What To Do If Your Child is Struggling With School or Daycare Drop Off - The Montessori Room
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by Laura Berthiaume August 21, 2022 2 min read

Katie, creator of our at-home program and an educator for over 10 years, has welcomed many new children into her classroom. 

Every new school is always a challenge, as children, parents, and teachers adjust to the new routine. 

But rest assured that your child will eventually settle into school, some children just take a little longer. 

If your child is just starting a new daycare or school, check out our recent post: 

8 Tips to Make School or Daycare Drop Off Easier - From a Teacher!

If they've already started attending and drop offs have been difficult, here's 4 more ideas to help: 

See If Your School Will Allow A Transition Week or Month

If your child is having a hard time after drop off and you have some flexibility in the first week or month of childcare, It may be helpful to create a transition schedule, adding time on their day every week so they can slowly adapt to being away from home.

This might look like:

  • Week 1: 30 minutes/day
  • Week 2: 45 minutes
  • Week 3: 60 minutes
And so on…

Those early days of school are important for creating positive associations with coming to school. 

Help Your Child Develop The Trust You're Coming Back 

Children need to learn and develop the trust that their parents are coming back for them. 

This trust can only be developed through experience. You have to leave and come back in order for them to learn this. 

Parents can prepare their children for this by arranging time for them to be alone with a caregiver or family member, even for just a few minutes, before the school year start.

You can also expose your child to toys or play games that develop object permanence, like peek a boo or an object permanence box or read books like “Mommy Always Comes Back to You” or “Bye Bye Time” by Elizabeth Verdick. 

Expect Feelings at Drop Off to Fluctuate 

Expect that your child may be fine at drop off for the first few weeks and then decide they don't want to go anymore. 

Or they might have a tough week of drop offs and then no tears the following week. 

Just like there are some days when we, as adults, don’t want to go to work, it’s the same for children. 

Try to consider why they may not want to go to school - are they tired or feeling under the weather? Do you have special visitors at the house or any other changes to the routine?

You Are Your Child's Favourite Person

Even the most confident children can experience separation anxiety. It’s because you are your child's favourite people to be with and prior to school, they were likely spending all of their time with you.

Home is safe, predictable, and where all their toys are. School is just a different environment and your child needs time to adjust.

Trust that they will, even if it takes longer than you expect. 


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