Angela Ploetz

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President of the NAPO-Austin Chapter


My goal is to help people create a space that supports them, mentally, physically, and aesthetically. When you are free from the chaos you have the capacity to create more of what you want.

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Back to School Without Tears

by Angela On September 1, 2012

Walk down any Kindergarten or preschool hallway over the first few weeks of school and you will probably hear a sniffle, sob, or just a flat out crying child.  My youngest daughter has always had a hard time with separation anxiety but I think I have come up with something that might actually help make the transition of leaving mom and dad easier!

After seeing several punch cards on Pinterest for chores, it hit me, “why don’t I make a punch card for every time my daughter has a tear free drop off”?!  Off to the drawing board I went!  So I came up with the “No Cry GOOD Bye” card.  Every time my daughter has a GOOD bye without any tears then she gets a punch on her punch card.  After 10 punches she earns a small prize or to pick something from the treasure box.

I showed my daughter the card that evening and explained what it was and she was so excited she was already dreaming up what she would get with her reward.  The next morning it was off to school and she was a little hesitant as usual but then I said “do you want to show your card to your teacher”?  “Yes!” she said with glee! She wanted to hold the card the entire time and as we made our way down the hallways of the school she was even showing it to other kids.  Then she had a brilliant idea: “Mom!  Let’s put it in my folder so my teacher can give me a punch”!  Wow!  I hadn’t even thought of that!  I just thought I would keep it and punch it everyday, but if that’s what would keep this child from crying and doing the leg lock on my leg then let’s run with that.  Low and behold her folder had a little spot on the inside for a business card (and of course I designed the card to be business card size) so it fit perfectly!  She practically ran into the class room to show her teacher and hardly noticed when I told her bye three times (I must admit my heart ached just a little there).  What a wonderful feeling, to walk away and your child is not crying and sad!

When I was leaving school that morning a friend stopped me and told me her daughter wanted “The CARD”.  My friend has also been struggling with her daughter in the mornings.  She told her daughter that she would make her a chart and her reply was “No, I want the card”.  Woo hoo Moms!  There is hope! I’m just so excited that it worked and the kids like it!

We used the card again later that afternoon for swim lessons and it worked like a charm.

So I want to spread the “no cry GOOD bye” love to all the mom’s, teachers, and kids!  You can get a printable PDF version of the “No Cry GOOD Bye ” cards by clicking this link.  For more back to school tips see my post One Product Makeover: Kids’ Clothes Back to School.

What do you think?  Do you think the card will work for your kids?  What other strategies have you used to have a tear free farewell?

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6 Responses to “Back to School Without Tears”

  1. Katie Belle says:

    I luv your idea! I wish I had this when my son was in kindergarten! What ended up happening was pretty nice though…the principal noticed my son was having a hard time, so he came up with a clever idea. Every morning I would drive up to the drop off point and he would be standing there, waiting for us. He would open the door and get Robbie out of the van. Then, he would start singing or chatting about something funny, wave goodbye to Mommy and off into the school they would go! If he cried, the principal helped him walk inside. Sometimes the principal would call my son into his office and talk with him…and give him a sucker! Robbie got so he started looking forward to Mr. Richardson greeting him in the morning. I think Robbie would have loved this card! I wish I had thought of it. 😉 BTW, he’s 17 now and has NO PROBLEM leaving ol’ Momma when I drop him off at school. They outgrow it–so enjoy these days.

    • Angela says:

      What an awesome story! Thanks for sharing. It gives us moms with crying children hope! Isn’t it amazing how one person can make such a big difference on a child’s life?!

  2. Yvette Pagel says:

    This has been such an awesome tool to use with my Kyrsten!! I was feeling so overwhelmed with all of the tears every morning of school. When Kyrsten saw this punch card we have gone to school without tears!!!! So exciting!! Now my oldest daughter wants a punch card too even though she doesn’t cry going to school!! I need to do one for good behavior or something like that!
    Thank you so much for creating this tool to get us through our mornings of drop off!!

    • Angela says:

      Thanks for sharing! I am SO happy for you and so happy the card is working for Kyrsten! Woo hoo! Who knew such a simple thing could make such a big difference! Woo, so excited!

  3. Jennifer says:

    I tried your idea today and it WORKED!! My son normally has no problem separating from me, but since kinder started the morning drop offs would some days end with tears. The teacher absolutely loved the idea and Mason is excited to do it again tomorrow. Thanks so much!

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