Child Care Guide
Leaving your child with strangers for the first time is hard for the mother, it can be an emotional time especially if this is the first time that you will have left your child for any length of time, for some children entering childcare can be a stressful time too.
The first day is always the hardest and tears can often be expected from both the mother and the child. Some children take longer to settle down than others it all depends on the child.
There are however steps which you can take to make the transition a little easier for the both of you, for if your child is more settled when you leave them it also makes it easier on you. Below are some helpful tips to make the transition easier:
Sit and talk with your child about attending child care
It can be helpful if you sit quietly with your child and talk about them attending the day care center, explain to them that they will be taken good care of and they only have to ask the carer if they need anything.
Explain to them that you are not leaving them forever, try and find an easy way to associate the length of time you will be away from them to something they can relate to.
Give them plenty of reassurance that you will always come back for them and try not to let them see any anxiety in you, try and make it sound like an adventure. Explain fully the type of activities they can take part in while they are there and point out that they will make friends while there.
Read your child a story or watch a video on day care centers
There are several books available which you can read to your child about attending day care centers, these are story books with pictures that the two of you can share, some of them have flaps your child can lift which makes the whole process fun.
It is also worth paying a visit to your local library as you might be able to borrow books. Pick up a video on child day care centers and watch it together explaining if necessary what is happening in the video and how it relates to your child.
Before your child attends the day care centers pay them a visit together
Having chosen the day care center, take your child with you and spend a little time there, most day care centers will offer you this choice automatically and it is worth taking them up on it. This gives your child the chance to explore his/her new surroundings and meet the carer’s and the children who attend the center.
Go with a positive attitude because children pick up on their mother’s feelings and if you are showing signs of apprehension then your child will pick up on it. Who knows your child may surprise you and leave your side the moment you get there.
When the day comes be prepared to stay for a while with your child if necessary
If your child is really upset when the time comes to leave them it may be necessary to stay with them for a short while until they settle down, different nurseries will have different policies regarding this and it is worthwhile finding out the policy of your chosen day care center beforehand.
Some carer’s think from experience that sometimes it is better for the parent to just walk away and leave the child even if they are upset. This might seem cruel but most times it is surprising how quick your child will settle down once you are out of sight.
Others think this method is unfair on the child and the mother and will ask that you stay with your child for a short time until they have a chance to settle down.