With the world gradually adjusting to living with the COVID-19 virus, plans have been made to bring back major parts of the economy. One of which is the child care sector. Expectedly, it will be almost impossible to reopen the nation without child care centers. Parents can not go back to work and leave their kids unattended at home.
Although adhering to the stringent guidelines laid out by the government, plenty of child care facilities have now opened their doors to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. While that may sound as good news to many working parents, it is important to understand that the transition back to child care will not be as easy as the usual drop off.
It’s been about five (5) months. Five whole months of being locked indoors. To the kids, this is the new normal. The transition back to child care will most likely be as difficult as the first time at child care – [if not more difficult.]
Having watched parents and kids struggle with this transition in the past month, I decided to put out this article to help struggling parents understand how they can help their kids transition back to child care.
- You need to be patient
Now more than ever, parents need to be as patient as can be. You have to understand that this is a whole new paradigm for your kids. They need to readjust to being away from home after nearly 5 months. This won’t come easy, even for the strongest kid out there. Therefore, parents ought to be patient with their kids as they help them transition back to child care. Forcing them to go back to child care may cause more harm than you think. Instead, help them get used to being away from home again. Listen to both what they are saying and what they are not saying. You just have to be patient!
- Talk them through the process
The pandemic stole a lot more than time from us. As much as you think adults were affected the most, you have to realize that these kids had their entire world turned around drastically due to the pandemic. They may not complain, but they are definitely going through a lot. Talking them through the process is a great way to get them acquainted with the former ‘normal.’
First, be sure to help then understand what happened and how things will be going forward. Let them get familiar with changes that they will likely see at the center.
Additionally, get them pumped about going out again. Help them understand safety measures and how exciting outside is once again.
- Get them back on their routine
No doubt their routine changed during the pandemic. No judgment here! It is a pandemic and we all thrived in whatever way we saw fit. Nonetheless, the holiday is over. It is time to get them back to their routine. Prior to getting them back to school or child care, make an effort to get them back to their familiar routine so they do not struggle so much to adapt.
The distorted sleep routine should change to their previous routine. Also, be sure to keep them occupied with school activities. This will go a long way to help them fit right in as soon as they get back to the center.
- Expand Social Circle
The lockdown rules were stringent but necessary. We were literally forced to stay away from our friends and family – but for good reasons.
Now the coast is a bit clear, it will be helpful to start expanding your kids’ social circle. This is a good way to help them get excited to leave the house while also helping them ease into the new normal. There is nothing more fun than doing the same thing with your friends and loved ones.
Get them in touch with a few friends, and perhaps, another family with kids their age so they know they are not alone in this.
Together, we can all be truly happy once more. Do not fail to set up your kids for the new normal!