If youíre sending your toddler off to daycare or preschool, be prepared for tears on the first day, and perhaps many after that. Separation anxiety is normal, as is a meltdown when you reappear (reminds them of the pain of the separation). There are many ways to ease this.
Here are ways not to say goodbye:
Donít be sad - while you may want to be empathetic, you will be communicating that it is a sad event, which reinforces your childís fears.
Donít be mad - sure, youíre getting late for work, and need to pull away. But itís not the time to show this frustration to yours child.
Donít hang on - it may seem more gentle to hang out for a long time to ease your child into the situation. But a clean break is actually better than prolonging the agony.
Donít leave without saying goodbye - the worst thing is to disappear without one last reassurance that youíll be back.