Have your child's early days in a day care centre have been a major tear-filled struggle? If you're feeling like it's time to give up and resign from your job to keep your little one at home forever, don't despair. You can survive this transition more easily than you ever thought with the help of the the three "C's" below.
Cue the Consistency
Whilst it's hard—possibly even harder for you than it is for your child—you need to be consistent right now. That means continuing to take your child to the day care centre each day. This consistency soon makes the day care centre into a routine—and that's something that your child can adapt to. Yes, change can be hard, but once a new routine is in place, the tears will lessen . . . until they stop!
Top Tip: If your child fights when it's time to go to the day care centre, cheerfully tell them that it's "time to do day care right now," and then remind them that later in the day it will be time to go home, time to play with the dog, or time to do something else that they're looking forward to.
Create a Feeling of Comfort
Whilst your child does have to learn some independence in the day care centre, that doesn't mean they have to give up all the comforts of home. Just having one special comfort object—for example, a favourite blanket or toy—with them at the day care centre each day can greatly ease the transition. Make sure to take this item along to the day care centre every day, until it becomes a part of the routine as well.
Top Tip: Choose a comfort object that you can get multiples of—you don't want to deal with the disaster of the one-and-only item going missing whilst you're in a rush to leave.
Cheer Yourself Up
Whilst your child's behaviour is part of the problem, don't forget that your own feelings may be contributing to the issue. Cheer yourself up with a simple phrase like "I'm doing the right thing for my child" when you leave them each day. If you feel yourself wavering, bolster yourself by repeating that phrase—and whilst you're at it, remind yourself of just how far your child has come already. Count a few less tears or tantrums as a victory!
Top Tip: When you're really struggling, give yourself a little treat. Have your favourite coffee or check out the shops for a few minutes. This provides both mood lift and distraction!
If you follow the three C's above, you (and your child) might just find that going to the day care centre is easier than you'd ever imagined. In fact, the day care centre might just become a delight rather than a disaster for your child!