Anxious parents can often fret about their child as he or she grows, learns about life's nuances and encounters each new milestone. They can be particularly stressed when it's time for the youngster to attend a childcare centre for the first time, as they wonder how they will get on with others. To get ready for this momentous occasion, parents can do some work at home so that the actual event is not as daunting. How can they interact with their child to better prepare them for this new way of life?
Out of Their Bubble
Up until this time, a child may have lived in a relatively small bubble. They may have made a few friends in the neighbourhood and be used to that familiarity, and there will have been very few adults in their life. As this is about to change in a significant way, it's a good idea for the parents to talk things through in a calm and constructive manner. They can make the child aware of the upcoming move and encourage them to think about how they will interact with others.
Talking and Showing
It may help to discuss their own behaviour first so that they focus on being as nice as possible, being polite and not taking everything to heart. In this way, they may build up an element of resilience, should another child be less approachable, rude or inconsiderate.
Parents may teach the child about forgiveness and how to look for the better qualities in others. This will help them to gravitate towards those who are approachable so that they can begin to make new friends as the days go by. The parents can also talk about interesting topics so that the child always has a potential conversation starter to break the ice. Just remember that kids do not have your complex emotional baggage, so keep this at a very basic and understandable level.
If possible, try to introduce your child to some new friends in your neighbourhood or in an evening activity of some kind. If you do this in a comfortable and recognisable environment, it'll be good practice for the day that they arrive at the new care centre.
Being a Role Model
Remember, children learn from their parents, first and foremost, so it is very important for you to teach as you preach. Always show kindness, empathy and other good traits, and don't be demanding or petty. The kids will pick this up from you and will stand a much better chance of integrating with others at the new care centre.