Yay you! You did your research, made your spread sheet, and finally got the call that you are in! The perfect school has a spot for you because you took my advice and got on that waitlist!
Now I am going to let you in on the drop off secrets you wish you knew. This is advice I give to parents who are new to our school and those who use this advice have the easiest drop off ever!
It’s also not just about your child. You’ll likely be hauling a backpack, jacket, and maybe a lunch box. Losing those things is a pain in the rear! LABEL EVERYTHING! We all shop at that same amazing wonderland with the red bull’s eye and chances are you’ll see a lot of coats and lunch boxes that look just like the one you picked out. A bright label will not only save you from accidentally taking home the wrong things, but it will also make those items super easy for your child to find. If you click here, you can find all sorts of options from different sellers. So many cute patterns. How does one choose???
You’ll be nervous. That’s normal and there is a school of thought in pre-school that it’s a harder adjustment for the parent than it is for the child. Try a few of these things to make the transition into school an easy one for your child and…ahem…you.
- Talk school up! Make it a sound like a huge accomplishment. “Big kids get to go to school and you’re getting so big! How exciting! You’re going to learn so many things and make so many friends!” All that positive talk will work on your child and yourself!
- Tell them what to expect. Don’t drop and dash. Let them know they will be dropped off. Preschool is for kiddos, but mom/dad always come back to pick them up. If you know the routine, tell them. For really nervous kiddos, make a picture chart of what the day looks like and let them know which picture means pick-up time is close.
- If the school allows, plan a few visits. Our school allows new families to visit and walk the grounds so the child is used to the new surroundings.
- Make drop off brief. You’ll want to linger. If your child is nervous you’ll be reluctant to leave. The truth is that it actually makes it harder on the child when you stick around. A quick hug, kiss, and “I’ll be back when school is over” is the best method. Even if your child is wrapped around your legs and screaming, prolonging the drop off process will only make it worse. Rough drop off’s are nothing new to seasoned teachers so please don’t worry about them. And your child WILL BE FINE. Crying is usually over by the time you get to your car because the new and amazing teacher you chose is a master at engaging her students and distracting them!
- Consistency is key! Make drop off a part of your routine and try to stick as close as possible to that routine. Considering you have a tiny person in the mix, I know this is easier said than done, but stay as close as possible.
- Is your child potty trained? Have them use the bathroom before you leave or as soon as you get to school. In diapers? Change them before you go in. One less thing for them (and you) to worry about when they want to start their day.
Let me add this in for drop off and pick up: Hand Washing! Your child will become a cootie catcher as soon as they start school. This you can’t avoid, but a quick scrub with soap and water will lessen their chances of spreading something to their friends or bringing some nifty germs home to you.
So, backpacks and belongings are labeled, a kiss and a hug have been given, and you kept your drop off short and sweet. Now what? You haven’t had spare time in a couple of years. What does one do with free time?
See those toes? I bet your nail tech would love to get her hands on em. Starbucks probably misses you going in and using them for their free wifi. Home Depot or Target completely alone. Heaven, Oh, and the gym….nah. We won’t talk about that.
Good luck. You’ll do just fine. You’re so grown up and I am so proud of you!