Life can be pretty expensive in today’s world, and it’s not uncommon for both husband and wife to have full time jobs — especially when there are children involved. It’s common practice after a child is born for the new mother to stay at home care for the new addition tot he family. But once the baby is old enough, it might be time to start thinking of enrolling their child in day care so that Mom can return to work.
Here are some helpful hints and tips for preparing your child for day care or preschool.
Encourage Bonding with the Caregiver
No one can take the place of a child’s mother — but in your absence, the caregiver will have to suffice. To prevent separation anxiety, help your little one to develop a good relationship with her caregiver by meeting the caregiver together, and showing your child that you trust this person. Knowing that her caregiver is there when you leave should be comforting to your child.
Familiarize Your Child with the New Routine
Your child might feel a bit shaken up if all of a sudden she’s place in day care for six hours a day. Slowly familiarize your child with the new day care routine by spending an hour or so for a few days with your child at the day care center before she actually starts. Help her to bond with the caregivers and other children. If she becomes involved with something, let her carry on on her own until she needs you again. You’ll be able to observe first-hand how your child will handle being in day care. Many day cares, like this child care center in Liberty, have small group sizes so that children are able to connect better with their caregiver.
Leave for Short Periods of Time
Your child has never been apart from you before — and leaving your child at day care won’t be easy (for either of you). Once your child has settled in and is comfortable with her caregiver, begin by leaving here there for just a few minutes at a time. Say goodbye to her, leave, and then come back once she has stopped crying. Don’t be tempted to come back before she’s stopped crying, as this will lead her to believe that her crying will bring you back. By staying away for just a few minutes, she will learn that you will return after you leave, and she will get used to these separations even when they grow longer.
Create a Parting Routine
Keeping your parting routine the same will help make things easier and reduce tears. For example, always tell her a story when you take her to day care, then hold her, tell her you love her, and what time you’ll be back to pick her up. Hand her over to her caregiver, and then leave with a standard gesture, like blowing her a kiss as you walk out the door. Goodbyes should be comforting, but don’t make parting too drawn out and dramatic.
Help Your Child Understand
Coping with separation will be a lot easier for your child if you reassure her by explaining exactly what is going to happen when she goes to day care. The key here is to emphasize that you will come back for her every day. Don’t harp on the fact that you will leave her there every day, but instead focus on all the fun she will have there with her caregiver and all the other children.
Going to preschool can be daunting for children, even for those that been to day care. Nothing should seem like work to children of this age, so it is very important to keep preparation for preschool fun for your child. If your child hasn’t had much to do with other children up to this time, get him involved with social activities like tumbling classes or music, to make activities like sharing, taking turns, and sharing a bit easier for her.
Take a lot of the mystery out of preschool by explaining to your child what to expect — like where she will be going, who will be with her, and what they will be doing in class.
For the first few days, make sure to have enough time in the morning to get ready and be at school on time and without any stress. The calmer things are done, the less stressful the separation will be. Also, have a goodbye ritual and stick to it, like a high five, a thumbs-up, or a wink for instance.
Leaving your child at day care or preschool is not just an emotional event for your child — but for yourself as well. Although it may be easier for you, be sure not to ever sneak away after you drop your child off. Instead, say goodbye nonchalantly (don’t tear up!) and with confidence, and she will probably do the same. And always keep to your promise and pick your child up on time — every time.Read More