Creative Child

Parenting: 10 Ways to Drop Your Preschooler Off at School in a Peaceful State of Mind

(and Leave with Peace of Mind)
by Deborah Song

As a mom of two preschoolers with separation anxiety, I was first inspired to write an article titled "How to Execute a Tear-Free Drop Off." Then realized the goal shouldn't be about how your child reacts to saying goodbye to you, which he may have very little control over, but about how to leave him on solid footing in a peaceful state of mind. A few shed tears doesn't necessarily reflect how he feels about school or determine the course of the rest of the day. All kids react differently to separating from their parents and caretakers. But by making sure he's had enough sleep, eaten a balanced meal and enjoyed a calm morning, these factors will very much affect the rest of his day and experience at school. It will also teach him good life habits. Here are 10 parenting tips you can use to help your child have a good day at school.

1. Make sure your child is well rested. If your child is tired, he'll likely be crankier and have a hard time concentrating in class. Sleep is important to a child's mood and physical development. Sticking to a consistent bedtime routine will help.

2. Feed him a well-balanced breakfast. How many of us can focus when we're hungry? A balanced, nutritious meal is an important ingredient to having a good day.

Ever struggle with getting your little ones to eat?

3. Create a calm morning. Mornings are crazy, I know. You're trying to get your child ready, yourself ready, pack his lunch, rush out the door, all without forgetting anything and in one piece. The goal is to make your mornings as less crazy as possible. If you're frazzled, your child will feel it too. Try to prepare what you can the night before and leave a few minutes in the morning to engage your child.

4. Arrive early. Getting to school 10 to 15 minutes before class starts will allow you to say a proper goodbye and eliminate the stress of being late, which your child will feel. Arriving early will also help your child settle in.

5. Get your child in the mindset of school. Talk to your child about what he will do at school today or ask him questions about what he did yesterday en route to class. Getting him excited about school will give him something to look forward to.

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