First Class Education and Care is a relational childcare centre in Bethlehem with an emphasis on creative/performing arts. Parents love our peaceful and nurturing toddlers unit. We care for children 6 mths – 5 yrs.
The Art of Transitioning Well
How to Be Resilient in the Face of Change For The Sake of Your Child
Transitions mark the threshold moments we all face in life – over and over again.
One of the first major transitions your child will make at First Class Education and Care is moving from the Infants and Toddlers unit to the Kindergarten unit. This transition lays the foundation for their transition to school several years later.
In our experience, the number one factor that influences how well the child will transition is how well the parent emotionally manages the transition.
Modelling a healthy approach to transition means embracing the reality that often:
♡ In order to move onto something new we have to let go of something old.
♡ In order to progress we have to let go of the things we have already conquered.
♡ In order to mature we have to leave the things we have outgrown.
♡ In order to discover a new frontier of possibilities we have to leave old certainties.
As parents, it is important for us to learn the art of transitioning well so that we can show our children how to navigate the many transitions they will make healthily and successfully. If you can model a positive approach to change you will help your child to develop resilience to change throughout the span of their lives. What a gift!
Sometimes transitions are easy: both we and are our child are ready for the next stage.
And sometimes, transitions are emotional and difficult.
Either way, here are some guidelines to help you navigate your way forward.
When helping your child to transition from the Infants & Toddlers unit to Kindergarten, or from Kindergarten to school:
1. Be Self-Aware
If you find yourself feeling emotional about this transition, take the time to be present with yourself and understand what it is you are feeling. Perhaps the teaching team has created a secure and loving environment not just for your child, but also for you. Acknowledge the inherent loss in moving on from that. Perhaps your baby is growing up too fast and you don’t feel ready for them to be at this milestone. Acknowledge that. Talk it out with a friend over coffee or wine. Whatever the emotion is – acknowledge it, express it to a trusted person and then make a healthy adult choice about your next step.
2. Express Gratitude
Rituals of gratitude are a wonderful tool for both you and your child. Your child will have developed strong bonds with the teachers who have cared for them. It’s natural for both you and your child to feel sad about moving on from these relationships – and yet it is important for you to help your child to say goodbye well so that they can transfer their affections and build secure attachments with their next teachers. Talk about the things you and your child have loved and appreciated about the teachers. Write them a card or bake them a cake to express your gratitude. Help your child to direct their sadness towards gratitude, not towards ‘stuckness’. This will help both you and your child to integrate the gifts of this time and to carry them forwards with you.
3. Forgive Yourself
It is common when your child is leaving their toddler phase or heading off to school for you to take stock of this phase of their life and think about the things that you wish you had done things differently. Acknowledge any disappointments or regrets you have about your parenting during this phase of your child’s life. Give equal weight to all the things you did well during this period. Nobody gets it right all the time. Be kind to yourself. Accept your imperfections. Make changes if need be. Hold onto the good and build on it in the next stage.
4. Be Positive
Be very intentional about communicating positively with your child about the new stage they are entering. Your child will take their emotional cues about this change from you. On an intuitive level “Mum and Dad think this is okay” lays the foundation for “I think this is okay.” If you communicate anxiety about the change, they will often pick up on this and be unsettled themselves. On the other hand, if you are positive your child will draw strength and confidence from you.
5. Celebrate The Change
Celebrate the fact that your child is developing and moving forward. Actively look for the new opportunities and fun possibilities that are opening up for your child. Explore new resources, meet new friends, allow yourself to re-energised by change. Don’t get stuck in looking backwards. Help your child to gather all of the gifts the previous stage gave them and carry them with them into their exciting new experiences. Teach them to have an adventurous spirit. Embrace the unknown.
“Be replacing fear of the unknown with curiosity we open ourselves up to an infinite stream of possibility.”
You may also like to read: 7 Ways To Help Your Child Transition from the Toddlers Unit to Kindergarten
VISIT FIRST CLASS EDUCATION AND CARE
First Class Education and Care is a relational childcare centre in Bethlehem with an emphasis on creative/performing arts. Parents love our peaceful and nurturing toddlers unit. We care for children aged 6 months – 5 years.
When you visit First Class Education and Care you’ll find happy children in a nurturing environment, enjoying genuine relationships with caring teachers who facilitate creative play and quality learning experiences.