The cling-on kid: good bye without tears

I was taking a walk with my friend yesterday and our conversation naturally went to our kids. Her 4 year old daughter is in pre-K this year at the same pre-school she has attended for the past two years. So new classroom, some new kids, some new teachers but same school and some familiar faces too. Her daughter is clinging to her leg and wailing each morning as the teachers “peel her off” as my friend put it. School has been in session for nearly a month and she is at wits end – and tired of going through this routine each morning.

She has tried alternately cajoling, threatening, bribery, sneaking out of the room, but to no avail – it’s still happening. Her new strategy? Enter our friend the sticker chart. She has asked the teachers to partner with her on this. She is going to calmly remind her daughter before she goes to bed and in the morning before school of what is going to happen when she drops her off: they will walk happily to her classroom, she is going to create a special secret good bye that only she and her daughter do (ie, pinky swear, butterfly kiss, etc.), they will say goodbye, and her daughter will move on to her first activity of the day. Mom and teachers will create a sticker chart that will be placed in her daughter’s locker, and if she has a successful goodbye, she can put a sticker on the chart. Once the chart is full (in a few weeks), she gets a reward.

Let’s hope this works – if anyone else has successfully dealt with a cling on kid, please share your success!

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Rachael Ray