Saying goodbye isn't easy, especially the first day you leave your child with a caregiver. The key is to make these happy goodbyes, not sad ones.
- Plan to stay for a bit, especially the first day. Walk around the room with your child, meet other kids, and play with some of the toys to help your child become comfortable with this new situation.
- Be cheerful and upbeat. Your child will know by the sound of your voice if you're worried or upset. Smile, laugh, and tell your child that you'll be back soon.
- Create a goodbye routine. Give your child a kiss to "hold" in his hand while you're away, sing a special song together, or give an extra big bear hug.
- Leave a favorite object behind. Bring along your child's favorite stuffed animal, toy, or blanket to help ease the transition from home to school and keep your child from feeling lonely throughout the day.
- Hold back from the “rescue.” Once you leave the room, try not to look back, even if you hear your child crying. Experienced caregivers know how to properly care for your child and if you run back, your child will think that he needs to be with you all the time. This will likely make it harder for your child to transition to school. If you need some reassurance that your child is well, wait for a few minutes outside the room or call later in the morning to check in.