Guidelines for Smooth Adjustment to the Nursery School

21 January 2023

The successful adaptation of the child to the daycare begins with the parents and with the feelings they have for this new step of the child. An integral condition for the smooth adaptation of the child, as much as possible, is to receive the same confidence and optimism from the parents. So:

Useful instructions

  • Prepare yourself first by focusing on your own fears and separation anxiety from the child. Children understand what you say to them in words, but they also have the ability to decode the non-verbal messages you send.
  • Both parents have the same attitude towards the child and inform the grandparents, or other people who take care of the child, about the necessity to behave like you in the matter of school.
  • Talk to the child – without exaggeration – about the activities at the station. Address them enthusiastically, but without misleading it by presenting the station as a place “where it will be fantastic and only play”.

Creating a consistent schedule for getting ready for school in the morning and getting to and from school will help the child get used to their new daily routine. For this:

  • Get up early so that you have time to calmly prepare the child and spend a few moments with him before the station. If you are pressed for time, you will not be able to deal calmly with any outbursts of the child.
  • Get up early so that you have time to calmly prepare the child and spend a few moments with him before the station. If you are pressed for time, you will not be able to deal calmly with any outbursts of the child.
  • Let him keep a favorite, safe object from home (if he asks) but let him know that he may have to share it with the other children or even part with it.
  • When you arrive at the station, tell the child that you will be leaving (you should not leave secretly as you will create additional insecurity) and that you will definitely come back to pick him up. To time it, since children don’t know the time, tell them you’ll be back after dinner or when they wake up.
  • When saying goodbye, be calm and firm. Develop a tender and short “your” farewell routine expressing confidence and determination. The longer you put off leaving, the harder it will become.
  • When you return it would be good to avoid very intense displays of affection, such as a prolonged hug, which might reveal your distress.
  • Ask him – after you leave the station – how he did and try to understand if anything bothers him. If at that moment he doesn’t want to talk to you, don’t push him and don’t insist. Try again at another “relaxed” moment with indirect questions.

Remember that the quality time that parents spend after the child’s stay in the daycare will strengthen the relationship of trust between them and will help in the big change that happens in the life of the child and the family. For this reason:

  • When the child is at home, both parents spend time and give him the opportunity to express his feelings. Listen to the child and resolve any questions or concerns he expresses.
  • If a problem arises with the child’s teacher or the school, avoid making accusations in front of the child. Discuss privately with the teacher what concerns you.
  • Give the child time to adjust. Not all children adapt in the same amount of time, and comparisons with other children are certainly not useful in this regard.
  • There is the possibility that the child will express reluctance to go to school, showing symptoms of restlessness and agitation. After making sure that the child is not sick, it is ideally contraindicated to give in to this refusal and allow him to remain at home as this will make the child more persistent in the following days and delay adjustment.

In addition, past patterns of behavior such as potty accidents, whining and crying more, having angry outbursts, difficulty sleeping with nightmares, nail biting or teeth grinding, headaches are likely to reoccur. or stomachache etc. Such behaviors are to be expected and should be treated with equanimity. However, if any of these symptoms occur over a long period of time and you judge that they make it difficult for the child to a great extent and make him unhappy, seek the help of a specialist.

Dimitra Houzouri
KE.VRE.FO. Psychologist