In all my years of preschool, I’ve noticed that there are different types of drop-off rituals for parents and their children. There are parents who can sign their child in, open the door and walk away. The child is so excited that they never look back. The child will put their belongings in their cubby and start playing immediately with the other children.
I’ve witnessed the parents who walk their child in carrying all of the child’s belongings. Meanwhile, the child runs circles around their legs. They will sign them in while the child runs to greet friends. Parent puts away the children’s belongings in their cubby. The child happily plays. Parent kisses them goodbye on the top of the head and goes to work.
Some parents carry in a sleepy child. When the sleepy child sees other children playing, they snap out of their grumpy mood. Now, he or she begins to play. Hugs for Mom and Dad as they go off to work.
A child who wakes up every day and says they do not want to go to school and fights their parents on getting dressed, eats breakfast crazy slow and has a hard time getting buckled up in the car can cause a parent to feel super guilty at drop off because of the stressful morning on the both of them.
Some children wake up so happy. They get dressed, eat breakfast, hop in the car and sing all the way to school. But, as soon as they see theschool, begin to have a meltdown, throwing themselves on the ground. Now, the parent, looking like they just kidnapped their own child has to drag them into the school. This can leave a parent parting with their child feeling like the worst parent on the planet.
I’ve witnessed the parents who stays for an extra 30 minutes. They may sit by their little one who is coloring a My Little Pony picture and try to slowly sneak out the door hoping the child doesn’t notice that they’ve gone. Now the child notices and flings themselves against the doors and scream like we teachers have pulled off their fingernails.
Do you see yourself in any of these descriptions?
If so, I want to tell you something about all of them… they are all normal descriptions of families who dropped their kids off at preschool! Every family has a flavor. Every family has a way that they communicate love, care, and respect. At the preschool, we see many different approaches. The teachers and I have learned a lot and we are open to whichever is good for the family and for the child to adjust to their preschool environment.
So, I really wanted to write this because I believe it would be so great if every parent got to see what their child did when they left. The smile and the giggles that happened 3 minutes after you, they’re priceless. We see them before you’ve even pull out of the parking lot. Parents, it’s difficult to drop your kids off and go to work. It’s even harder when you’ve had a tough morning and it’s worse when they cry and scream and say they don’t want to be there. Here is what I have to say to you– You are all very brave. No matter what kind of a drop-off parent you are, your child is precious. You are doing what is best for your family and we will take good care of your most precious little person.