As parents, we’ve all been there; as it’s the very rare child that happily separates from mom or dad the first time that they are expected to spend the day at child care. This one ritual seems to cause more anxiety and guilt than almost any other of early childhood. Though it’s understandable for children to initially find it upsetting to be separated from their parents, in a place that is unfamiliar to them, it is important to the peace of mind of all involved to quickly get that child happily acclimated to preschool as soon as possible. We asked a number of our Milldale and Glastonbury parents how they helped their child make saying goodbye easier. Here are their best tips:
- Prepare them for their new scenario. Think about how you would feel if someone were to just suddenly and inexplicably alter your surroundings and environment. Understanding and limiting their vulnerability and anxiety is key to making the transition a peaceful one. Take your child to visit the school, meet their teachers and play a little with the other children. Show them around explaining that they get to start coming here to play and learn. Stay positive and limit your own anxious feelings.
- Let them carry a piece of you with them. Eight to ten hours is an awful long time for a little one to be away from mom or dad. Give your small child a little bit of you to keep him/her comforted during the day. A scarf or blanket with your smell or perfume on it, or a special piece of jewelry or even a small locket will help them get through their day knowing that they are loved.
- Keep it short and sweet. Make sure to give your son or daughter your full attention when saying goodbye but don’t linger or give them ways to guilt you into staying just a little longer. Make sure to smile and act that they should be excited about their day.
- Stick to your routine. Occasional set-backs can and should be expected. Children’s moods and motivations change just as ours do. But it is important to remain calm and stick to the same routine in order for them to fully understand that nothing has changed and that you’ll be back together at the end of the day – just like always.
As the Top-Rated Local® preschool and daycare in Milldale, Glastonbury and South Windsor, we understand what you and your little one is going through. With knowledgeable, compassionate staff members and teachers, we work as partners with parents to lessen the anxiety felt by both of you.