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You aren’t alone if you’re discouraged by teary partings with your child at school in the mornings, or by rowdy or uncooperative behavior when you’re first reunited at the end of the day. Take heart –- the problem may not be as big as you think. It’s true that kids respond the only way they know how to tough transition times, like drop off or pick up at school. But you can make transitions far less straining, for you and your little girl or boy. Follow these tips:

Pair transition time with special time

In the mornings or when you first get home after work, make a point of spending five or ten minutes with your child, paying attention just to him or her. A satisfied child is usually a well-behaved one.

Encourage independence

Don’t physically carry your child into school or daycare if he or she can walk. Let the child walk in beside you and put his or her own things away -- coats, lunch, other items to be stored in the locker or cubby. You’ll find that independent kids are far less likely to cling when you need to be getting to your workplace.

Talk to your child’s teacher

In the mornings, share with the teacher any news about medications, situations at home, or changes in schedule, such as an unusual bedtime, that may affect the way your child behaves that day. In the afternoons, find out how the day has gone. There may be circumstances you should consider when judging behavior. Many preschools give parents a daily written “report card,” telling what your child ate, how long he or she napped, and whether he or she was particularly happy or whiny.

Make time just for you

The transition from work back to parenthood is hard on you, too. Before you pick up your child, take a moment for a cup of coffee or listen to your favorite tape in the car. Release, relax, and feel better. Then you’ll find it’s easier to deal with your child’s demands.