As you may have found, 1–2 year olds sometimes have a hard time staying in class or even getting through the door! Others come happily for a few months and when they hit 18 months or 2 years old, they cry whenever they are dropped off and usually do not stay through service. Although every child is different, here a few ideas that have helped children find joy in coming to class:
- Have Mom, Dad, Grandma, or Grandpa stay in class with your child for a few weeks. New environments make me cautious, too, so I understand!
- Have an older sibling or cousin sit in class with them. This is especially helpful for 1 year olds. Just let your child’s teacher know he or she would like to stay.
- Consistency is so helpful! If you miss a few weeks, it might take a few weeks for your child to get comfortable coming to class again.
- Get a drop-off routine developed. Here are few ideas:
- Pass your child directly to a worker in the classroom. They might cry for a few minutes, but some children feel safe with the person they were entrusted to by their parent.
- Bring your child into the classroom and show them the toys. As they see all the options, they might see that class is fun and want to stay. Then you can slip out. This does not always work, as many times children realize you slipped out and will start crying for a few minutes or not calm down. Yet for some it works.
- Wait for snack time! Sometimes just a cup of goldfish makes all the tears go away!
Every child is so different and some might not want to go to class until they are 3 years old. It also helps talking with your child’s teacher to see if they have any other ideas specific for your child. I hope these ideas help you!