit this kind of separation anxiety.
At Smart Kids Development Center, we’re cognizant of important details like drop-off and pickup for all our child care programs, and we’re happy to assist any parents who require some special care for their child after being dropped off. We’re also here to offer our expertise on this area, where we’ve seen just about everything and have some excellent tips that often help parents work with their kids and improve this sort of anxiety. This two-part blog series will focus on tactics for your kids specifically in part one, then will look into some parent-focused areas you can maintain in part two.
Particularly for kids who are just entering a child care program for the first time, but even for others who have prolonged anxiety issues with leaving their parents in the morning, one great strategy is to simply talk through it. Explaining to your child in advance what’s happening, including sometimes as early as the night or day before, goes a long way toward helping them mentally prepare.
For instance, inform your child that they’ll be getting dropped off at a fun place where they’ll get to see other kids. They get to have lunch and play with their new friends, and then at the end of the day, you’ll be right back to pick them up. Repeat this kind of communication as often as needed for your child.
For some kids, it’s the attachment to home that creates issues. In these cases, leaving them with something that reminds them of home, whether it’s a blanket, stuffed animal or any other token, is a great way to go. Some kids will need these for weeks when starting a new program, while others might only need them for a few days – and some might want them as a constant presence.
Another great tactic that will help kids cope with a new setting is creating a goodbye ritual when you drop them off. This usually involves some combination of “I love you” plus perhaps a physical component – do the same thing every time, so your child knows what to expect. Some parents and kids even develop a fun high-five or handshake to really cement the connection, and remind the child that their parent is thinking about them and will be back for them later in the day.
For more on how to ease your child’s stress with drop-off for any childcare program, or to learn about any of our daycare, preschool or other services, speak to the staff at Smart Kids Development Center today.