As the new school year begins, you may be preparing for your child's first day in a daycare or preschool situation. While some kids have the confidence and self-esteem to run into these new environments with ease, others find the prospect more challenging and intimidating. If your child is one of those who becomes uneasy or upset in new situations, you may be looking for some strategies to simplify the drop-off process. Here's a look at some ideas to help your child approach those first few days with a bit more self-assurance.
Practice Before The Big Day
One of the biggest reasons that kids struggle with those first few drop-offs is because of the uncertainty of the whole process. Especially for kids who have never been away from you, this can be challenging. Talk with the director about dropping your child off for a few hours a couple of times before the big day arrives. Doing it on days when there's no pressure or time constraint lets you ease your child into the whole thing with patience and understanding. This gives him or her a chance to become familiar with the environment and makes it easier for you to transition to a full day.
Arrive As Early As Possible
Sometimes anxiety can come from arriving in a room that's already full of kids. Also, arriving later means less time to say goodbye and be ready to go. Arrive as early as you can to give your child plenty of time to acclimate before you have to go. This is often easiest when there are fewer kids there on arrival because the environment will be quieter and calmer.
Focus Your Attention On Your Child First
While it's tempting to go into the classroom and immediately reach out to the caregiver to pass on instructions, clothing, diapers, or any other supplies, it's emotionally easier for kids when you start out by focusing on them first. Get down on your child's level, take time to say goodbye and offer hugs and comfort. Once your child has gone off to play or explore, that's when you can take the few minutes needed to hand off information and items.
Being clear and deliberate about your drop-off routine, including exploring the facility ahead of time and allowing plenty of focused, one-on-one time to say goodbye, will help ease the transition into daycare. Look for a facility that is understanding of the early transition time and is willing to let you pick up your child early if there are any concerns about anxiety or other issues. For more information, contact a child care center like Rainbow Montessori.Share