Difficult Departure from Childcare

Archived Q&A and Reviews

My 18 month old son is in family daycare fulltime. For the last 9 months, my husband has been the one dropping him off & picking him up. Because of a change in our work schedules, I am now doing occasional drop-off & regular pick-up. However, I am finding it very difficult to get my strong-willed son to leave when it is time to go home -- a problem my husband did not have. My son refuses to put on his shoes or coat, throws himself to the floor, screams and cries, fights tooth and nail efforts to get him out of the house and into his car seat. His day care is wonderful, and he clearly doesn't like to leave. I have tried hanging out with him there for a bit so there is not a big rush to leave, tried telling him all the pleasant things that will happen when we get home, reminding him that we will see Daddy & our pets at home, etc., but when the time finally comes to leave, he fights it. I think I have a good idea of why it is happening -- he is tired (though not hungry, since he gets a big snack shortly before I arrive), it is difficult to transition, and with me there, he seems to have things he wants: the fun parts of daycare, & me, all in the same package (When my husband picked him up, he was able to use the incentive of going home to see Mommy.) I am hoping for some practical tips on making the transition easier for him, his caretakers, and me.

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