It isn’t easy. The leaves change, the rain comes. Pumpkin spice is in everything you drink.
Your child is back in school or daycare and that may mean getting to know a new teacher, new classmates, or even a new school.
Growing Upwards sent an email to our 600 providers asking what every parent should know when starting a new school year. Every response was how to make a morning drop off go smoother.
Allison Morton of Small Wonders School says, “Smile! A big thing that can help is if you come into the situation supper peppy (almost over the top), we are not expecting they mirror that energy but it may easy their anxiety some. Children draw from the energy of their parents, if you are anxious or nervous they will be too! Be excited, cheery and smile throughout!”
Matatena Montessori’s Flor Silva follows that with, “The more calm and sure you are, the better for your child as he/she will transition easily.”
You aren’t as good at hiding your emotions as than you think you are — anxiety, fear, and worry are easily picked up by your exceptionally perceptive child. This is one of those times where “parenting up” is appropriate and giving your child a pep talk about the fun they’ll have is the right thing to do.
You may want to cry just as hard as your child, but “a quick drop off is best,” says Julie Bateman at Amazing Minds Academy. “A good teacher will redirect the child quickly and get busy doing an activity. Long drop offs cause a child to worry more and have anxiety longer.”
In addition, each response to our question included the words “drop off routine.”
“What?” you say. “I have bedtime routines, meal routines, bathtime routines, and now I have to have one for dropping my child at school?”
Yes. You do.
To a child, the world is a beautifully chaotic series of unconnected events. A walk to a park in the sun is completely different than a walk to the park in the rain. A sandwich with peanut butter on the top slice of bread is drastically different than if the peanut butter is on the bottom. It sounds crazy. Sociopathic, even. But this is how children develop their sense of self in what appears to be an ever changing world.
“But I have to get to work. I don’t have time for a whole routine every morning.”
Understood! The drop off routine doesn’t have to be long and involved. Short and sweet usually does the trick.
Stay tuned for suggestions on how to create a supportive, loving, and effective drop off routine!