The Long Kiss Good-bye / Preschool Separation

6 Practical tips on helping your preschooler on his/her first big day from Charlene Nebozuk, Head Teacher at the Brecksville Cooperative Preschool.

Pre-k/Preschool Separation:  How to Get Thru it Together
T-minus weeks or days on your preschooler's first day of school.  This can be a stressful moment in the lives of families.  As parents, you control (somewhat) the possible outcome of their first big day.  Here's some quick pointers on creating a successful first day!

1.  Have a Simple Routine: Ensure your child knows the what, why and how of the first day and the drop off and stick to the routine.  Example: "When we go in, Billy let's find your name and put your bag on your hook.  I will give you a big high 5, and then you can go into class.  I will be back at 11am to pick you up and hear about your great day.  Sound good?"

2.  Short and Sweet (like them!):  There are adventures to be had, so keep your drop-off short and sweet. 

3.  Don't be a a Drama Queen/King:  Be excited about the day, and keep your tears for the car ride home.  You set the tone for the day!

4.  Trust your Teacher:  They are your babies, but your child's teacher has seen it all before.  If you have concerns about the first day, reach out to your teacher before hand, and develop a plan with the teacher.

5.  Deal with It:  Bribes, long good-byes, promises will only prolong behavior issues.  Tears and fears are very normal for preschoolers.  This is something the two of you must work through.  Reality is, that within minutes of parents' exit, most children happily settle down.  And within days (sometimes weeks), the tearful goodbyes end.

6.  Honor their Bigness: Be aware that your child may outgrow the need for good-bye rituals before you do!  Honor them by not prolonging the extra kiss, the waving window routine, etc.  When you see they do not need it anymore, you’ll see your little one is truly earning those wings!


Charlene Nebozuk, Head Teacher

Charlene Nebozuk has been the lead teacher and administrator
at the co-op since 1986. She has a Bachelors degree from Bowling Green State University in Early Childhood Education and takes ongoing training in child development. Even after more than 20 years at the preschool, Charlene continually upgrades the curriculum to meet with todays ever-changing educational needs for kindergarten preparedness. Her favorite thing about preschoolers is their honest simplicity and trust. Charlene is married and has two children. Both her children are Co-op graduates.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jenn Elting August 21, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Amelia was just saying last night how much she'll miss Mrs. "Benozik" and Mrs. Balata! Here's an oldie but a goodie about my peanut's start to school last year... http://brecksville.patch.com/articles/tales-from-a-multitasking-momma-school-days
Rachel Abbey McCafferty August 21, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Thanks for re-posting that, Jenn!


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