Written by: Steven Petter
Help! My child won’t go to nursery! Its a common problem many parents face. Nursery, it’s a big step, scary for both parent and child and for that reason it can be hard for them to let go and venture of on their own to play with people they don’t know. If your child lays on the full oscar winning performance when you try and drop them off then it can make it all the more heart-wrenching for you to walk away but fear not fellow parent there are things you can do to help them settle in.
Don’t prolong the agony
What’s important to remember is not to drag it out, the longer you stand there hugging and trying to reassure your child, the harder it will be for them to break that bond and ultimately make it harder for them to accept that you have gone. I prefer the big kiss and walk out option, because it is quick and lets them get used to listening to the nursery staff instead of you, which leads to the second big thing which is, they have to get used to the idea you are coming back.
Slowly does it
Easiest way to do this is to start with a few hours one day a week, then slowly increase their time in increments until they have reached their time you want them to stay, for example take them in the morning, give them a big kiss and say goodbye, go and do your shopping then head back and pick them up. Give them big hugs and kisses, maybe a small treat for being good and over time they will get into the routine of being a nursery and then you coming to get them, eventually they will learn to enjoy what the nursery has to offer them.
Work with staff
It’s important to work with the nursery staff to aid in the child’s development, after all they have had to take hundreds of children away from their parents in their careers so they will often have their own techniques which may or may not work. Every child is different so not everything will work, sometimes letting them have something from home such as a toy, blanket, slippers can help the transition as it is something familiar and also if you have techniques you use at home to keep your child calm, like singing or counting then tell the staff and they can use the same techniques.
On occasions your child can get anxious before nursery, whilst getting dressed or in the car, in these cases it’s important to eliminate the possibility of something being wrong at the nursery before tackling the problem, there may be a disruptive child there or maybe the staff aren’t as good as they should be, do your home work.
Make mornings fun
Assuming all is fine during the day start making the trip to nursery more fun, play some music in the car that they like, have a sing-a-long and get them cheery, play a game while they are getting dressed to make them laugh, by associating the process of going to nursery with fun from day one they will learn to enjoy the routine. If your child does cry at nursery keep this in mind, my daughter didn’t even say goodbye, no tears or frowns, didn’t even look back, just walked off and started playing, that was heart-wrenching.