In our book we address the problem parents have of getting their child to leave the daycare at the end of the day. So common and not unusual at all! However, if this is a daily situation it can be aggravating for parents and teachers as well.
Ah…the child that doesn’t want to leave will do things like cry, run amok around the building, refuse to put toys away, break rules… just to name a few! And then there is the parent who will say “ok, you can stay longer” or ” do you want me to come back?” And there you go. Typically, we have seen if you give those options once, it can become a habit.
We had a child who every night would see his dad come in the room and start to cry and take out more toys and even get to go out and play on the playground after closing time. It became a normal routine! Meanwhile, the conversation bubble over the teacher’s head is saying, “Please come on; I wanna get out of here!” LOL!
Another story that stands out is the dad who would arrive right at closing every day and say to his kids (who were the last ones there), ” do you wanna go home?” The response was always no and the teachers would be waving goodbye as he was watching his kids continue to run around the playground.
Let’s face it, the typical number of hours a child spends in daycare is 8 or more hours. Truly, they have had more than enough time there.
You may be thinking…So what do I do?
So glad you asked because of course there are things you can do.
*First of all remember that YOU are in control.
*Don’t ask if they are ready to leave because that gives them an option. And remember – leaving is not an option.
*Say that it is time to get ready to leave. No need to be abrupt. Children like a little heads up on what’s coming next.
* Have a routine. For example, coming in and saying hi or giving hugs and announcing, “Ok, put your toys away and lets get your things ready to take home.”
*Take a few minutes to look at the special project your child did that day.
*I have seen parents even set a timer on their phone for 5 minutes and say when the timer goes off it’s time to say good bye.
*Take a cue from the teacher. If all the toys are put away and the room is straightened out and chairs are up on the table, then you know it is closing time and everyone is ready to call it a day.
*If you are still struggling with your child, you may want to call the teachers ahead of time and tell them when you will be arriving. That way they can prepare your child and get his/her things ready for take off. :>)
When I worked closing hours I would have the children help me start to clean the room at the last half hour while I announced it’s almost time to close the school and we have to get ready to go. Then I would put out a simple activity on the floor mat like coloring or read them a story. Children respond well to routine so when certain things are happening they know what is coming up next. It makes them feel more comfortable. If any of you have a good suggestion, please feel free to share!