If you’re the parent of a child who isn’t yet old enough for daycare, read on for some valuable advice for the years ahead. If you’re the parent of a child who currently spends time in daycare, and you’ve been having trouble while dropping your child off at daycare, there might be ways to make things easier.
A few children are like fish in water when they experience the first day of daycare, and it gets easier for most children once they become familiar with the people and the setting. Others find it very difficult to adjust. Up until this point, they’ve only received care from family members at home. Daycare is foreign territory, and they may be uncomfortable with new people and a new environment.
Daycare can be a stressful experience for parents and children alike, especially when the experience is new. Here are five tips to make it a smoother and happier experience.
1. Stay calm and talk about it
This may seem like an obvious one, but talking to your child about daycare beforehand—and doing so in a simple and constructive manner—can work wonders when it comes to parting ways. Be warm and encouraging, and remember that children pick up easily on body language and tone of voice. If your own emotions are getting the best of you, the child is more likely to follow suit.
2. Give her a reminder of home
An article of clothing, a photograph of a family member, or a beloved toy can make the transition easier for your kid. Sure, this is a new experience and it definitely isn’t home. But an object that connects the child to home can remind them that they are safe. Hopefully, before long, they’ll forget their troubles and begin to interact with the other children and the professional, understanding staff.
3. Make a routine
Creating special goodbye routine involving a song, special handshake, or other distinctive gesture can make it easier for your child to recognize that it’s time to be at daycare. Many children feel more at ease when the daycare drop off is structured and made into a fun ritual. Of course, this may not work every single time—but many parents (and children) have great success with it.
4. Admit that it’s not always easy
It’s good to have tips and tricks for making the transition easier, but any parent who’s been through it knows it’s not going to be easy every single time. Staying strong and positive when things get emotional might take some effort, but you’ll get through it—and with practice and support, it will get easier.
Making it easier on your child (and on you!)
Having an experienced daycare provider, or a specialized provider (such as a children’s medical daycare center) who understands these issues is always a huge benefit for children and parents. Difficult with daycare drop offs is actually a very common issue, but if the professionals running your center are highly trained, skilled and personable, the process can and should fall into a groove before long.