Preparing for nursery school

Sometimes it is more difficult for the parent to prepare a child for nursery school than it is for the child itself. For many parents a child attending nursery school for the first time is also the first time the mother and child are apart for any length of time. To add to the difficulty it is also the first time the child will be left in the care of an outsider.

A babysitter who watches over a sleeping child occasionally for a few hours while the parents enjoy some time out is quite different from leaving the child in the care of total strangers for a sizeable part of the day.

The parent should firstly examine their own attitude to this new adventure. The child should never get the impression from the mother’s attitude that nursery school is a nasty place. Should the child recognize this negativity then he or she will naturally become terrified at the thought of school.

If on the other hand the parent shows excitement then the child will act in a similar way. The school should always be regarded as a good place to be generally. Children, however young, are very perceptive and can easily recognize negative body language and apprehensive speech.

Schools attitudes and teaching methods have changed and most nursery schools encourage the parent to remain with the child for a while or the full day if the need is there. The parent should not interfere and should in fact encourage the child to mingle and play with other children rather than attaching themselves to mom or dad. It is a time for new adventures and gentle separation from the parents.

In this way they will learn to make the change but the parent has to change as well. Time spent at the school should be reduced on a daily basis with no return despite any upset. Many children become tearful when the parent is seen walking away but some clever distraction by a teacher will usually dissolve the tears.

Another way in helping in the separation process is to have someone you and the child know well care for the child on a fairly regularly. It is preferable to do this when the child is at a young age. The mother could spend a few hours shopping thereby allowing the child minder time to interact with the child.