transitions

Please remember that the first week we will close at 12:30. For the second week, we will discuss with each family how long your child should stay. However, if you need full care, and aftercare, this will begin the second week at Keikis. This will help the children adjust to their new schedule. Please know that you are welcome to pick your child up earlier if you prefer.

If your child has a special lovey or is comforted by a bottle or a pacifier, please bring these with you. (write your child's name on these items) We want to make your child's experience a happy one, and if a lovey helps with the transition, let's use it.

Please remember that we request you stay only a short time when you drop your child off, but that you remain easy to contact in case your child needs to go home early. If you are worried about how your child will make the transition to Keiki’s Corner, please talk to me soon. We do not want parents staying more than 15 minutes the first days we are open. It is very hard for the other children to understand why you are there and their parents are not. Most importantly, if you are here it makes it very difficult for us to develop a trusting relationship with your child. Please be available by phone so we can call you, and trust that we will call you if your child is unhappy.

For the first few months I request that parents do not drop in or come early and hang out with your child. It is difficult for children who are getting used to being here to have other parents around. After everyone settles, we love to have parents around.

Having a “good bye” ritual can help with transitions. If you do not have a ritual you can make one up with your child and start using it whenever you leave your child. It can be a simple kiss on the hand, having your child push you out the door, giving your child a kiss to save for later, or anything that works for the two of you.  When you return, remind your child that when you have your special “good bye”, it always means mom or dad will be back.

I very much like this piece from the Griffin Nursery School Handbook:

"When it is time to go, it is helpful to give your child a short warning and a couple of small circumscribed choices as to where and how you will say good bye. 'I’ll be going to work in a while, would you rather do a puzzle or read a book before I go?' After the chosen puzzle or book: 'Do you want a hug at the door or a wave at the window?' You will find a ritual will likely develop. Sometimes choices will not assuage your child about her condition of 'abandonment'. She may need to cry or scream or stamp. Explosive reactions do not usually indicate that your child is not ready to be at school. Your child is feeling hurt and indignation and will weather it with the help of our teachers, who will sympathetically put words to her feelings, assure her that parents always come back for their children, and redirect their attention to interesting activities."

If you have any transition experiences that have worked well for you, please email them to me so we can share them with other parents.