Parenting is HARD.
I think this thought dozens of times each week. As a parent, an educator and supporter of families, I often find myself saying this simple phrase, parenting is hard.
Recently, I was talking with a family that just started to transition their child into childcare, they were wrestling with all the tears. In these moments it is so hard to believe that crying is normal and it won't last forever! Tears at drop-off (or pick-up) rarely mean your child is not happy or well-adjusted. Often, the opposite is true. Children are hardest on those they love the most. This is when their feeling of security and understanding of unconditional love shows. They can cry or throw temper-tantrums, knowing deeply that they are loved.
No solution is 100% and works for everyone, but most of the time it helps to be clear and consistent with your child, especially at transitions. If you choose to have a special good bye routine, or pick-up process, this works best when you are consistent with it. Allowing your child to alter or change the routine based on their mood can often backfire and create more struggle than support. For children under the age of 5, their independence and choices should be options that you have already established. An example might be that they can choose to tiptoe, walk, or hop between the car and classroom, but they don't get to choose to run in circles around the parking lot. Strong willed children thrive in being in charge, so give them opportunities to display their autonomy with parameters you have already established.
This school year we hope to offer more opportunities to share details about child development and suggestions to help you enhance your family time. Friday, October 14th we invite you to be a part of Fall Field Day with your child. We encourage you to take a short time to play with your child in the crisp autumn air, learn about gardening with them, and hear some suggestions to enhance early literacy skills. Please see your classroom teacher or Ms. Sam for more details!
Stay strong Moms & Dads, you got this!