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Starting nursery school is an exciting and scary time for both children and their parents. But, once they are settled and know their way around, it can be a brilliant place to play, experience new things, meet new friends and have lots of fun. Here are a few tips to get your little ones, (and you!), more relaxed about starting nursery.
- Make sure you know the teachers and their names. Talk about them at home and when you are with them try to be relaxed and happy so your child sees you are comfortable with them.
- Make sure your little one knows where the important things at school are: the toilet, the cloakroom, the home corner etc. so they feel comfortable in their new setting and don't feel anxious about locating the toilet or not knowing where things are.
- Try and visit the nursery a few time s before starting if you can. Talk about things while you are there. Spot things your child might like and show them it's a fun place to be!
- Make sure they are confident at going to the toilet so they avoid any accidents at school. Practice at home and reiterate that will be going to the toilet alone at nursery so must be able to do that confidently.
- Try to leave your child at nursery once they are involved in an activity. Settle them with some blocks or a game and leave them happily doing that rather than wandering around on their own.
- Be happy and positive, even if you are a little bit anxious. Children do pick up on your feelings! If you are happy, they are more likely to be so too!
- Get into a routine of doing the same thing every time you leave. A kiss, a hug and a wave from the window once you are outside. Then they will get to understand that this is what happens and they will be familiar with this routine.
- Don't hang around if they cry. Teachers are usually great at distraction and as soon as you've gone they will stop! Try and not interfere with how the nursery functions and don't stay longer than the other parents as it can just prolong the problem.
- Meet them with a smile and chat about the day! Ask lots of leading questions that will eek out what they have done. Perhaps share 3 thing they did at nursery and tell them 3 things you did too!
- Chat to other parents and hear about their experiences. You can learn a lot about the nursery or pre-school from parents and they might have some good tips too!
- If you have any concerns, chat to the teachers. They will be able to reassure you!
- Get involved if you can. If there's a parents association, try to get involved. Its a great way to meet other parents and give support to the school or nursery.