Grown-Ups Come Back
Separations are tough on everyone, but routines and preparation help.
Separating from a parent and transitioning to a new person or space can cause little ones to have big feelings. Here are some ways to make the transition a bit easier:
- Parents: Prepare children in advance. Before drop-off, let them know that they will be spending time with another caregiver (and who the person is), but that you will come back for them later and are so excited to see them again. You might play games like peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek to show them that things that disappear, reappear again.
- Caregivers: Give children something to be excited about during the day. Tell them about an activity you’ll do or a book you’ll read together.
- Parents: Give little ones a comfort item to hold onto during the day to help them feel secure. It might be a family photo, a favorite stuffed animal, or a shirt that has your scent.
- Caregivers: After children say goodbye to their parent, immediately engage them in activities or help them play with other children to keep their minds off the fact that their parent is leaving, and get them excited about the day to come.
- Parents: Let children know that you’ll always come back to get them. It’s only “Bye bye for now.”
- Caregivers: If you notice little ones feeling sad or missing their parent during the day, reassure them that they are cared for with a hug, and remind them that their parent will be back to pick them up later.
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