5 steps to happy goodbyes

We’ve all been there, or seen it. Kids in the throws of a full blown tantrum because they A – didn’t want Mommy or Daddy to go to work, or B (and sometimes AND B) – didn’t want to leave dayhome/daycare because they were having so much fun!

I’ve been on both ends, and through trial and error, and discussions with other parents, here is our top 5 list of tips to survive the transitions:

  1. Try and ensure drop off/pick up is approximately the same time each day. This is particularly helpful when kids are younger. I also tried to ensure I wasn’t picking up during nap hours, as that can make for a VERY grumpy pick up. Kids thrive on routine and predictability, so keeping with that theme will make things easier.  While mine are older, varying the time is easier on them than it used to be, I find that if I can pick up on the hour or 1/2 hour, they are usually already in a transition, so that makes things easier for me.
  2. Talk to your child(ren) about the drop off and pick up. Remind them that it is going to happen, talk about all the fun they are going to have at their day home, and that because they are having fun, the day will go by really fast!  For pick ups, have something in the back of your mind that is fun for them in the evening – even if it is just an extra long cuddle with a good book once dinner is over, or a bubble bath before bed. Making them part of the conversation, and therefore part of the solution, helps them feel empowered, and will make things easier.
  3. For drop off, especially as you are beginning the routine of childcare, ensuring your child has their favorite stuffy or blankie can help a lot. My daughter absolutely LOVES her dayhome, would rather go there most days than stay home, but going without her teddy and teddy blankie is NOT an option.  That piece of home can go a long way to helping childcare become the home away from home. It will also help your provider at nap time!
  4. Work with your provider if you are finding drop off and pick up particularly hard: they can be your secret weapon. They can help find an activity, toy, game, craft, etc. to distract your little one as you leave. At the end of the day, you can work with them to have your child already prepped and in the leaving mode so you are not interrupting a fun activity.
  5. As with all things, ensuring your child is well fed and well rested will go a long way to making everything easier.

And a lesson to take to heart, while their tears may break your heart for the entire drive to work, by the time you have backed the car out of the drive, they are fine and having a ball with their friends.

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