Hi my name is Kimberly Wilson and I am a Director at Lutz Learning Center, a preschool that has been in my family for the last 39 years. I pretty much spend my day surrounded by children and their families, and I’m also a mom myself.
Feel free to read thru my blog here, or watch it below:
Today, as we all prepare for the upcoming school year I want to share some tips I have to help other parents be successful the moment you walk thru the classroom doors. The problem I see most parents struggle with plays out like this:
You’ve shopped for the ultimate back pack, you’ve got your child’s lunch packed and you’ve done your due diligence to write that special note. You’ve attended open house and met the teacher and now it’s the morning of your child’s first day. Everyone is excited. You drive to school, tote them inside and all of a sudden panic strikes and your child balks at you leaving. They cry, you cry, heck at this point I’m probably about to cry. What went wrong?
Here are the pieces you might have missed: As a parent, you must make sure to let your child know what you expect. The wonderful thing about children is they really aim to please, they just don’t know how to handle the big emotions. So to avoid the previous scenario, my solution is to speak with your child about the first day, let them know what to expect (and most parents in fact do this) but when you get to school, as you get out of the vehicle, give your warm fuzzy love and goodbyes there – whatever your routine is – and be sure that instead of carrying your child into school, you ask them to lead you in. Have them hold the door for you if possible, ask them to show you to where their classroom is, have them take you to say good morning to their teacher, show you to their desk or area. All of these tasks I am describing are what will put the child in the driver seat. This is how you go from taking your child to school and dropping them off to having your child take control of going to school and deciding that you may leave. When your child knows the routine and is in charge of calling these shots, you have just enabled your little one to be one of the big kids and this is how big kids go to school.
Now if you’re watching this and you’ve already experienced the tears and the trauma, don’t worry – it’s not too late. Just follow the plan, which you can review right here:
- Speak with your child about how you expect drop off to go. Keep it simple, “When we get to your school, I need a big hug and kiss from you before you take me into your school and show me your classroom this morning.”
- Be sure to put your child in charge of walking you into school. Do NOT carry your child in, let them lead you.
- Keeping the drop off brief, have your child settle in and tell you goodbye.
- Take their cue to leave, dragging out long goodbyes in hard on children and heightens the emotions. As much as you want to comfort them, assure them they will have a great day and tell them you can’t wait to hear about it later on today.
I hope following this plan helps you find success not only in your child’s first few days, but in their many remaining years of school.
Enjoy the journey, the future is in our hands!