Picking Up and Dropping Off: Tips for Easing These Transitions
For young children, transitions can be difficult, and while your child may have a perfectly lovely day at daycare, dropping her off and picking her up may be a bit stressful. Keep our tips for a smooth dropoff and pickup in mind.
- Say goodbye, and then go! Some parents are so concerned that their child will be upset to see them leave, that they try to sneak away when their child is distracted by toys, friends, or teachers. Remember that it is normal for a child to become temporarily upset by their parent leaving, and that saying a brief, but sweet, goodbye to your child will set a comforting tone for the rest of their day. Give your child a hug and a kiss, tell him you love him, and let him know what time you’ll be back to pick him up. Making this a daily ritual is important.
- Remain positive! Even if you are feeling emotional about leaving your child at daycare, put on a confident and happy face for her sake. If she sees that you are relaxed and excited about the day ahead, it will boost her confidence.
- Be consistent. Try to maintain the same morning routines before and during dropoff. Wake up at the same time, and feed your child and get him dressed in the same order. If you have some playtime before dropoff, try to keep that consistent each day. Take the same route, point out the same landmarks along the way, and say goodbye to your child in a similar manner each day. This routine will make your child feel secure.
- Do you need to check in? If you left a particularly teary child in the morning, and can’t shake off your worries, don’t hesitate to call or email us. Often, you’ll be reassured when on our our team members at Summit Kids Academy lets you know that your child is playing happily with friends, loved his morning snack, or is proud of something he learned. You can also check your smart phone or desktop access to our PBnJ web cams to see for yourself.
And dropoff isn’t the only time of day which can be a bit stressful. Pickup happens at the end of your workday, and the end of your child’s school day, which means that you may both be a bit tired.
- Bring it all home! Do a quick inventory before you leave the daycare center, to make sure you have all of her essential items. Forgetting something as simple as a jacket could make tonight’s outdoor play a bit chilly. And pay special attention to any loveys or stuffed toys. Don’t leave behind anything that will make bedtime more difficult!
- Get excited. When you pick up your child from daycare, make a big deal out of saying hello! Greet her with a big hug and a kiss and let her know how happy you are to see her. Take a look at any games, toys, or finished projects she wants to show you, with enthusiasm!
- Don’t act as tired as you feel. OK, this is a tough one. After a long day of meetings, emails, errands, and traffic, you may not be feeling your best. But summon enough energy to greet your child happily and chat on the way home from your childcare center. You can’t be “on” all of the time, but when you first see your child at the end of a day apart, an increased energy level will make your child, and you, feel great about being back together again.
- Remember that your child looks at you as his safe place. You may be taken aback when your child, who, by all reports, was on his best behavior all day, begins to fuss, whine, cry, or become demanding when he sees you. You are the person he feels he can fall apart in front of, and he may release any exhaustion or stress he’s feeling on you. This is normal, and not a reflection of your relationship with him as a whole.
Do you have any dropoff and pickup tips you’d like to share? Some of the veteran daycare parents among you may have this down to a science! Let us know in the comments.