The way you drop off your child at childcare can be critical to how your little one’s morning goes… and pick-up is just as important!  Making these daily goodbyes and transitions a little smoother and treating them with more care can make your day and your child’s day much easier.

How to Make Drop-off a Breeze:

  1. preschool child waving goodbyePrep for daycare the night before by laying out clothes, preparing lunch, and packing up backpacks so that the morning isn’t rushed.
  2. Get your children excited about the day on the drive to school by asking what their favorite parts of their day will be, what they’ll have for snack, and what you have planned for after daycare or preschool is over.
  3. Develop a goodbye ritual that will help your child to say goodbye more easily. It could be a high-five, a hug, or a term of endearment that makes your child feel at ease.
  4. Keep your goodbye short and sweet. Prolonging the goodbye can make you appear anxious to your child, and that anxiety can be contagious.
  5. Read books that talk about saying goodbye. Llama Llama Misses Mama and The Kissing Hand are excellent children’s books that address that daily goodbye.

Smoothing the End of Day Transition:

  1. Give your child a few minutes to finish whatever activity they were engaged in or say goodbye to friends before rushing them out the door.
  2. Give yourself enough time so that you’re not in a rush. Your child’s teacher may want to talk to you and you may need to pack up some of your child’s things, not to mention getting your little one’s jacket and shoes on!
  3. Talk about what you’re going to do at home. If you’re making a special dinner or are planning on playing games or having a little afterschool outing, get your kid excited about it!
  4. Establish a ritual for drop-off as well. Giving your child 5 minutes to play, then moving along to getting on his jacket, and then allowing him to say goodbye is a great way of getting him into a goodbye-groove.
  5. Take a moment to find out from your child’s teacher how his day went. That will help you to understand if he might need a little extra attention during drop-off.

Do you have any goodbye rituals or transition tips that have helped to make your drop-offs and pick-ups a bit more smooth? Share your tactics with your fellow parents in the comments section!