On the first few days of school, your child entered the classroom with confidence, a smile, and total exuberance. Days later…the waterworks began.
Why is this happening?
Is someone hurting my child?
Are they safe?
For most children, the first days of school are fun and new. But for others, the reality of going to school every day wears off quickly and the true “first day jitters” kicks in. Don’t worry. Your child isn’t crying because school is a terrible place. They are crying because it’s the place they go when you are not around and that makes your child sad.
Be patient. In a few days, weeks, or months, the classroom will become their happy place.
Regardless of how your child feels about coming to school today, it’s important that you maintain a daily routine:
- talk about your “big kid.” By doing this, you will help boost your child’s confidence and it will soon become their “job” just as yours is going to work.
- treat them like a “big kid.” Have them carry their own lunch box and walk on their own two feet. Though it may take a bit longer to get there, this habit reminds your child that they are so big that they get to go to school.
- keep smiling. Your child is looking to you for advice about how they should feel. If you’re excited, they’ll be excited. If you’re nervous, they will be too.
- a kiss & a cuddle. Your child was happy until they saw the classroom door and then the “ugly cry” began. No matter how their tears pull at your heart strings… don’t drag out the goodbye. Give a kiss, a cuddle, and hand them over to the teacher. The longer the disconnection time, the more anxious your child will become, and the longer it will take your child to settle down. Relax, your child’s teacher is used to this.
- loving reminders. As you give your child a goodbye kiss, whisper to them that you (or another loved one) will be back at pick-up time. Hearing this reassures your child that they won’t be forgotten.
Think you’re alone? Think again. Check out this blog post from a mom who’s been through the drop-off from hell herself.