Leaving your toddler at nursery can be stressful for both child and parent, but tensions can be eased with a few weeks preparation.
Manager of Aspin Nursery, Deborah Batt, advises parents to prepare younger children heading off to school or nursery for the first time by getting them to socialise and giving them a little bit of independence.
“Encourage your child to socialise with others and learn the concept of group play and sharing by mixing with other mums and children or joining a mother and baby group,” she says.
“Get your child used to being left with other caretakers such as relatives or friends, for short periods at first and then building up the time gradually. This way your child will learn that you will always return and become more accepting of time away from you.“
It can be challenging for mum or dad to leave when the little one is sobbing at nursery, but Deborah emphasises that developing a goodbye ritual can help, as well as familiarising the child with the nursery before school begins; “We always encourage families to come and visit Aspen Nursery before-hand so the children can familiarise themselves with the nursery, the staff and the facilities. This makes children feel more comfortable when it comes to the time parents are leaving them for the day.”
Dr Thouraiya agrees, explaining that children adapt better when they know what’s going on: “It’s important to prepare them beforehand – talk to them about what they’re going to be doing, ask them beforehand, how they feel about going to the school, especially if it’s a new school.”
Credit Caitlyn Davey