It is easiest if you hug and kiss your child and immediately leave with promises to return to pick her up. You may even tell her to be sure to ask "Ms. ??" for anything she needs because that is what "Ms. ??" is there to do.
A good preschool teacher will take the new child from the parent and reassure the child while heading off to get the child involved in an activity. Often times the child stops crying before the parent is even back in the car. If her crying causes you to stay longer or you pick her up early because she is upset she will learn that crying gets Mommy to come get her.
This begins a vicious cycle of manipulation which only satisfies the child, not the parent. Be careful that you do not get sucked into that cycle of manipulation. Feel free to call when you get to work (school, home, where ever) and check on her -- she will be fine.
Make up a drop-off routine. I have had many parents do this in a variety of ways. The most popular is to fill the child's hand with kisses that the child then stuffs into a pocket or his/her cubby. Throughout the day, when the child is feeling lonely or sad, the child can "pull out" a kiss to help ease his/her fears.
I have also had parents leave a family photo in the child's cubby so that the child can always look at the family when s/he is feeling sad or lonely. There are many ways to say goodbye, and finding one that can last through the day can sometimes make that drop-off transistion go more smoothly for everyone, you included.
I have tried all these things and stand by their effectiveness. Parents have done this for years with wonderful successes. The key is consistency and patience. If you are consistent and continually reassure your child that everything will be fine and you will return, your child will become more comfortable and and will be able to enjoy her/himself more.
Also, I would like to recommend a book that helped my own daughter deal with being away from her grandmother. No Matter What, by Debi Gliori that explains that mothers love their children no matter what they do or where they are.
This book helped us through many a night when our daughter was missing her grandmother and I have used it to help other children through the drop-off transition as well. I hope it can be as helpful for you as it has been for us.
Carol E. Jordan is the mother of 2 children. She has been a preschool teacher for 9 years and is working toward a CDA (Child Development Associate) an Early Childhood Education professional credential.
Copyrighted © Carol E. Jordan. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.