One of the most difficult moments as a parent is when your child begins nursery. For most, it will be the first time you spend a significant amount of time away from them, and the beginning of their school life and being taught by other adults who are new to them.
This can be a challenging transition for all the family and bring difficulties not only to you as a parent but to your child. The nursery will bring a massive change to their life, they will spend time away from the adults they know most, meet lots of people, learn new things and be in surroundings that are unfamiliar and perhaps scary to them.
As a parent, it is vital that you do all you can to support them through these changes so it can be a fun and exciting time for them, rather than a time where they feel scared and alone.
As a parent you are your child’s most known adult and someone, they not only trust but also someone they take lead for and strive to become. Although this may be a huge transition that could be emotional, try to remain calm whilst with your child.
When talking about new beginnings, encourage excitement and ensure they know all the good things around the corner! And on that first day as you embrace them and have to let them go, be sure to keep the smile on your face and hold back the tears while still in sight.
Wave them goodbye and walk away. Staying calm and letting them go will help to improve their confidence as they have less reason to fear if mummy or daddy aren’t.
Be proud and praise
Don’t forget to ensure your child knows how proud of them you are. Show how you understand that the transition could be a difficult one for them and be sure to praise them as they embrace this new adventure.
No matter whether they have a good or bad day, find something they have done well and point it out if they make something place it in a prize position at home. These small moments of pride will encourage them to do more of the good things and outweigh any negative thoughts or emotions that they have.
Talk about it
At times it can seem that children aren’t listening to conversations or taking in what you are saying but the majority of that time they are absorbing the information, and communication is key for providing comfort to a child.
Show them they can share their worries with you and talk them through together. Even though its best to put on a strong front in the beginning, it’s also important they know adults fear things as well. Allow them to see how you have overcome your own worries so they can too.
Just make sure conversations about nursery are left on a positive note so that when they think about it that feeling is imprinted in their mind.
You will often find challenges like this are easier to face if you are prepared. Spend time in advance getting everything ready. Do this with your child so they know on the day all that’s left to do is get dressed, have breakfast and go.
Lay their clothes out with them the night before so they know what they’re wearing, ask what they want for breakfast so they have the comfort of making a choice of their own. Give them a warning before you leave so it isn’t sprung on them.
The organisation will provide assurance that everything is planned out and it’s not one big rush, let nursery feel like a secure, prepared step rather than a jumble of high emotions and getting things together last minute.
A small something
When the day arrives or even the night before, give them something special, something that will provide them comfort or be a reminder of something they know and are happy with.
Whether it be a small teddy for them to give a cuddle when they feel nervous and out of their depth, or a water bottle with their name on it to make their experience feel personal and adapted for them. Anything simple can assure a child that it’s going to be okay and there is nothing to fear.
At Scallywags Nursery we allow children to bring any items that give them comfort into the nursery, such as a dummy, special teddy or blanket. We do however discourage bringing toys so this may be a good incentive to bring them their favourite toy at the end of the day as a special gift.
We also send out a welcome pack to all parents so you can familiarise yourself with activities, routine and our staff names. This is also a great tool to prep your children ready for their first day and help them to settle in quicker.
For more information, please give us a call on 0114 258 2283 or visit our Facebook Page.