Entering Kindergarten is an exciting time for every child. Moving from the home environment to the school environment is a big step. Both parents and teachers want this transition to be as smooth as possible.
Our goal is to provide a sense of safety, of comfort, of “this is OK” which is transmitted to each child as the parent talks to people, laughs, puts the child’s belongings in a cubby, or sits on the floor to build with blocks. Saying a short happy good-bye when the time is appropriate will help your child know you think he or she is in a safe place.
It is difficult for a child to arrive and then have a parent either leave too quickly or remain too long. A short time for transition is helpful and will ease the tension of separation, without dragging out of the good-bye until it becomes “painful”. Devise a routine for your leaving and try to stick to it. Children love rituals. Hang a jacket; get a child involved with a toy, etc. All of these things will make for an easier transition.
If a child is having a problem separating, the teachers have had lots of experience in this area and will be happy to assist you. Also keep in mind that sometimes a child who has had no problem initially can react at a later time. This is not unusual. Children, as we know, are constantly going through stages. Do not take it personally and feel guilty that its something you or the teachers have done. It can happen at any time and for any number of reasons.
While we recognize the value of natural separation, we also realistically face the time constraints placed on working parents. Our staff can be counted on to give the necessary nurturing and reassurance to all children and will be available to talk to parents about how things are going.
Here are some ideas to help your child settle in:
- Explore the kindergarten together during your first day.
- Help your child find the toilet area and make sure they are comfortable using the toilets and hand-washing facilities.
- Spend time with your child exploring different activities.
- Join in the activities alongside your child.
- Talk to the other children – ask them their names and encourage your child to introduce him/herself – or tell them your child’s name.
- As your child gains confidence, slowly move away to allow your child’s curiosity and independence to grow.
- Encourage your child to ask for help from the teachers – make sure he or she knows their names.
- Talk to the teachers about the right time to leave the kindergarten for a short time.
- Let your child know when you are leaving and when you will be back.
- Stick to the agreed time. Your child’s teacher will remind them of when you are coming to help them stay positive through the day.
- Gradually extend the length of your child’s time at the kindergarten without you.
- When you leave – stick to your plan. Try not to get upset by tears. Explain simply where you are going and when you will be back. The class teacher needs time to bond with your child and learn how to calm them down!
- Ask for support from a teacher if you need it. Work with the teachers and you will find that you will foster your child’s independence until one day he/she is truly comfortable staying at Kindergarten alone.
- Praise your child for his/her growing independence!!
- Remember – it does take time with some children.
Always feel free to give the Kindergarten a ring to check how your child is feeling