Dropping off or picking up your children at school can often be a very rushed part of the day. The transition for parents, children, and educators can turn this into one of the most stressful parts of the day. There are ways to keep the transition running smoother and run into less stress or anxiety over transitioning from home to school and vice versa.
The Drop Off
The hardest part about pick-ups and drop-offs is the transition. Give your child the time they need to make their transition. If necessary, wake up earlier to give your child more time to transition without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. Let them settle in, rather than abruptly push them through their morning activities.
In addition to giving your child the time they need to adjust, try to maintain a routine. A sudden change can alarm children, whereas a routine gives them control. Discussing this routine with them so they know when you will be back and when you will leave.
Give them a comfort toy or leave one for them at school so they have a piece of home with them. Play comforting music on the drive into school to put them in a good mood. Leave a photo of the family in their backpack in case they miss home.
When dropping your child off, say goodbye firmly and do not linger. Staying longer than necessary makes the transition harder on both the parent and child.
The Pick Up
Picking up your child from school can be just as stressful as dropping them off.
If you’re running late to pick up your child or drop them off, you should never hesitate in letting your child care centre know. In cases where you are late to pick up your child, letting them know what’s happening allows them to adjust to the new situation and prevents them from worrying.
If your child and you feel rushed during pick up time, you can always ask your child care provider to begin preparing your child before you arrive. Simple tasks like a bathroom check or gathering their things can help parents make a smooth transition during pick up time.