Aug 31
Parenting Corner – Teaching Your Child Resourcefulness


Q.  My wife and I both work forcing us to use early care for my 7-year daughter but she doesn’t like it so she clings on to me when I leave her. What can I do to make drop-off easier on both of us?

A.  Great Question! This is a situation many families face.  It’s important to empower your daughter now with a feeling of resourcefulness in these types of situations so she has a strong mental muscle to handle them as she gets older.

First, understand her resistance to early care using her specific actions to figure out the situation.  For example, “Sweetheart I love your extra long hugs before I drop you off, but what is it about this time of the day that has you give them to Daddy?”  (NOTE:  Do not insinuate she doesn’t like early care even if she has told you so.)   It’s important to remain focused on the specific result you want which is making drop-off easier.

Always be sensitive to her answer by saying, “I understand….”   (even if you don’t agree with it). Then ask, “knowing you have to go to early care what would it take for you to feel comfortable/confident (or even use her language) when Daddy drops you off?”  You want her to start to think in empowering terms – comfortable/confident – if she is not familiar with these terms take the time to explain them so they become part of her language going forward.

You want to continue the conversation until she comes up with a solution that she can control.  For example some kids will say, “I want you/my friend to go to early care with me.”  Encourage her answers by saying, “that would be a fun solution but since I/we can’t be there, what’s a solution you can do on your own?”  You want to continue to bring her back to things she can do and talk about what it would take to change her mindset about the situation.

Sometimes it is necessary for you to give suggestions making sure your daughter has the final decision; reluctant agreement will not improve drop-off time.  For example – let’s have a secret password you whisper in my ear when we hug that lets us both know you are ready to have a good day or have a small trinket like a key chain on her bag she can rub before you leave and if she gets lonely throughout the day.  The possibilities are endless.

Don’t be alarmed if the first solution doesn’t work.  Remember you are showing your child resourcefulness: simply try the next thing and keep trying different solutions until one fits the both of you.


laughingLaura Treonze, serves as Chief Life Strategist with LMT Consulting, which helps executives and teams create massive success through self-awareness. Her life-changing approach has transformed individuals and families and has redefined the way non-profits and corporations “do” business.