With the constant ebb and flow of children coming and going and new children joining all the time, Buddings sees a lot of hellos and goodbyes.
With so many new faces around Buddings these days, I thought a quick reminder of how to make saying goodbye easier might be helpful.
1) Have Confidence
Your children take their cues from you. If you are feeling nervous about leaving and are finding it difficult to say goodbye yourself, they will pick up on this. Your children look to you to know that they are safe and that everything is okay. Passing your child over to the caregivers at Buddings with confidence and trust tells your child that all is well and that they are safe.
If you have the attitude that they will have a lot of fun at Buddings and that they have nothing to worry about, this will help ease your child’s (and your) separation anxiety.
There’s so much to see and do at daycare, and they will benefit immensely from the new relationships they form and experiences they have.
2) Bridge the Transition
‘Bridging transitions’ is about creating a bridge that helps a child cross over the sometimes scary waters of being away from a parent or primary caregiver. When a child is saying goodbye, this is often all they can focus on, and they might not understand in the moment of your leaving that they will see you again.
Letting a child know that you are coming back, when you are coming back, and telling them specifically what you will do with them later, helps build this bridge that gives your child a sense of ease and safety when you are away.
Something like, “I have to go to work now, but I will be back to pick you up in two hours and then we will go to the park together and play on the swings”.
3) Say Goodbye, then Leave
Saying goodbye is important. I know it can be tempting to leave without saying goodbye; however, your child will inevitably notice at some point that you are gone and they will not learn to trust the routine of saying goodbye with the confidence of knowing that you will come back.
Even if you confidently say goodbye and let them know what you will do together later, they still might be sad to see you go. It is important at this moment, that once you say goodbye you do actually leave, even if they are still sad. Drawing the goodbye process out generally does not help your child calm down, and it makes it harder for the teachers to take over the caregiver role and help a child to soothe and settle.
We know saying goodbye can be the hardest part about bringing your child to daycare, but it also sets the tone for their day with us and it lays the groundwork for future transitions. It’s like the Beatles song, “You say goodbye and I say hello!”. We have to say goodbye to one thing, to say hello to something else.