Families often ask me how they can help their children settle into kindy and child care settings. So here are my top tips!
Develop a ritual for saying goodbye, one which is predictable and consistent for the child. For example, each time they arrive at the setting you could greet the caregivers together, play with one toy, and then have one cuddle and say goodbye. Avoid sneaking off or lingering indefinitely!
Talk positively about the caregivers and setting when you are at home or with friends. Remind the child about them and give them reasons to be excited to see them again! For example, “I was just wondering if Sarah will have her puppy yet, remember she said she was getting a new puppy this week? We could ask her on Friday!”.
Teach resilience strategies. If your child tells you about a time they missed you, acknowledge how they were feeling, and then ask them what they did when they felt that way? Give them ideas of things they can do to feel happier, or to remind them that you will be back together soon.
And last but not least, know a little about Attachment Theory! Did you know that developing a secure, healthy, trusting attachment to the primary caregiver, paves the way for the child to connect with and let go of others right throughout their life!? See the big picture, and know what really matters!
It also helps the child to have had lots of previous experiences with similar types of activities that they will encounter at the school, kindy, or child care service – and no I don’t mean reading and writing! Give your child lots of opportunities to become familiar with these sorts of experiences, much of which they can do by attending my Montessori Pop Up Classes:
- Saying goodbye to you,
- Choosing and playing with activities independently,
- Listening to a very simple instruction and following it (eg. “Can you get your lunch box please?”),
- Being part of a group of children, and
- Joining in a game or activity with other children (it really is a tricky skill!)
To find out when my Montessori Pop Up Classes will be in your area, follow this blog by email or www.Facebook.com/PeacefulRoom. If your child needs a little more help with settling into a new setting, I can provide specific advice for your child and family with a consultation in your home. Please contact me to find out more.