The first day in kindergarten is a great experience for both a parent and a child. Most of you either experienced it or will experience it. For those who are facing the dilemma of what to do to help your child adjust to a new environment and situation, or are in the process of adapting their comfort at the facility, I decided to address this problem in my first post. As a kindergarten manager, I have seen many times how difficult it is for a parent to try to find a wonderful solution so that the child could be voluntarily, with a smile and no exaggerated emotions left behind in the group. Moreover, would eagerly come to the kindergarten. Each of you who is planning to give your kid to a nursery has a huge dilemma either leave the child in kindergarten on the first day or make a slow adaptation.
But do we know for sure, what adaptation is?
The child must feel safely. It can not be separated from the parent drastically, only in a way that gives them a sense of security. That’s why Mom/Dad, you need to be prepared for the adaptation process, which mainly involves your presence and accompanying your child in the group.
For every child, changing environment is very emotional. Separation from their parent during this period is very difficult and incomprehensible to them. Above all, losing contact with the person they know best, who looks after them every day and they are used to, children feel great danger and insecurity. Until now, your child has been staying at home with their family and currently they are under the care of unknown people. Think about how you would feel in their place?
How should the adaptation process look like?
The best way to avoid crying and despair is to stay in the group with your kid and participate together in the activities for some time, for a few days. By writing “short time” I mean a few minutes or an hour at most. Depending on how your child behaves, whether they are scared or calm, whether they are interested and willing to play with other children or rather lost.
If you notice that your child has assimilated with the rest of the group, try to get out for a moment. Tell him you have to go to the toilet for a while, or you have to pick up the phone and you will be back in a minute. Thanks to this your kid knows that you are near and they feel your care. If you come back and they are still absorbed in the play with their new peers, try going out again – this time for longer. Do not worry, if there is a critical situation and the child falls into despair because of your absence, certainly the group’s teacher will stand on her head to invite them back to play. By doing so, your child does not lose his sense of security and knows that he or she is not left alone, which also builds up mutual trust in where he or she is. Mom/Dad remember! The first day of adaptation should last no longer than 3 hours. If you see that your child does not want to be in the group for so long, just go home. Nothing at a push.
Try to make the next days of adaptation look alike, but successively extend the time of your absence if the child allows you to do so. Take into account that adaptation with your presence should not take less than three days.
On each subsequent day, proceed similarly shorten your stay in kindergarten to a minimum.