Look Out I'm Parenting Here! Getting Through The Day Chapter 4: See You Later Alligator (Part 3)
Broaden your focus and theirs
One of my favorite quotes was from Miyamoto Musashi, who wrote the book "The Book of Five Rings" (We really should read this for the book club). He says, "If you know the way broadly, you will see it in everything". From my interpretation, Miyamoto was trying to show that there are synchronicities in life among seemingly unrelated things. "The way" in this matter I presume to mean a goal, or a destination. Once you realize how to get to that certain goal, you will see the steps to achieve other goals mirror the goal you first attained.
I already know what you might be thinking, "Chris, where are you going with this?" I am with you that this might be kind of a stretch in linking a book on samurai warfare to ensuring your kids get dropped off at daycare; let me try it out though. I believe that at a younger age, one is more attuned with slight variations in the environment. As adults we are just more accustomed to things constantly changing and never staying the same. It does not surprise us as much as it would toddler, who is clinging to a parent for protection and for comfort. Any change in the classroom, daycare, or grandma's house will invoke feelings of excitement. These feelings can go the way of something fun or the way of fear. "OMG something's different, this isn't the same as it was last time, I need my mom!" Catch my drift?
When things change at the school drop off zone, or in the classroom (not IF, WHEN), be in the moment with your child and try to go inside their mind. See how they feel about this seemingly new classroom. Yes it looks different, but this is still your same old classroom, and DIFFERENT IS OK. Ted also advocates for not just rushing out at this time. Stay and point these differences out to your child. Maybe its Christmas or Halloween and you want to take a tour of the new decorations. Most certainly other kids are going to have the same shock and awe, why not at this point see if you can introduce your child to them if they have not already met. You could with one introduction bring feelings of comfort to two children at once, and they could bond over their shared view on how cool the Christmas tree in the corner looks. Now your child has a new friend, yay!
When it comes down to it, to hearken back to our last post, you are not trying to make this a big deal. Having your toddler focus on any differences in the drop off location can get them excited on what the day has in store for them instead of dreading 8 hours away from mommy or daddy. Broaden your focus and theirs.