Daycare: Surviving Day One

Teacher and the students in a daycare centerMost parents will never forget their child’s first day at day care. For some, it was a beautiful moment of watching their child acting grown up and excitedly marching to his room at a Phoenix daycare. For others, the moment may have been more stressful with their child wailing and throwing tantrums once they sensed their parent leaving them with a stranger.

Many parents would have to face the challenge of separation anxiety as their child comes of age to attend day care. Here are some tips for you to survive day one:

Prepare and explain

Do not underestimate your child’s capability to understand. Tell them regularly what activities they can expect at the center and give them a run-through of how their day there would go. Begin preparation a week in advance by adjusting sleep times and following a schedule similar to what they will have at day care.

Pay a visit

Take your child to the center so they can take a look around and see the environment they will experience before the start of classes. This way, they will gain some familiarity with the place and the people, minimizing the risk of becoming overwhelmed when they come back for their first day.

Bring something familiar

Allow your child to bring their favorite stuffed animal or action figure with them when they go to day care. The presence of something familiar can be comforting, and your kid will feel much more at ease in the unfamiliar environment.

Take it gradually

If possible, let your child join in some sit-in sessions or allow them to attend half-day classes to integrate them into the new environment slowly.

Be firm

If your child still wails and throws tantrums come their first day, don’t give in and pull them out of class immediately. Give them some time to adjust to the new environment first.

Every child is different, but most first-day tantrums come from fear of the unknown. Remember these tips to help your child through his first major milestone.