Back-to-school season means getting back into your morning drop-off routine! Whether this is a brand-new experience or something your little one is familiar with, the first few weeks of school can be a difficult adjustment. Fortunately, kids are extremely adaptable and usually get settled right in once their caretakers say goodbye!
Still, those first few moments can cause feelings of separation anxiety to bubble up and tears to spill out – it’s normal for kids and adults to feel this way!
Quick and Easy Morning Drop-Offs
- Practice makes perfect
Check with your education center to see if you can stop by before the first day of school. Often, teachers and staff members are there getting things ready for the kids. This will help familiarize your child with their new surroundings before the big day.
- Build a routine
Practice a morning drop-off routine for at least a week before school starts. Go so far as packing up backpacks and driving past school while pointing out where they will be dropped off and how exciting it’s going to be! This repeated structure will make the adjustment seem like a more gradual change.
- Have a “bye-bye” routine
Lingering in an attempt to calm your child down often increases separation anxiety and makes children more upset when you have to rush out the door. Instead, create a special moment that always ends with a final kiss, hug, and “I love you!” For example, a secret handshake or a loving phrase.
- Set an emotional example
Kids tend to mirror emotions because they don’t yet understand how to regulate theirs. So, it’s important to put on a brave and happy face for your child, even if you are riddled with anxiety yourself! Your confidence will show them that everything is okay and they’re going to have a great time.