First day in a daycare center can be frightening and exciting at the same time. It can be a breeze for some but most parents experience hell convincing their children that they will be back to fetch them later in the afternoon. Let me share to you some of my helpful tips to prep you and your child in making that first day separation a walk in the park.
When you prepare, start early. Preparation is not just an overnight thing. To start, parents may try to slowly instill into the minds of your children what daycare is going to be like. Obviously, do not go down to the technical stuff and instead, draw a picture into their minds that a daycare will be an adventure wherein he or she will meet new friends and play a lot of games. However, it is fairly easy to overwhelm the child so never overdo it. Parents may also arrange for activities that are done at home be done at the daycare center so that first day won’t be so much of a change in routine.
As First Day is nearing, try to inculcate independence by encouraging the washing of his own hands, visitation of friends, and the like. Weeks prior to first day, regularly take your child with you to visit the daycare to allow the child to absorb the feeling of the environment. If you are already sure about the daycare center wherein you will enroll your child, settle all accounts and make sure all forms are properly filled-up.
On the eve of the first day, make sure that you prepare everything as in everything that will be needed for tomorrow’s big day. Things to pack include, foods, clothes, toys, blankets and other things deemed necessary. It is also helpful that items are labeled.
A good breakfast will surely help you sustain your energy levels as you face the big day. Don’t forget to talk to your child about how great this adventure this will be for him.
Once again, instill independence in your child by letting him pack and carry his own things. Walk your child into the daycare center holding his hand instead of carrying him in your arms.
Most daycare centers advocate settling-in period. This is the period when the parents are allowed to stay longer to interact with their child to ease separation anxiety. However, parents should also be supportive of the policy of limiting too much parent interaction as part of the child’s training. It is suggested that parents just sit back and relax and observe how their child is being treated in the daycare facility. Most of the time, the parents can observe that their child may begin with isolating himself and playing alone but gradually he may venture into joining the group. Children have their own pace and this should be respected. When the parents leave, daycare facilitators may need to distract the child by offering more exciting activities.
An essential part of daycare training is routine. Drop off can be something to establish routine. Instead of accompanying the child inside, parents may opt to train their child to be dropped off outside the daycare as time goes by.
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