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All change involves stress. If the changes generate restlessness and stress for adults, how can children not feel stressed when their routine changes suddenly.
Children often do not accept with pleasure leaving home with mom or dad to start going to a school where everything is unknown to the child. It is normal! But, What to do when the child does not adapt to kindergarten or nursery school?
For this reason, all kindergartens or kindergartens have the well-known and at the same time feared “adaptation period” that seeks to minimize the emotional impact that family separation and incorporation into a new environment have on the child: kindergarten.
There are three main obstacles that the child has to overcome and learn to handle properly during the adaptation period:
- Fear of Unknown people.
- Anxiety for being separated from their parents.
- Stop being the protagonistIn this case the attention is distributed among many children, and become one more.
This adaptation period is unique in that its duration is not always the same but depends on each child. There are children who only need a few hours to adapt to the nursery, others need days, others weeks and others even months.
In some very specific cases the child cannot adapt to the nursery or nursery and it is necessary to find out what is the reason that does not allow this to happen. Here are some recommendations that are appropriate to consider if we observe that the child is taking too long to adjust to school:
- Reflect on the way in which adults, parents and teachers, have acted during this period of adaptation: Has something been done wrong? What strategies have been used? Why haven't they worked? What other strategies could be used? Do the teachers or technicians at the nursery know the child (his likes, fears, needs, etc.)? Has the child been abruptly incorporated into nursery school? Is it possible that the child is uncomfortable because of some conflict he has had with other children that adults have not noticed?
- Strengthen the relationship between family members and those responsible for the nursery. It is important that parents and teachers work as a team so that the child adapts successfully to the nursery. People at the center and family members should cooperate and foster fluent communication to exchange information and impressions about the child's adjustment to daycare. If the child cannot adapt, we must review this point: is it acting in a coordinated way with the teachers? Is it possible that they acted in a contradictory way and that this has generated insecurity in the child?
- Emotions are contagious. It is important that we analyze how we feel when we leave the child in daycare. If we are with high levels of anxiety, nervousness, guilt or sadness, it is possible that this is contagious to the child and prevents him from staying in the nursery in a calm way. If the child perceives us to be restless, he will feel insecure and will not want to stay away from us. We must be calm and not feel guilty for taking the little one to the nursery since it is surely the best option among all the possible ones that are within our reach.
- Observe and listen to what the child says. This is essential to get clues that help us clarify what is happening.
- Reflect on why this may be happening. Sometimes children have a psychological or psychiatric problem that can prevent them from adapting easily to changes. The most advisable thing is that we comment on this situation to the child's pediatrician so that he can assess it and refer the child to the corresponding specialist if necessary.
However, if reviewing all these points we observe that the child continues not to adapt to the nursery we should consider other options Such as hiring a babysitter at home or trying another nursery since for some reason it does not adapt to what the child needs. And, above all, we must prioritize the well-being of the little one.
But these options should not be contemplated at the first change but only when we observe that we cannot continue to insist that the child adapt if more time has passed than is considered normal for his age. To do this, we must let ourselves be guided by the nursery teachers, they will let us know whether or not it is a good time to stop trying to adapt.
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