Avoiding The Long Goodbye
How to get children settled in preschool with a minimum amount of stress and separation anxiety
The Big Day has arrived, your child is going to start preschool or kindergarten. When you walk into the classroom, steer your child to the teacher, this will let your child see that you feel perfectly comfortable. Even if they grab onto you, accept this and don’t get upset. Your attitude will help shape your child’s attitude. Give a short hug and pass them to the teacher.
Follow the teacher’s lead. Try not to intrude on the children’s activities unless invited. Let our Seton staff set the tone, this shows your child that you trust us and that helps children feel safe.
Talk with your children in the car (leaving and coming). Let them know when you will be coming back. Talk with them about what you will be doing during the day. If they begin to understand this is normal and there is no reason to worry, then there will be less drama. Long hugs and lots of kisses only prolong the event of leaving. Turn and walk purposefully to the door.
It is never easy to leave when your child is sobbing. The sobbing is just part of getting use to the separation and does not have a lasting impact. In most cases, the teacher will calm your child and make the tears disappear within 15 minutes if not less. It is fine to call the school to see how things are going, but coming back will only create the same scene.
If there seems to be prolonged duress, then the teacher will work out a new plan. This might be coming back early for pick-up, or staying a few extra minutes at the coloring table, even introducing you to other children for a short chat with them about how they like school. You staying relaxed and accepting is the right answer. This is a very normal part of life and soon passes.
Examples of Positive Goodbyes
1 – If your child is happy and goes off easy, just leave by waving goodbye
2 – If your child does not way to let go of you, just smile and begin a conversation with the teacher, the teacher will refocus them on what activities are going on in the classroom
3 – If your child begins to cry outside the classroom, you can get one of the front administrative staff to help and Ms. Rita is always around to help support the transition.