Is your kid having a hard time in Daycare?

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Since we can’t all have the luxury of staying at home with our little ones for the first 5 years we are dependant on the care of our daycare workers. The first time you drop off you little one is the hardest, but as the year passes you both get used to the new routine. PLANNING FOR DAYCARE

My son is 2 and recently started to cry every morning before daycare telling me he doesn’t want to go. Although it is common for kids to cry when going to daycare I was not expecting this to happen the way it did. At the beginning I can understand, but 2 years later…So as a mother you tend to overthink, panic and feel terrible because you do not know why the change suddenly is happening. Let me tell you I was back at square one crying in my car for how bad I felt. When I started to ask questions and speak to other moms a lot of them said their kids went through the same thing. It can be changes in their daycare schedule, changes with their teachers or any little change at all. It just takes time for them to readjust. Well 4 weeks later and today was the first day my son only cried when I dropped him off for about 10 minutes and didn’t run to the window in tears yelling. The sense of relief I felt was unexplainable. 

During those 4 weeks I was reading and thinking of little things I could do to help my son, so I thought I’d share some of the things I tried to make him feel more comfortable, that may or may not have worked but I did them anyway:

1. Talk to your child: Have open and honest conversations with them about their feelings ( although my son is to young to verbally express his feelings, I used to say words like Happy, Sad, Angry). I would try to get him to express himself and then reassured him that daycare is a safe and fun place to be.

2. Visit the daycare before starting: If you are just starting daycare, ask if you can take your child for a visit to the daycare center to familiarize them with the environment and meet the teachers. This can help alleviate some anxiety.

3. Establish a routine: Kids thrive on routines. Although like I said earlier I did have a routine for 2 years and this didn’t really change but I kept it up. I created and kept a consistent drop-off routine that includes saying goodbye with a reassuring hug or phrase ( mommy will be back she has to go to work). Let them know what to expect, such as the activities they will do or the friends they will see.

4. Bring familiar objects: Not all daycares allow you to bring something with you but since my son was having a hard time my daycare was okay with it. So everyday I told my son to bring one small object from home so he can keep it close to him at daycare. Having something familiar can provide comfort during the transition.

5. Establish a relationship with the caregiver: My child’s caregiver is amazing and always let’s be in on all the details of his day. So building a relationship with your child’s caregiver can help them feel more secure. Communicate openly with the caregiver, share any information or concerns, and ask how your child is doing throughout the day.

6. Transition gradually: If possible, you can always ask your daycare if you can start with shorter daycare sessions and gradually increase the duration over time or if they need to change classes if it can be gradual also. This helps your child adjust gradually and become more comfortable in the daycare environment.

Remember, the first times you bring them it may take some time for your child to feel completely comfortable at daycare. Then you might also experience what I am experiencing a few years later but be patient, supportive, and maintain open lines of communication with the daycare and with your child and hopefully the days will get better.

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