PREPARE YOUR CHILD FOR NURSERY - HERE'S HOW!

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Each and every child has to go to school someday and the same is true for your little one. Starting school requires plenty of adjustment both from the parents’ and the child’s sides. It is likely that your child will begin nursery from April and you are already a bit tensed about sending out your little one to be on her own in a world of strangers where she will not be able to run to you for every need of hers. You can ease the adjustment pangs by preparing right from now. 

Let him be with children: If you have sheltered your child until now, then give him a bit more freedom. Let him socialise more with children as well as grownups. Take him to parks and other places where he is sure to meet children of his age group. Even malls these days have play areas for younger kids. If you live in an apartment complex, then make sure that your child spends time with other kids at an appointed time of the day. Your child will learn to share, wait for his turn and play in groups.  

Share with your child what to expect: Do not keep putting away discussions about the school. It is natural for your child to be anxious. Do not rubbish her fears by saying things like ‘everybody goes to school’ or ‘nothing will happen; you will be fine’. Discuss her fears in details and then try to talk to her instead of treating her like a baby. If possible take her to school one day to meet the teachers and see the school for herself. Do not talk about studies and lessons from now and make her more worried. Never threaten her that since she has misbehaved you are sending her to school. Keep a very positive outlook about beginning school.

Leave him with others: Since separation anxiety is uppermost in your child’s mind (and maybe yours too) try and spend time apart from each other. Chances are until now you and your child have never been apart for more than a few minutes. This is true especially in case of the mother. If possible leave him in the care of relatives or friends you trust for sometime of the day; even if for a couple of hours or so. This will make him more independent and less anxious about leaving you to go to school.

Acquaint her with other children starting school together: If you already know others who will be starting school with your child, then try and make them meet often. It is a good idea if the parents take turns and have the kids over for sometime every day. You could divide the days of the week and each parent can take turns to have the kids at her place on a certain day of the week. This will ensure that your kid knows a few of the kids going along with her to the same school from day one. This will help to relax her and make the transition smooth.

Begin a mock nursery ritual at home: This can be done for your child alone or in groups as mentioned above. Begin with hourly sessions and then increase the time gradually to three hours a day for a mock nursery kind of situation at your home. Get your child to rise early and have a bath and get ready for the day. Then convert one of your rooms to a temporary classroom where you can have books, toys and even the child’s tiffin and water. Try and enforce some system and discipline in this three-hour period where you are the ‘teacher’ and your child is the ‘student’. Read together, sing together and play together. Again parents can take turns to do this. Your child will soon begin to enjoy the routine and will also appreciate the weekends when it is only fun and no work. 

Encourage your child to listen and follow directions: It would be a good idea if you could get your child to listen and follow directions right from now. This can be done through games like ‘Simon says....fetch a ball’. Give him a series of directions like go to the door, put your shoes on, wear your cap, wear your bag and so on. Make him aware of things around him by pointing out tall, short, large, small objects and also teach him to identify colours. Do not make the sessions monotonous and ensure that you are not tiring out your child. If your child is a picky eater then this is the best time to give him a lunch box and ensure that he eats everything in it.

Preparing your child (and yourself) for nursery is a great step and will enable him/her to settle down with ease. You can make the transition smooth by taking a few simple steps right from now. Just a few carefully chosen words and methods can gear up your child for school and deal with pre-school anxiety. These steps will help your child settle well from day one and also prepare him/her for the life ahead.

 

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