Adaptation in kindergarten - when problems start

In Polish conditions, a child usually goes to kindergarten for the first time when he is three years old. It is a good time in many respects, because that's when the toddler begins to feel a separate being, his sense of identity is created and he is ready to spend time without his parents. However, adaptation to new conditions in kindergarten is not always easy. Sometimes the first days in kindergarten are full of emotions and difficult.

How to help your child get used to the new situation? What mistakes do not make and what to remember?

Is my child ready for kindergarten? Am I ready?

For adaptation in kindergarten to run smoothly, without unnecessary stress, it should take place at the right time. Both the child and parent must be ready to adapt to the new situation.

The child must be emotionally and socially mature enough to cope with:

  • with continuous elevated activity,
  • with lots of new stimuli,
  • waiting to meet their own needs.

Adaptation in kindergarten - child's curiosity and parents' fears

A child who crosses the threshold of a preschool room is usually curious. He sees a new place, new people - children and adults, toys, begins to notice new opportunities to spend time playing together and discovering new things. He also deals with what he does not always like - a different form of care, the need to "share" you, waiting for your turn, remembering many things that mother or grandmother took care of before.

Mixed feelings can also have a parent - on the one hand, mom or dad can be truly happy with the child's achievement of preschool readiness, they can simply enjoy the moment of rest during the day (it's not bad), on the other, however, there is fear about how the child will cope, how will he be in the group, will he be able to take care of his needs, will he eat, communicate properly, etc. Such a large explosive mixture is natural, unfortunately often also passed on to the child. A toddler, when he sees a nervous mom or dad, begins to stress more with the situation.

What can happen? Adaptation in kindergarten: problems

Adaptation in kindergarten is not always smooth. Sometimes problems arise, most often resulting from the child's fears, which can manifest in many ways:

  • eating disorders - refusal to eat a meal,
  • sleep disorders - frequent waking up, refusal to sleep alone,
  • physiological regression - soaking during the day and at night,
  • withdrawal,
  • passivity,
  • apathy,
  • aggression,
  • hyperactivity.

A small child usually doesn't understand what is happening to him. He can't name his own emotions. He manifests them in various ways, often very disturbing for parents, for example through rebellion and lack of trust in loved ones:

  • refusal to return home,
  • escaping when a parent comes to kindergarten for a child,
  • tears,
  • hysterical laughter
  • offenses, offending mother and dad,
  • aggression.

How to deal with the hardships of adaptation in kindergarten?

Basic, though the most difficult advice for all parents - it's keeping calm. Avoiding undue stress or putting more weight on it than it deserves. A very big mistake is talking about problems in kindergarten with the child, "worrying" the situation when the toddler listens.

The second important thing is this denying the child's emotions. When a parent shows understanding of what is happening with the toddler, it relieves him of excess feelings. Saying "don't be afraid" or "don't cry" can have the opposite effect to the intended one, help to develop the belief that "mom or dad don't understand a child."

Separations should be short, the parent should take care of their well-being so that they are able to smile, though they should definitely pass the child over to the teacher. Do not allow the situation when it is in the kindergarten that "pulls" the child to the parent, trying to detach it from mom or dad.

Absolutely not allow the situation when the crying boy will be taken home. This will only confirm him in the belief that the behavior brought the expected result. At the next opportunity, he'll probably do the same.

In the first weeks of the child's stay in kindergarten it is worth letting the toddler collect a soft toy, favorite toy that will let you hug and gain a sense of security.

It makes no sense to pressure a child to talk about kindergarten. However, when it begins to speak, you should listen to them and patiently answer questions, even those incessant, constantly appearing. Therapeutic fairy tales about the new situation are a good idea.

If the child refuses to eat in kindergarten, it is worth waiting out the situation, avoiding feeding the baby immediately after picking up from kindergarten. The toddler's menu should be varied, devoid of very sweet or fatty snacks. When the toddler starts to have frequent mishaps, we absolutely do not make fun of them, do not embarrass the child, change the toddler and comfort him, saying that "nothing has happened that sometimes everyone can happen".

Adaptation does not last forever. Successful allows the toddler to become a "full-fledged" preschooler with new experiences, facilitating the acquisition of the next stages of education.