Rocking Parent Tip: How to Say Goodbye

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Ask anyone who has ever done it, preschool drop-offs can suck.

It’s hard to say goodbye, but it’s horrible when you have a sobbing toddler clinging to your leg and you haven’t even had a coffee yet. What a way to start a workday.

Oh, the drama! The tears (hers). The guilt (mine).

At my kids’ school they have an interesting technique during drop-off: Give your kid a kiss or a hug and then the kid gives you a push to help get you out the door. 


It turns saying goodbye into a bit of a game — are you going to give me a big push, a small push, a giant push? And it gives the child a sense of control instead of feeling as if they have no say in the matter.

Plus, they get to push someone, which is usually forbidden. So that’s fun. 

And most importantly, it works. The push-off has saved me on those bleary-eyed, running-late mornings when it seems nothing else can impel my kids to leave my side. Turn it into a game and they are happy to say goodbye — even getting their pals into the act. I’ve been pushed out the preschool gate by packs of children — it’s like being in a tiny mosh pit.

And it doesn’t just work at school. It’s easier for me to get out of the house with babysitters, easier to drop them at friends — the push-off has made goodbyes less grueling, period. And it’s not really a push off at all; it’s more like a launch — my kids taking off to conquer the world without me for a while.

How do you say goodbye?

Share your rocking parent tips in the comments and you may see it in a future post.


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