Challenging Kindgarten Drop-Off? Ease Your Child's Fears With These Tips

Posted on: 18 February 2020

Kindergarten is a lot of fun and provides a valuable learning environment for your child, but unfortunately, during the first few weeks, the drop-off process can be hard for some children. If your child is crying at drop off and doesn't want to be left, this can be emotional for you and them. The right techniques can help — check out these tips. 

1. Set Predictable Patterns

Generally, anxiety is at the root of the situation when your child doesn't want to be left at kindergarten. To ease the transition from home, set predictable patterns. Ideally, the school should have a set schedule so that you are not just taking your child on random days. 

You should also set up your morning so that your child has the same patterns such as waking up, eating breakfast, playing for a few minutes, driving to the kindergarten, putting away their supplies and saying goodbye.

2. Avoid Being Rushed

If your child has trouble with drop-off, dragging out goodbyes is generally not a good idea, but you don't want to rush the rest of the morning. If your child feels rushed and frantic, they may be more likely to resist drop-off. Make sure you have plenty of time in the morning to complete a routine like the one detailed above. 

3. Help the Child Find an Engaging Activity 

Children like being dropped off more if they have something engaging to do. If possible, ask the teacher if they can set up an engaging activity for your child as soon as they come in the door. Whether your child jumps into playing with blocks, exploring the playground, listening to a book or doing some other activity, the activity can lessen the sting of you leaving. 

4. Pack a Transition Object

A transition object comforts your child through the day by giving them a gentle reminder of home. This is not coddling your child. For example, it's very similar to how adults put family pictures in their work cubicles. 

You may want to send your child with a cuddly toy, a small square of their favourite blanket to keep in their pocket, a family photo or any other object you think might help. Get your child involved in the selection process. 

5. Model Positivity 

If your child sees that you are upset, they may be even more reluctant to be left at kindergarten. Model positivity and stay upbeat during the drop-off process. When talking about school at home, don't focus on negative elements. Acknowledge your child's fears but also help them think about the positive things about school. 

Reach out to your child's kindergarten to see if the teachers have any other suggestions that might help you.