For some parents, nursery cannot come quick enough. Their children are ready at the front line to excel at everything nursery has to offer. Then there are those children that find it slightly more challenging. A new place, new friends to make, and the non-existence of a familiar face by their side.

Despite what your emotional state might be, the focus needs to be on your child going to nursery, so make this an exciting experience for them. Prepare through conversation, letting them know the event is coming soon, that you did it too and how much fun you had, etc. All of this makes it relatable — and generally adopting this enthusiasm around your child is a recipe for success.

Most of you parents would have had to work over these holidays, so without doubt your child has been use to this separation already. For other parents, you have spent some time together attached at the hip doing day trips and play dates. SO…whether you are ready or not, here are some invaluable tips to put your best foot forward.

1. Encouraging life skills: “I can do myself skills” are incredibly important for your youngster as it shows their ability to more independent and self-reliant. Teaching them how to put their coat on was always a fun exercise with my little charges, putting their arms in first and then flipping the jacket over their head. Feeding themselves, finding their shoes, and being able to put them on themselves, and remembering what goes on first when they get dressed, will increase their self-confidence as they embark on their educational journey.

2. Brush Up on Their Chit-Chat Skills: Make small subtle reminders of using eye contact. Validate meaningful conversation, listening, and following through skills. Having them at the point where they are able to ask for things will show you that your child has the ability to ask for the toilet or something they might need from a teacher when they are at school.

3. Getting a Better Grip on Emotions: By understanding tantrums and identifying what lies beneath them, through explanations, realistic expectations, patience and compassion, you really do teach a child how to adapt and learn to handle situations better.

4. Socializing Regularly: Repetition is key. Do have those 2-hour play-dates with other children, do go to regular activities and 1:00 clubs, do go to outdoor events where kids will have the opportunities to mix and play. The more chances you give them to socialize, the better experiences they have.

5. Get Ahead: Reading, early mathematics, and developing early learning skills are much needed so that your child stays focused and can concentrate during school. This will allow them to learn, learn and learn some more while having fun.

6. Take Off: If your child is used to having you at home, take some time away from the house for a few hours a day, if you can, so they get used to the separation and not always having you around. It’s good for kids to learn that when you go, you will always return.

7. Training Ground: If you and your child get the chance to meet the teacher beforehand, do so. And, if you can let your children become familiar with the classroom and the playground, all the better. The more at ease they are, the faster they adjust so that it will become familiar to them.

8. Practice Routine: Being prepared goes a long way in smoothing out those school mornings. Two weeks beforehand is sufficient enough, time to practice your routine. Everyone has a morning ritual, and getting your child into one will be a good thing, too. Mommy goes off to work and “You, my little darling, go off to nursery.”

9. Own It: Get the excitement rolling, empower your toddlers. Let them decorate their lunchboxes and thermoses. If they are staying all day they will most likely need these items. They may also need a little backpack to put crib sheets in from school. Again, there is no harm in them choosing their own backpack.

10. Linger Not: When it is time to drop off, do so and don’t linger. Keep everything short, sweet and competent. Keep your smile and tone sweet, hugs, kisses, I love you, and off you go, confidently leaving your child in the hands of their capable teacher. Remember, every parent feels awful walking away when they can hear their kids crying. Not coming back in those circumstances validates a confidence that everything is ‘okay,’ which is reinforced when you come back to pick them up.

Copywritten by Jo Frost

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