Lit­tle one

®

Your Baby & Toddler - - Your 1 to 3 Years Toddler -

Whether it’s start­ing at a new school or hav­ing to change from one crèche to an­other dur­ing the year, tod­dlers of­ten find such tran­si­tion dif­fi­cult to deal with, which can end up in tears and tantrums – and more stress than you need right now! What­ever the rea­son for this change in child­care, you can help your lit­tle one cope with it.

WHAT THE EX­PERTS SAY

Child­care pro­fes­sion­als agree that in an ideal world, the best age to start school is be­tween three and four. But in re­al­ity many kids have to learn to cope with the brand new, daunt­ing world of school from as lit­tle as one. “The smaller a child, the less adap­tive they are be­cause they have al­most no life ex­pe­ri­ence and there­fore lack the tools to han­dle the sit­u­a­tion,” ex­plains ed­u­ca­tional psy­chol­o­gist Theresa Quinn. Par­ents should know how to make the tran­si­tion as smooth as pos­si­ble in or­der to as­sist devel­op­ment of in­de­pen­dence and the no­tion that “I am okay even if Mommy or Daddy are not with me”.

“An im­por­tant ben­e­fit of school is the so­cial­i­sa­tion skills gained, which aids devel­op­ment of emo­tional in­tel­li­gence,” says Kather­ine van Heer­den Pi­eterse, an ed­u­ca­tional psy­chol­o­gist, who also warns against only fo­cussing on a child’s phys­i­cal devel­op­ment and readi­ness for preschool, and for­get­ting about emo­tional devel­op­ment. “Emo­tional, cog­ni­tive and phys­i­cal devel­op­ment is like a tri­an­gle. They must de­velop in bal­ance.”

So if preschool isn’t quite what your tot needs right now, look into less over­whelm­ing child­care op­tions, such as a smaller day­care or crèche setup.

Be re­al­is­tic New ad­just­ments take time, and it’s nor­mal to have some anx­i­ety at first. Just like adults, chil­dren will also try to avoid some­thing that is (per­ceived to be) un­pleas­ant. If you feel overly anx­ious about the move to a new school or teacher, you can’t re­ally ex­pect your child not to feel the same.

2

2Another clever time­saver: don’t make it, fake it! Learn to cheat smart – the key to a clever recipe cheat is to pick sub­sti­tu­tions that no one will no­tice. If a recipe calls for roast chicken, pick up a ro­tis­serie chicken from your lo­cal su­per­mar­ket in­stead – and you’ve just saved your­self a whole step in the recipe. Buy a pre­mixed wet curry paste in­stead of blend­ing spices as you cook, and we don’t need to tell you about how to make a stel­lar dessert from a tub of su­per­mar­ket ice cream, a bag of bought meringues and a pun­net of rasp­ber­ries, do we?!

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