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Tips and Tricks!
Abbie Gately's picture

A first time drop off to childcare or pre-k can be rough for everyone involved, from kids and parents, to caregivers and educators. Last month, we sat down with Lina Acosta Sandaal, mom and  Stop Parenting Alone early childhood mental health specialist , to talk about why this is a struggle, how parents and caregivers can navigate it, and more. . You can watch the conversation here:

Below are five key takeaways from FB Live discussion about how to make drop-off a successful experience for all involved!

  1. School starts at drop-off! In the early years, one skill kiddos learn is how to balance their relationship with their different caregivers. They also learn the essential skill of being able to say hello and goodbye for the first time!  Both of these skills play a role in dropoff - and pickup too! It is a joint effort between caregivers and parents to ensure drop-off is a success! By understanding that each days starts and end with pickup and drop-off, teachers can help further build this new skill of goodbye kiddos are learning.
  2. Create a ritual! Children feel safety in consistency! Having the same goodbye with your child every day will help them build safety and feel comfortable going to school. If your child’s response to drop off varies day to day, it might be due to the different goodbye methods you are using. Sticking to the same phrase and ritual will let your child feel safe.
  3. Don’t disappear! It can be *so* difficult to say goodbye to your child during drop-off. Between the screaming, leg holding, and tears, your child can break your heart. Yet, saying goodbye and not disappearing on your child is such an important moment! Your child’s sadness is a normal reaction. It’s a natural human response to say goodbye to someone we love.  Teachers and caregivers can help by reassuring parents their child will be safe and they will check in with mom once little one calms down.  ! Whether it is a simple picture text showing the kiddo playing or a follow up email, this action can help calm a parent’s worry and make drop-offs easier! Your child loves you! Keeping this in mind can help!
  4. Variation in response is okay! Every child will have a different reaction because they have different temperaments and personalities. When thinking about your child’s reaction, keep in mind how they already interact with the world. When it comes to drop off, even the most social kids can be hesitant. On average, it takes about 45 days for your child to adjust to the routine.
  5. Teamwork makes the dream work! Parents and teachers working together can really support  your child’s development. Educators and caregivers remember: if a parent is jealous of you that is a good thing and vice versa! This means the child has developed a deep connection with their caregivers which is critical to their social and emotional well being! Even though jealousy is an icky feeling, it is important to remember that you want someone else to love your child as much as you do!

While these are some of my key takeaways from the Facebook live, Lina offers so many more insights! Haven’t watched it yet or need a refresher? Check it out the video here ---

What was your favorite tip or insight from the video? Share with us in the comments below! Have an idea for a future Facebook live with Lina? Comment that below as well!

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