The first day of preschool has as many emotional ups and downs as an episode of Grey's Anatomy. You're psyched to see your child become more independent, but saying goodbye that first morning -- if not week -- is a gut-wrenching experience for most moms and dads.
"There will probably be some tears shed, either by the child or his parents -- or both," says Muriel Johnson, a teacher at Monteverde School, in Berkeley, California. "For many kids, being dropped off with total strangers in an unfamiliar environment can be scary. Their parents, meanwhile, are hopeful that their child will be loved and cared for, but they don't actually know the teachers yet. They're anxious too, and kids will sense that."
Happily, there are things you can do to make goodbye time less painful. We turned to the experts and asked experienced preschool teachers across the country for advice on drop-off do's and don'ts to keep in mind for the beginning of the school year. Read them and (don't) weep.