☰ Guest Blog from Mrs Enisuoh: Transitions at Norfolk House

Guest Blog from Mrs Enisuoh: Transitions at Norfolk House

Posted on: June 27th 2019

Starting Nursery is an exciting time for your child and yourselves, but it can also be a time of anxiety for some children. Mixed feelings are perfectly normal and all children will need time and reassurance in order to establish themselves happily in a new environment. 

The first few weeks when a child is settling into Nursery is a time of crucial importance to their later happiness at Nursery. All children are individuals and while some children will adjust fairly easily to the new environment and new routines, others will take longer to feel comfortable and secure.

For some children they want to talk incessantly about ’starting Nursery’, whilst for other children they are more reluctant to discuss the impending change. Take the lead from your child - try and slip ‘Nursery’ occasionally into conversations when your child is relaxed. Books are an excellent way of reinforcing positive messages without having to talk!

A couple of things you can do to support your child’s developing understanding of what Nursery is and prepare them for you leaving include:

- When Nursery is mentioned talk positively about it [especially when you think they are not listening!]

- Prepare for Nursery together - walk past the site, make a special trip to buy some slippers or a cup together, have ‘practices’ trying on the new slippers, playing with the items in their Nursery bag

- Talk about the staff using their names - reinforcing positive messages during the weeks leading up to starting. For example when helping your child to put their coat on you could say “At Nursery, Miss xxxx can help you put your coat on” etc.

- If you know any other children attending, try to arrange a playdate over the summer

- Get personal items ready for the first day - a special bag, any comfort objects that may be needed, spare clothes etc.

- Don’t put pressure on yourself or your child to be toilet trained if they are not yet in pants - over the summer is a great time to begin but we can do this together once they are settled

- Share stories about separation and starting Nursery. Most of the books below are available on Amazon and YouTube either as read aloud stories or in animated versions

You are welcome to spend some time settling your child into Nursery (before 8:35am) and when it is time to go tell them something along the lines of "Mummy/Daddy/etc.. is going now. Tommy is staying at nursery to play. Mummy will come back to Tommy after xxxx. Mummy always comes back." And when you return, say "Mummy came back to Tommy. Mummy always comes back." Saying the same phrasing each time can be a reassuring ritual.

Turn around, wave, and walk out. Don't hesitate, don't turn back.

If your child becomes upset during separation, a good idea is to always hand your child over to the same member of staff, even put the child in their arms if he or she is distressed. It can be your child’s Teacher, Nursery Nurse, or Teaching Assistant.

Children often find it comforting to know where you are going - then you don't just disappear into thin air. Saying you are going to the same place helps children imagine where you are and gives them security. For weeks with my own son I went to ‘Waitrose’ while he was at nursery. He understood what Waitrose meant, it was a familiar place. He would ask me what I had bought when I collected him, and we would discuss it. Even when I hadn't been anywhere near Waitrose!

Lastly, the first few weeks can be tricky for many children. This is very normal and does not usually indicate a longer-term difficulty with settling. Together, staff and parents will find a path that matches the needs of your child.  

We look forward to meeting our new families for their Welcome Visit in the upcoming weeks and seeing you all in September!

Helen Enisuoh

Deputy Head Teacher


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