Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Leaving your Child

Saying Goodbye to Mom or Dad

One thing that is consistent with every single preschool across the land is at some point Mom or Dad are going to have to say GOODBYE!!

This one thing alone causes more angst than any other aspect of sending their child to school.  I wanted to blog about this because it really is important and in some ways it is really misunderstood.  

First let me start by telling you that preschool teachers have seen it all.  And by that I mean it would take something earth shattering to surprise us.  

Now what might be new is for you to see your child do one of the many "things" you have been having nightmares for weeks that they might try in front of all those other parents and the teachers.  

I am here to tell you it is no big deal, really I promise, scouts honor. The teachers know how to handle anything that comes up and they will do the best they can to minimize any angst you or your child might be feeling.  

So what should you do if you get to school and your nightmare begins to become a reality?  Great question I am so glad you asked!

First off let me tell you my NUMBER ONE RULE, this is really important and will help you and your child out for many years to come.  Are you ready for it?

Always say Goodbye!!!

Did you get that? What a I trying to say is please, I am begging you be honest with your child and say goodbye, do NOT just sneak out.  The terror in their eyes when they realize you have disappeared breaks my heart every single time.  And not only that it also sets me up to not be trusted.  

I will deal with the tears as you say goodbye every single day, because as  I talk you and your child through this step I will have you show your child on my clock when you will come back to them.  And then reassure them that you will keep your promise.  As you leave and they cry (and some will that first few days) I will keep talking and walking them through their day and why you brought them to school.  

Then the miracles start to happen, and these are some of my favorite things. 

First one is that they stop crying, really they do.  Let me tell you a secret, almost every child I have ever had do this has stopped crying in the first minute of your departure.     

And at my school if they don't I am giving you a call, that is my promise, my guarantee to you.  I am a Mom too and I would not want my child to cry for hours on end and not find out about it until much later that is inexcusable to me.  I won't let it go much past 4-5 min and I am dialing that phone and seeing what you want to do.  


Sorry I just had to remind you of that last thing one more time.  

The second miracle that happens is that they stop crying all together when they come to school.  Do you know why?  Let me tell you, it is because they have learned that they can trust you to come back and get them.  

They have been taught that you will not disappear on them without them knowing AND that after you do leave you will most definitely come back and get them again.  

Trust is easily gained, but not so easily repaired and preschoolers are pretty smart.  Please help your preschool teacher and start saying goodbye the best way possible today.

Eventually you will get to know the other preschool parents and as you do you will learn that all preschoolers have their off days, days when they cry for no reason or behave in ways you have never seen before.  

You and your fellow parents will commiserate over these silly things and they will no loner be embarrassing they will be a memory to look back on, a badge that says that you are doing the parenting thing the best way you can and it will all be okay.  

I say this will all the tenderness I can, but really I think it is sometimes harder on the parents to leave their child then for the child to have their parents leave.  

I have seen children cry only when Mom drops them off, but wave goodbye with enthusiasm when Dad or Grandma does, all in the same week.  They pick up on your feelings so put on a brave face, kiss their sweet little cheeks and wave goodbye.  It will be all turn out just fine.  

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