Saying goodbye is HARD! #RISEtipoftheweek


We are excited to introduce a new series that we are calling, #Risetipoftheweek!  With each post, we aim to be a resource for the Austin community in the area of early childhood development.  


Have a question or topic you would like feedback on?  Email your thoughts and ideas to Amy at and we can feature it in an upcoming post! 



Saying goodbye is hard!


“Attachment and separation are the stuff of which life is made,” states Dr. Nancy Balaban. Feelings of separation and saying goodbye are not restricted to child care settings or school. Many times, during the course of our lives, we must separate from people we love and care about. We move to new homes, go to school, camp, or college, start new jobs, or go on vacation. Some of us get married, get divorced or suffer from the ultimate separation, the death of a loved one. “Characteristic of all these experiences is leaving the familiar and heading into the unknown,” Dr. Balaban explains.  The bonds we build with our children, families, and friends promote resilience, self-regulation, and a positive sense of self. It is because of these firm ties with others, that we are able to develop autonomy and believe that we are lovable, which enhances our overall development and future success.


At @riseatx we strongly believe in forming bonds and attachments with our students, while nurturing and supporting the bond between parents and their children.  At the beginning of the year especially, teachers help children cope with separation from their families, and work intentionally to create classrooms where connection, safety, and love are at the forefront of their practice.

Tips for Teachers

Create a school climate that supports your kiddos!

  • Family and Friends Board

  • Classroom 'Safe Place'

  • Brain Smart Start

  • Safekeeper Ritual

  • Greeting/Goodbye Rituals

  • Visual Routines

  • Class-made Books

  • Classroom Job Board

  • Connection Rituals

  • 'We Care' Center


Tips for Parents

Help your child with their transition to school!

  • Friends book (photos of classmates)

  • Rituals (establish a predictable goodbye routine)

  • Routines (consistent morning and afternoon routines)

  • Review the school’s daily schedule with your child

  • Share your child’s favorite things to do with the teachers

  • Make homemade books to send to school

  • Talk about your child’s feelings with him/her

  • Create a reunion ritual with your child



  • Sneaking away

  • Asking if it is okay to leave

  • Bribing your child with a treat

  • Lingering


TAKE AWAY FOR PARENTS: "Goodbye Rituals"

It is important to establish a predictable goodbye routine. Goodbye routines or rituals will let your child know what will happen next, making it easier to cope with the transition. 


Here are some ideas of what you can do with your child when saying goodbye!

  • Parent: See you later, alligator; Child: In a while, crocodile (making alligator chomp motion with hands)

  • Parent: Give a hug, ladybug; Child: Receives hug from parent

  • Parent: Bye, bye, butterfly; Child and parent give “butterfly kisses” to one another

  • Parent: Blow a kiss, goldfish (blow a kiss); Child: Hit the road, hoppy toad (child hops)

  • Parent: Give a shake, rattlesnake; Child: shakes body

Families, you can simply come up with something that you and your child will enjoy and something that will be special and unique to your goodbye routine.  Once you do the ritual be sure to leave – don’t linger! You can do this! 


Well wishes,

Meg Bethune

@riseatx Executive Director



“Easing the Separation Process for Infants, Toddlers, and Families” by Nancy Balaban, in Beyond the Journal, Young Children, November 2006

Conscious Discipline: Building Resilient Classrooms by Dr. Becky Bailey, 2014

“11 Ways to Help Children Say Goodbye” by Julia Luckenbill, NAEYC

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Austin, TX 78723