For many in our community, the joy of starting the school year comes with the challenge of adjusting to a new environments and new routines. The initial moment of transition – drop off – is often fraught with emotions both from parents and children.
Making drop off quick and consistent is the best way to support your child in their transition into school. Drop off procedures are purposefully designed for the benefit of the child – embrace the drive through! When you pull into VdM, please stay in the car and allow our practiced greeters to help your child out of their seat and into their classroom.
Sometimes, children are upset leaving the house, during the drive to school or upon arrival. Adjusting to change can be difficult, and this is a normal reaction. When children are agitated, many of us make concessions both to ease our own discomfort and to temporarily appease our children. We offer to park and walk them to the door, or we spend an extended time giving extra hugs and saying goodbye. This may make the adult feel better and provide momentary calm, but it is not actually helpful to the child. To provide true comfort to our children, we must give them the predictability of routine. Providing a consistent and sustainable routine at drop off allows for a smooth transition into school.
Moreover, when we permit or encourage extended goodbyes we are inadvertently asking our child to go through a whole extra transition when it comes time to break this habit. By setting a sustainable routine as early in the year as possible, we are actually easing the burden on the child.
Here are a few suggestions for drop off:
- If your drive is tricky and your child is requesting an extended goodbye or the like, put on a favorite song, an audio book or just look out the windshield and accompany your child through their emotions.
- Make sure all of your child’s belongings (lunchboxes, rain gear, etc.) are gathered and ready to go with your child.
- If needed, use VdM (or your child’s teacher) as the reason for a new drop off routine.
- Put on a poker face and stay strong! This too shall pass.
- Remember that there isn’t an ounce of judgement when you drop off a crying child. The whole community at VdM knows that everyone is doing their very best.
Please know, if your child is upset at drop off they are treated with appropriate care and concern and they quickly settle when they are in their classroom. Often adults hold on to the feeling of a tough morning for many hours. Children are walking into a classroom prepared to meet their every need; they can move on much more quickly.
VdM has grown dramatically over the past decade. Maintaining the routines that make the school run both smoothly and safely, is vital. Furthermore, like everything else at Villa di Maria, the drop off routine has been carefully crafted to support you and to benefit the children! It allows for a drop off that is safe, logistically simple for the parent and provides routine for the child.
Send the message that you feel positive and confident about your child’s time at school. Embrace the drive through drop off!
Many thanks to Jade Venditte and Melinda Smith for the photos.