For most children and parents coming to the groups is the first major separation from each other, therefore it’s even more important to have a gentle settling phase. For your child, during the beginning of their time in the group, they not only have to get use to being separated from their parents for a certain period, but also a new location, a different time schedule, new rules and new people.
The settling in process
Small children do not bond well by themselves, but only with the help of their parents, so it’s of great importance that during the first 3 days of the settling in phase that we work together with the parents.
The beginning of the settling in phase
Your child can get to know the new environment, the other children and the teachers in your presence. But from the beginning you will need to stay in the background. You will serve as a secure base to which your child can have contact with when uncertain.
Letting go the first time
After the first days the teacher will determine how long the child can now be left alone in the group. The first time the child is in the group without the parent will be between 10-30 mins. Joining the group is accompanied with strong emotions, both for the child and the parents. Anticipation and curiosity for what lies ahead are usually then connected with feelings of loss and saying goodbye. After such a separation reactions of grief are expected.
Slowly increasing the separation time until fully settled in
When the first attempts at separation have worked well, then the time of separation is increased slowly during the next few days until the child spends the morning or the whole day in the group. Children need the support and trust of parents and teachers, that the feelings that they are going through during the separation, are normal. Through this the child can also let go.
Tips to make the seperation easier
As parents you need to stand behind your decision and convey this feeling to your child. If you behave in a relaxed manner with the new situation, it will be easier for your child to let go and begin to build trust with the new caregivers.
Steps to make the morning seperation smoother
Give your child an object (dummy, soft toy …), which gives them security and familiarity.
A short and clear farewell. At the same time the assurance that you will soon pick them up and that they are in good hands with the teachers.
Make your child feel excited about coming and talk about all the things they will do.
Together we are strong – with your trust, the curiosity of your child and our competence.