My mum still tells the story of my first grade teacher Mrs. Page pulling her out of the bushes at my elementary school as she hid; trying to sneak a peek to confirm I was ok. “Out of the bushes, Mary…she is fine” Mrs. Page kindly reassured.
Transitions are difficult for kiddies and parents alike. Spend some time preparing your little one (and yourself) for shaking up the routine and heading back to school or daycare. Remember: kids pick up on EVERYTHING. If you are able to remain calm and keep stress levels down, likely your kiddo will remain calm as well. Below you will find four strategies that can help smooth the re-entry as schools, preschools, and daycares begin to reopen.
Here are four strategies to ease transitions:
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Once you have an idea of the timeline for reopening or restarting at preschool or daycare, begin talking to your little about school. Talk about all of the fun activities, their classroom, the yummy snacks and of course their teachers and friends. If your school uses an app (we use Brightwheel at SolBe and it is tremendously helpful) it’s wonderful to go through old photos of their class to get school back on their mind.
Adjust your daily schedule at home
As much as possible try to get your kids back onto the same schedule they follow at school. Check-in with your child’s educators or the administration at your preschool to get the times for breakfast, circle, lunch and naps. The more you can get back into the rhythm and routine of school, the easier/smoother it will be when the kiddies return to school.
Transitions are difficult under normal circumstances; nevermind, with all of the changes going on in the world. Best case scenario, your work schedule and your child’s school will allow for a slow transition. With new safety protocols and regulations (we are seeing this in Massachusetts) not allowing families to enter the facilities, it is a comfort to children to start with a few hours the first few days and work your way back up to a full-day schedule.
Children thrive with routine. Work on your “goodbye” ritual prior to the first day drop-off. Walk them through all of the steps everyday for the week leading up to restarting. Be detailed in your explanation to allow their imaginations to activate. On the day of, do your best to keep the goodbye quick and consistent. Remind them over and over and over…”Parents, always come back”. The educators always reinforce this sentiment.
For more information on schools reopening plans, please click the link to find the “Parents Guide for Reopening” from Early Education and Care.