Worried about the best way to help get your child started with going to a child care centre? Perhaps you’re worried about separation anxiety? By following the tips below you can help to ensure that your child has a smooth experience in beginning their next chapter at Discovery Tree.
Preparing your child beforehand
Getting your child used to a daily routine is a good first step. Suddenly finding out that they can’t eat lunch until a certain time or that they must play outside at a certain time may come as quite a shock to a child which, in turn, can be upsetting. By gradually turning the days into a more routine experience, you can help prepare and train your child to begin to subconsciously plan for certain events such as a set lunch time to occur throughout the day. This will allow them to better deal with more structured environments that they will encounter both in child care and throughout daily life as they grow.
Dealing with separation anxiety
Separation anxiety is the common and normal fear that children have of being away from their parents or carers. If you’re leaving your child in a new setting – child care centre, preschool, friend’s house, babysitter – spend time at the new place with your child before the separation. Your child will be less distressed if they are left in a safe, familiar place with familiar people they trust.
Tips and tricks for a smooth transition
- When you drop your child off, say goodbye briefly – don’t drag it out.
- Make sure to seem relaxed and happy when you’re leaving. If you seem worried or sad, your child might think the place isn’t safe and can get upset too.
- Make a conscious effort to foster your child’s self-esteem by complimenting them and giving them lots of positive attention.
- No matter how frustrated you feel, avoid criticising or being negative about your child’s difficulty with separation. For example, avoid saying things like ‘Don’t be such a baby’.