Making Nursery Easy As ABC
A significant milestone in both a parent and child’s life, starting nursery invites a rollercoaster of emotions that includes excitement and happiness. But, not without some crying, uncertainty and anxiety.
“Sending kids to nursery can be difficult for both parents and children,” says Dr. Sarah Rasmi, Parenting Expert and Psychologist for Play:Date, an app that helps build a child’s social circle. “There is something symbolic about sending kids to nursery. In a way, it signals that they are growing up. As parents, we love watching our kids grow but it’s also a reminder that they are not our ‘little babies’ anymore.”
“For children, there is a disruption in routine,” states Dr. Sarah. “Kids are used to being in their own environment with their parent or caregiver. Suddenly, they are now separated from that person and pitched into a new environment. Many kids also go from having one-on-one attention to having lots of other kids in their classroom who also want and need attention.”
Given that this is a monumental shift for children, going to nursery may entail separation anxiety and a challenging adjustment period with the classroom environment.
To help ease the transition to nursery for children and parents, Dr. Sarah shares her top tips below.
Drop by nursery
“Visit the nursery,” advices Dr. Sarah. “This will give children the opportunity to meet with their new teacher, explore their environment, and connect with their classmates. Best of all, they will be doing this alongside their parents. This will make the transition a little bit easier for everyone (especially mom and dad!).”
Make time for play
Playdates will help children get accustomed to new faces, implement and encourage social skills and boost confidence. Nurseries always factor in socializing capabilities of a child when they join as it helps class teachers and aids determine areas of development in a child, including their language and understanding capabilities.
With apps like Play:Date, finding friends for a playdate group or hosting a playdate is effortless. Playdates also encourage parents to make new friends and serves as the perfect platform to build long-lasting, fun relationships.
Have your listening ears ready
“Follow the nursery’s lead. They are equipped to deal with the separation anxiety, especially at the nursery stage,” says Dr. Sarah. It is important for parents to listen and communicate with their child’s teacher as it helps build a relationship based on trust and understanding. “A child’s teacher is their ally. They always want the best for a child, just as a parent does. Working together as a team, instead of as adversaries, will make the transition easier for everyone”.
In addition to her top tips, Dr. Sarah Rasmi encourages parents to be patient and give their children space.
“Starting nursery is a big deal for little ones. They are spending majority part of the day with new friends and new adults which can be unsettling. However, children, with the right direction and positive reiteration can overcome upset behavior and anxiety, which will lead to a love for nursery and eventually, learning. Remember, children can and will adjust to nursery – and so will parents!”