Have Kids Record Their Own Pep Talk Video To Prevent Tears At Drop-Off Time

Have Kids Record Their Own Pep Talk Video To Prevent Tears At Drop-Off Time
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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.


  • Last year at 3yo kinder, my 3yo usually loved being their but hated going most of the time, and usually hated us leaving her there because she would miss us. I printed out some photos of us all and put it in a plastic pocket for her to look at, that helped a little.

    We also had some real major bedtime issues on kinder nights.

    This year (doing 3yo again, due her age and not really interacting with the other kids we though it was best to have her do it again), she loves it and wants to go every day and when we get there she just says bye and runs off. Have not had one tear about kinder at all this year (except when she has a fall there).

    We had night time issues this year but not related to kinder days, eventually a bed tent and star projector (both from kmart) has turned a 1-3 hour ordeal into 10minutes and no tears (granted its the 16th different bedtime routine in 18 months but its the easiest its been [on both her and us] since she turned 3).

    So while when she was 2 everyone thought she was going to be ready for 3yo kinder the following year, turns out she wasn’t quite (but it definitely helped in some areas since she never went to day care and they were able to help with a few things).

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