You’ve taken care of everything as you get ready to send your child off to his very first day in school—a daily stay at a local Plymouth, MA day care or preschool. However, this milestone in your child’s education can be hard for both of you as you’ll both need to adjust to a new routine. As an adult, you probably have the necessary coping skills, but you’re little one will surely need all the help and understanding you can give. As PopSugar.com contributor Mo Cooper notes in her article:
“Is your toddler entering a structured childcare program for the first time? The transition from being home with mom or another family member to being in a daycare setting can be traumatic for a toddler, even when the caregivers are top notch and the environment is loving. “
Here are some helpful tips to facilitate your child’s smooth transition to a day care setting where he’ll be in the company of teachers and other children:
Introduce the idea of day care in a fun way – Discuss all the positive aspects of going to day care. Speaking to BabyZone.com, Child Care Aware representative Stacey Minott states that children can sense if their parents are anxious. Simply put, if you’re stressed out over the transition, they’ll pick up on your emotions as well.
Leave a favorite toy – Let him bring along his favorite toy. It may be the coolest robot toy or the cutest stuffed animal he likes to play with all the time. The bottom line is, your child may find it much easier to gradually settle in with new people if he has a favorite toy to play with when he feels anxious.
NO disappearing acts – Resist the temptation of sneaking out of the room while your child isn’t looking. By doing so, he might become more fearful that you’ll disappear again and not let you out of his sight ever, thereby making him more uneasy.
Spend time together – No matter how great the day care center is, it goes without saying that it isn’t a replacement for parent-child time. If you fail to spend time with your child each day, they’ll tend to resent day care, especially if you used to spend a lot of time together. About an hour or two of quality time daily is enough to ease them in.
To drop off your child at a nearby Plymouth preschool such as Crayon College and see him cry as you leave is heartbreaking. However, if you implement the tips enumerated above, you could definitely increase the chances of making your child’s day care experience fun and rewarding.
(Source: Preparing your Child for a Positive Daycare Experience, PopSugar.com, August 8, 2011)