In many ways, parents and guardians of young children are more apprehensive about that first day of day care than the little ones. And that’s understandable. We want our kids to have the best possible care experience while they’re at child care in Gaithersburg MD. However, while adults have coping mechanisms they deploy when dealing with uncertainty, parents and guardians must cultivate those strategies in their children to prepare them to embrace the upcoming change.
Child Care-prep Secrets Explored
It’s true that children are resilient, and will adapt to any change in their circumstances. However, at times, that resilience comes at a cost. As they adjust to their new conditions, they’ll likely initially experience shock, stress and confusion, before finally accepting a new reality.
Dealing with the first day of child care is one of those unsettling times where children experience a slew of conflicting emotions. Here are some tried and tested strategies that parents can use to prepare children for that first day:
- Meeting the teacher: Meeting people for the first time is sometimes a stressful event, even for adults. Most day care centers in Gaithersburg MD encourage parents to meet their teacher/s at least once, along with the child, prior to the first day of care. If possible, make use of that opportunity.
- Encourage pre-kick-off routines: Well before that first day comes around, get your child into the “mood” by creating morning routines, so they won’t be stressed when that day finally arrives. Try different wake-up times (an hour, hour-and-a-half, 45-minutes, more…) and settle for one that works best for the child. Bake enough slack in that routine for morning bathroom rituals, having breakfast, getting ready – and unwinding!
- Communicate about upcoming changes: Even though he/she is at a tender age, your child understands a lot of what you communicate. Well before the first day of child care in Gaithersburg MD begins, talk with your child about what to expect, especially about new friends, new routines and new experiences to come. Though you might think they’re not listening to you, your voice and tone helps reassure them that whatever is at hand, it’s okay to embrace.
- Drive-by and walk-by: Going to a new place can stress young children – much as it does adults. One way to reduce the anxiety of the first day of child care, is to drive or walk by the center as often as you can. Swing by with the child in the backseat when running chores. Slow-down or stop outside the gates in the morning, so the child takes in all the “action”. This ensures that, when “the day” comes, they’ll be driving towards less stressful familiarity.
Adapt and Adopt
Every child has a unique personality, and each one will respond to these strategies differently. For instance, some children may embrace their day care centers in Gaithersburg MD like ducklings to water, after just one drive/walk-by. Others, however, may require several persuasive visits for reassurance. Parents and guardians should adapt these strategies to each child’s personality and temperament, before adopting them.