“What’s the Stan Plan, Mama?” Elizabeth asks me nearly every weekday morning. Almost without exception my reply is “Let’s get you ready and you get to go play at Katie’s today!”
“I don’t want to go to Katie’s. I want to stay home!” she cries as Nathan and I get our girls dressed and ready to go to daycare. It is heart-wrenching but necessary. Also, as the end of the day often ends in Elizabeth and Ada talking about how much fun they had that day I am not at all worried that Elizabeth’s extreme hesitancy to go to daycare is a reflection of poor treatment during the day.
That being said, it is a challenge for everyone to deal with that dread almost every morning. These are some strategies I’ve found to be helpful in dealing with the anxiety.
- Acknowledge (if it’s true, and it is for me) that you would prefer to be at home with them. In the same breath, say how important it is to go to work because you get to help people.
- While you may not want to admit to your child if you are in dire financial straits, talking about how important it is for you to earn money so that you have a place to live and food to eat will help your kids understand why you do what you do.
- Reminding your child of how much fun they had yesterday at daycare can also help alleviate their anxiety and help you to combat the guilt that can sometimes be associated with dropping your kids off.
If your kids do or did, dread going to daycare how did you combat the guilt associated with that?