When the time arrives for your child to start daycare, it is typical to feel an incurable nervous feeling when the moment of the first separation becomes reality. If you experience butterflies in your stomach or a flash of anxiety, this is totally normal. To leave your child at daycare is a big step for both you and the child.
A separation between child and parent is not very common before the first weeks of daycare. In many cases it is the first time for a totally new person to look after the child instead of you as a parent. If you are nervous this is totally okay. Nobody do this completely with ease. The process has to teach the child to feel safe in the new environment, without mom and dad. Of course there are some things to consider for this to be done as good as possible. There are many ways to prepare the child for this day. Here are 10 advices on how you can make the acclimatization for your child easier.
- Be consistent – show security
If the child is sad or reacts in a different way the first day of daycare is normal. What matters is how you as a parent handle this. You should expect that your child will be timid, cry or in best case – run away and play with the other children. If you are straight and clear with your child from the start, you show them safety by being consistent. It often happens that mothers and fathers radiate their insecurity, which also makes the children feel anxious.
- A short “goodbye”
No one likes goodbyes. Making them longer does not make it easier. Not for the child either . Make the moment of separation and parting as short as possible. Just like ripping off a patch. Hand your child over to the staff to show him or her that they are a safe place. Give a nice smile and wave goodbye!
- Build trust
Never sneak away from the daycare when you think the child cant see you. Always make sure that they get a farewell to build confidence and trust.
- Encourage with a calm approach
If your child is crying when you leave, explain that this is now his or her chance to play with new friends. Try to always say goodbye in the same way. A good trick can be to plan a fun activity for the child after you come to pick him or her up, so that they have something to look forward to!
- Note the favorite toys
During the process of starting daycare, try to remember what toys the child likes to play with. This way you can talk about the toy on the way to daycare to defuse the separation and make them look forward to something during the day. For instance you can ask them to show a particular car or a puzzle.
- Choose one of the parents for acclimatization
It may be that you as a parent find it emotionally difficult to leave your child at daycare. Then leave this task to the other parent. The feelings will transfer over to your child. This is why it’s a better fit if the more confident parent takes care of the acclimatization process.
- Leaving your child at daycare doesn’t get easier?
If a crying child does not get used to the separation after 4 weeks, this may be because of something else. In some cases it can be a messy environment in daycare, making it difficult for them to feel safe. It may also be that your child has been mistreated during the induction at the daycare. Other options are that other children are slightly older than your child, or that the experience in general hasn’t been a positive one. In these cases you might need to do a new acclimatization with the child and also choose to be there all day to see how the environment is.
- Checklist – what is needed at preschool
Do you go around and worry that your child will miss something that is needed? Just follow this checklist to keep track:
- Change of clothes
- Clothes for rainy weather
- Wellington boots
- Pillow / blanket
- Mark the name on belongings
Daycare is as close as it gets to a wild jungle of children and gadgets. Make sure to label all belongings with your child’s name. They will get lost and found – and believe us, there is no doubt about this.
- All children are different
Remember that every child is unique. Some will need more time than others. Observe your child and its progress and take one step at a time. You are always the one who knows the best ways for your child.
Hope you found some good advise!
Until next time, – enjoy parenting!
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