Changing daycares is a situation many children will be faced with in their early childhood years. Changing daycares is an important change which should not be taken lightly. On the other hand, once you realize this, the change can be a smooth one. Reactions are normal and understandable. Since every child is different, reactions will differ. They may include irritability, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, aggressiveness, etc.
The first few days following the change, a child is occupied by the newness of the situation. Once this passes, he realizes that the change is here to stay and this is when most reactions occur. The length of time required to adapt varies from one child to another. Many different factors determine how long it takes before a child is comfortable in his new environment. Although there is no fixed length of time, most children have adjusted within 10 days to a month.
- Name your child's emotions. Be understanding. Do not minimize the situation.
- Have a positive attitude in regards to a new daycare, a new caregiver, and new friends. The trust you display will rub off on your child.
- Give your child time to adjust. Naturally, it is preferable he doesn't feel pressured by his parent. It is normal, as parents or caregivers, to want the situation to progress rapidly since it is very difficult to see a child cry every morning. Keep in mind that frustration will only make things worse.
- Make a point of being interested in your child's new environment. Visit the daycare with your child and ask him questions.
- Allow your child to communicate or visit with friends from his old daycare if he wishes to.
- Ask your child to help you find a solution to calm his sadness in the morning.
- Create a departure routine. Decide on a series of actions or words you will exchange precisely the same way every morning, before leaving the daycare. For example, you may give each other a kiss on the cheek, a hug, and a high five.
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