Ever been in this situation? You’ve had a long day at work, fought awful traffic on the way out, and you’ve arrived at daycare to pick up your child. All you want is to be in and out. Your child has other ideas, though.

Remember, it’s not that your kids aren’t excited to see you, because they are. Sometimes they have a funny way of showing it, or they’re not quite ready to say goodbye to their friends. We’ve all been there, and we know it can be frustrating. To make the departure run a little bit smoother, here’s 5 suggestions:

  1. A small kid-friendly snack waiting for them in the car can help to take the edge off. While you don’t want to spoil their appetite for dinner, a travel cup with water and a snack bag with a few cut up veggies or fruits can make the drive more pleasant.
  2. When you arrive at daycare, gather up your child’s belongings before gathering your child. A five-minute warning helps to set expectations, and it allows them a chance to say goodbye to friends.
  3. If you make a plan, stick to it. Set expectations for your child ahead of time. If you gave them the okay to play for an extra 10 minutes, great. But if you have somewhere to be, don’t mess around.
  4. If your child is in the middle of an activity when you arrive, as long as it’s within reason, give them time to finish up. Kids are creatures of habit, and having to leave before an activity is wrapped up can be stressful.
  5. A great habit to get into is to encourage your child to say, “Thank you,” to your daycare provider. Manners are in short supply these days, and this will give your kid a chance to be courteous early.