If your kid is feel­ing dis­tressed about switch­ing to a new child­care cen­tre, take these steps.

Young Parents (Singapore) - - Contents -

You moved to a new home re­cently, and your five-yearold is de­lighted with her big­ger bed­room. If only she could have con­tin­ued go­ing to the same child­care cen­tre, with the same friends and the same teach­ers.

In fact, she says at­tend­ing this new child­care cen­tre makes her mis­er­able, be­cause she has lost all her old friends. She doesn’t like the new cen­tre. And she acts up when­ever you take her there.

Hope­fully you had ar­ranged a pre-at­ten­dance visit to the new cen­tre so she could have a good look around be­fore she started. That would have helped re­duce her uncer­tainty and al­lowed her to forge a con­nec­tion with the chil­dren and adults there. Any con­cerns or com­plaints aris­ing from that visit could have been re­solved at the out­set.

Don’t worry, though, if you didn’t make those pre-move ar­range­ments. There is still plenty you can do to help her set­tle.

Let me help you

The first step in sup­port­ing your child is to take her com­plaints se­ri­ously. Tell her you un­der­stand she may have mixed feel­ings about the change of child­care cen­tre, and ask her to share her wor­ries with you. Lis­ten to what she says and con­sider all her anx­i­eties.

Re­as­sure her you will help her set­tle into the new cen­tre, no mat­ter what she is con­cerned about. Of­fer prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions to ev­ery prob­lem she raises.

For in­stance, if she wor­ries about los­ing touch with her old friends, ar­range for her to visit them reg­u­larly or for her to keep in con­tact with them by phone or so­cial me­dia.

If she is con­cerned be­cause the food at the new cen­tre isn’t what she is used to, give her a packed lunch from home un­til she feels ready to try the meals avail­able there.

If she is anx­ious be­cause she still hasn’t made good friends with any­one there, ar­range play dates for her by speak­ing to par­ents of the other chil­dren. There is al­ways some­thing you can do.

How fab­u­lous

Al­ways talk pos­i­tively about the new cen­tre to your child. List all its good points, such as the range of ac­tiv­i­ties, the ex­cel­lent build­ing, and the qual­ity of the teach­ers. If you have an up­beat ap­proach, this will rub off on your young­ster. She takes her lead from you.

Keep tak­ing her there ev­ery day, no mat­ter how much she protests, com­plains or acts up. Never let her stay at home when she says she doesn’t want to at­tend. She must re­alise at­ten­dance is non-ne­go­tiable.

When you go there with her, stay calm and chat hap­pily to her. Take her in­side, hand her over to a mem­ber of staff, give her a quick hug and say good­bye to her. Don’t linger.

Keep a close watch on your child’s progress at her new cen­tre, par­tic­u­larly in the first few months. Ev­ery day, ask her about her ac­tiv­i­ties there. En­cour­age her to talk to you about her peers, teach­ers and toys.

If you ob­serve any dis­tress, give her ad­vice or speak to her teacher. Your in­ter­est re­solves mi­nor is­sues so they don’t be­come crises, so your child feels safe and se­cure dur­ing the tran­si­tion.

Keep tak­ing her there ev­ery day. Never let her stay at home when she says she doesn’t want to at­tend.

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