My kids regularly come home from preschool raving about how much fun they had. But then when it’s time to drop them off the next morning, they forget all about that and cry at having to leave me. One thing that helps: a selfie video.
Photo: Wayne Djokoto
Next time you pick your child up and they’re in that glorious honeymoon phase, have them record a little video saying how much fun they had and how they can’t wait to come back. Then, the next morning, show them the video – ideally before the tears start. I can’t say it completely prevents the morning’s crying jag, but it definitely helps. It helps their little brains jump past the “I have to say goodbye to Mummy” stage and start looking forward to their favourite parts of the day.
I make these videos Q&A style, and have experimented with pointing the back camera at my kid versus letting them watch themselves selfie style. Either way, I’ll ask things like:
- So did you have fun?
- What was the best thing you did today?
- Tell me about when you [name an activity you know they did/loved]
- Who did you play with? Who are your favourite teachers there?
- How do you feel about going back tomorrow?
The key is to get specific – not just “I had fun, I played with toys” but “Bob and I went down the slide, and then he said ‘Poopyface!’ and even the teachers laughed.” Always end with them talking about their excitement to return.
When I’ve done this with my older kids – like five or six – I explain the purpose of the video and ask them to speak directly to their future self. I’ll prompt them to start with something like “You should totally go back today because…” and then fill in whatever specifics they like.
You want honest enthusiasm, though. If the kid isn’t actually jazzed about their experience, don’t force it. And if a kid dreads being dropped off and is unhappy all day, that could be a warning sign that something isn’t right – anything from child abuse to the program being genuinely boring and no fun for them, so take your kid seriously.