We have a tradition at nursery that started many years ago that we call ‘the whoosh’. When children say goodbye to their parents after being dropped-off at nursery, they ‘whoosh’ their parents out of the door. The parent turns around to face the open door and their child gives them a gentle push towards the door and says a loud ‘whoosh’. It may sound strange but it really works for a number of reasons.
Giving a ‘whoosh’ puts the child in charge of the goodbye situation. The child chooses when to whoosh rather than the parent deciding the time to leave. Children love the chance to send their parents on their way, rather than the other way around! Giving a loud ‘whoosh’ is fun for the children and makes the whole experience positive and enjoyable. This reduces the fear and anxiety often felt by a child being left by a parent, and develops their independence.
We have had a few reports this year that many of the children who left the nursery to start school were seen ‘whooshing’ their parents out of the door on their first visits to school. This gives them a goodbye scenario that they are familiar with, and can continue during the change to their environment that comes with starting school. A positive new beginning.