Hey Toddler mommies & daddies! Anyone else have a hard time dropping their child off at school???
We ran across this great article by Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, four ways to prevent your toddler from getting upset.
To save you time, we’ve summarized his four (very practical) suggestions here:
- Quick & Simple Goodbye: Say a quick, simple goodbye to provide the best chance for both of you. Your words and facial expressions should reassure them that everything will be OK. Resist the urge to give in to lip curling and tears, they need to believe you when you promise things will be OK.
- Practice Leaving Briefly: Try leaving for short periods of time first. Maybe with a sitter, church nursery, or childcare at your gym (might as well get a workout in!). Dr. Pruett says, “stretch it out only when it seems stable. This may be harder for you than it is for them. Bearing manageable worry is their path to growth and autonomy.”
- Don’t Separate when they’re Tired/Hungry: Use their rhythms to your advantage. Don’t compound separating with the irritability that comes with hunger or being tired.
- Don’t Sneak Out: Resist the urge to sneak out without a goodbye when they are already busy. You are teaching them that you can go away at any time without warning. Instead, interrupt them briefly, tell them it’s time for you to leave, reassure them and go. As a result, their trust in you will remain when they know your “bye” is reliable.