As the days have turned into weeks, our youngest students have become increasingly comfortable with the school environment and classroom routines. This progress is quite impressive given that in the grand scheme of things, the school year is still a relatively new experience for them. It is very common—and understandable—for children to continue to express hesitation and sadness at morning drop-off. Over the course of the year, some children will master the art of separation. Others will fluctuate in their response to morning drop-off, while some will have regular difficulty saying goodbye. Rest assured that wherever your child may be within this range is normal and okay—even Primary and Elementary students experience mixed emotions about separating from loved ones in the morning! Below are some tips and tricks that may make for a smoother drop-off process:
Anticipate set-backs. These often occur after weekends, vacation breaks, illness, and other major changes like a move or welcoming a new sibling.
Have a consistent drop-off routine. This may look comparable to a “secret handshake”; e.g. a hug, a kiss, a high-five, and off you go! Involve your child in creating this routine and practice it at home. Make sure to keep it short and sweet.
When your child has a seamless transition and eagerly begins the journey to the classroom, try to avoid the temptation to call out and get their attention. Doing so has the potential to reset the whole process.
Prepare your child for the separation in incremental steps, such as giving them the opportunity to walk down the stairs and/or wait for a teacher while holding your hand.
Read books on saying goodbye:
Gotta Go, Buffalo by Haily and Kevin Meyers
Bye-bye Time by Elizabeth Verdick
Goodbye Brings Hello: A book of firsts by Dianne White
Llama llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
Mama Always Comes Home by Karma Wilson
Remember, your classroom teachers are the best resource for strategizing ways to support your child at morning drop-off. Please do not hesitate to reach out to them!