5 Tips to Get Your Kids to Actually Like Going to Daycare
To our children, we’re the center of their world. But soon, there comes a day when you must go back to work, and when that happens, you may have no other option than to choose a daycare. Daycare is a great place for kids where they can learn and develop important social skills.
From the point of view of your child though, it can feel like the world is ending. That’s because they thrive on routine. The routine you currently have will need to change when daycare becomes a factor, so follow these 5 tips to help get your kids to actually like going there.
- Start talking about it weeks in advance
Small children feel safe when they know what to expect. While you can’t control everything in life, starting this dialogue about daycare and what it is weeks before you will send them makes it less scary. You can tell them all about what they’ll be doing, how they’ll have friends to play with and prepare them for what’s to come.
- Take your child to visit the daycare
Naturally, you’ll want to do all your diligent work to find suitable daycare centers near you. Once you narrow down your choices, bring your child to your top two or three options. Let them see the classroom and playground as well as meet the teacher. See which one your child likes best out of these and frame it as though they are choosing it. This will make your child feel like they have control and they’ll be more likely to enjoy going to daycare.
- Make changes to your home schedule
As you approach the first day of daycare, start incorporating the schedule your child will follow there as best you can. If the daycare group eats lunch at 11 am and does naps at 12 pm, adjust that home schedule so your child gets used to it. By setting the rhythm ahead of going to daycare, your child will be more likely to like being at daycare because it will feel similar to home.
- Avoid making any other big changes at home
Now is not the time to redecorate your child’s room, plan a big trip, or do anything else out of the ordinary. The most important thing is getting your child eased into this new schedule so it feels less chaotic and overwhelming for them.
- Don’t let them see you cry
We know this is a big adjustment for you too! They can’t stay babies forever and we all have to let go little by little as they grow. It’s so hard, but when the day for daycare comes, say goodbye quickly and confidently. Cry in the car after you leave, but don’t let your little one sense your sadness.
Should your child cry as you begin leaving, keep going for the door and act like it’s no big deal. The daycare staff is trained to distract your child with activities and the longer you lurk, the harder it will be for them to get your child to calm down.
Daycare is an adjustment for every child and parent too, but if you follow these tips, you’re more likely to have a kid that loves going to daycare more each day!