It’s the end of the day.
You’ve had a long day at work and you finally pull into the Beansprouts parking lot to pick up your child. Opening the playground gate, you greet your child’s teacher and then find yourself struggling with your child to get out the door to go home. He simply ignores you or breaks down in tears or tests your will and fights with you to leave or runs away laughing as you plead for him to go home.
What’s going on?!
Making pick-up time harder is the certain fact that you are tired from working all day and thinking about the many things you have to do: what will you make for dinner, how you will get the children home and bathed, how you have to help older children with homework, additional work you have to do at home, how to find time to relax, maybe even get to bed at a decent hour…
The Beansprouts team would like to offer some helpful tips to make pick-up time a little easier on you:
- Have a kid-friendly, healthy snack ready for your child to eat in the car (I have one Mom who walks in with the snack and scoops up her child as he runs to take it);
- Allow your child some time to say goodbye to her friends and teacher;
- Create a consistent pick-up routine. Children are more relaxed when they know what to expect from their day. Depending on a consistent routine helps your child mentally prepare for everything that happens throughout the day;
- Set aside some special time with your child when you get home. Life is busy and we often get caught up in the many things we have to do once we get home but taking a few moments to read a story, do an activity, color a picture, do a puzzle, build with blocks, have a snack, or snuggle your child will help them feel loved after a busy and fun day at school (and they’ll look forward to that time as well!);
- As soon as you enter the room or playground, give a 5-minute warning that lets your child know you and she will be leaving; and/or
- Gather your child’s belongings first (put those things in the car) and then pick up your child. If you have to scoop your child up in a hug to go to the car, it’s a lot easier when your arms aren’t full of stuff.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask your child’s teacher for help. If we see that your child is having a hard time with pick-up then we will often step in and help because one of the most important parts of our jobs is being a support system for you and your family. If we can do anything to help make the transition at the end of the day easier on you, we are happy to do so!