Daycare Burnout: When Your Little One Needs a Break

After a long week and an even longer weekend, the last thing you might want to do on Monday morning is wake up early, get dressed and head into work. While most adults are familiar with the Monday-blahs, they often don’t realize that toddlers and preschool-aged kids can sometimes feel the same way. If your kiddo is letting you know they don’t want to head back into daycare or preschool, either with words or with their behavior, they might be experiencing daycare burnout. While missing work to give them a break might not be an option, it’s important to find a way to help them get through their feelings of burnout. Check out the tips below to help them get back to daycare or preschool with a smile on their face.

burnout
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{ MORE: How to Prepare for Your Baby's First Day of Daycare }

Get to the bottom of the problem

When Sunday night or Monday morning rolls around and your little one starts talking about a mysterious tummy ache or how they just don’t want to go to school, it’s important to try to figure out what’s going on. It may be a simple case of having had a great weekend and not looking forward to missing you while you’re apart. But it’s important to rule out something more. Check in with your kiddo about how their teachers and fellow classmates are treating them. If you have concerns, don’t hesitate to make unannounced visits at their school to see how things run when parents aren’t expected.

Take it easy on Sundays

As a working parent, it might be tempting to fill your weekends with as many fantastic activities as possible. But taking it easy on Sundays, or at least Sunday afternoons, can help smooth over what could be a tough transition back into the school week. Spend the afternoon hanging out at home, cook a favorite meal for an early dinner, and take a few extra minutes at bedtime to cuddle and read books before letting them fall asleep peacefully.

Create a Monday morning ritual

If getting your kiddo out of bed and back into routine on Monday is a challenge, consider establishing a Monday morning ritual your child gets excited about. Whether it’s going out for breakfast, packing a special note in their lunch, or reading them a story before they get out of bed, something fun to look forward to on Monday can take your kiddo’s mind off of any daycare disappointment.

Keep your cool

When your little one isn’t cooperating and you need to get out the door, it can be really frustrating. While it’s easy to lose your cool, yelling or getting frustrated won’t likely get you out the door any faster or help your child feel better about going to daycare. Take a few deep breaths and empathize with your child. After all, you’ve felt the way they have too. The only reason you don’t throw a fit is because you’ve had years to figure out how to handle your emotions.

{ MORE: Ditch the Daycare Guilt: 4 Ways Daycare is Helping Your Baby Thrive }

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Lead with love

After taking a few deep breaths, get on your child’s level and let them know you understand their feelings. Remind them of all the fun you had over the weekend and all the things they have to look forward to this week at school. After giving a hug and a pep talk, your babe might just feel ready to start the week with a smile.

Has your child experiences daycare burnout? Share in the comments.

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Daycare Burnout: When Your Little One Needs a Break

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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1 comment

  1. Yebela says:

    “If you have concerns, don’t hesitate to make unannounced visits at their school to see how things run when parents aren’t expected.”
    That would’ve been great if my toddler’s daycare allowed that. And most daycare centers don’t do that for a good reason.

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