The process of adaptation of a child to the kindergarten depends on many factors and it is difficult to determine how long it will last and how it will take place – it is an individual process of each child. For some children it would last a week for example, for others a complete adaptation would take a month or even longer.

Parents should bear in mind that starting attendance to a kindergarten is a big challenge for a child. It is important that during this time parents fully cooperate with teachers, to ensure child’s sense of security and the best start to the education life. It is crucial to inform the child about planned changes and benefits arising from the new situation.

The adaptation period – what is my child going through?

Child that starts going to preschool must face a lot of difficulties. Adaptation is a challenge for him/her, but most of the children with the help and involvement of their parents get through this period mildly and with success. Cooperation between parents and teachers is very important, their determination and confidence. It is important for parents to arouse a sense of security and to arouse child’s curiosity and openness to new experience.

Separation anxiety in children occurs about 7 months of age and lasts roughly until the age of schooling. It is something normal, appears at each child without exceptions.

Starting attending kindergarten by a child is sometimes associated with the first separation from the mother. Some children have gone through the experience of separation, such as staying with grandparents, nursery room, the nanny or others. Children who had formal schooling, like nursery rooms, mostly have no problems with adaptation to the kindergarten.

Children over the age of 2, demonstrate the desire to create new social relationships and to form social group – it is the time when a child goes from individual play to shared play and then to group play, that is why at this time being in a peer group is crucial for the development of the child.

Launch of pre-primary education is a very important stage in the life of a child and parents. It is the first step to growing up, the beginning of new, important relationships and learning experiences through play. Pre-primary education is crucial for the future development and success in school of the child, therefore parents who have a sense of that kindergarten is a new experience necessary for the child, facilitate him/her with the positive attitude to start in a new environment.

During the pre-school adaptation children are going through a lot of emotions, and they still can not name them. It might be fear, anxiety, nervousness, stress, annoyance – children are mostly unable to recognize and name these emotions, so if they do not understand them, they express them with tears. Parents and carers should be vigilant enough to recognize and explain to the child what it could be and what could be difficult. The most valuable help which parents are able to give to their child in an addition to their own composure, is to explain the situation, related emotions and meet the concerns of a child. We are afraid of new things, of things we do not understand and do not know. The time of adaptation is a time of exploring, through exploration and repetition of events a child acquires a sense of security.

How can I help my child in the adaptation and the difficult goodbyes?

Parents should prepare a child mentally to start pre-school. It is worth spending the time to explain to a child what nice and interesting experiences can wait in a new environment, what a child will be able to learn, how and with whom to play. Generating positive emotions and curiosity of the child will help them adapt and will transform this difficult period in adventure. It is extremely important that the parents do not show the child their fears related to sending them to kindergarten, if children do not understand nervousness of their parents, they are left with the difficult and incomprehensible emotions that will further charge a baby. Relaxed and balanced parents leave their child with a sense of confidence in a new place and give the opportunity to explore a new environment.

It is also important that the child has to understand the situation, i.e. that the nursery is the next step in his life and development, followed by a school that is not something "punishment, because mom and dad have to work." Explaining to a child that going to kindergarten is caused because of parents have to go to work gives the event a negative meaning and inspires a sense of frustration in the child. It may be that the pre-school “takes away” the time, which could be spend with the parent. Of course, the child must be aware of the fact that the parents go to work and that it is something that is necessary, but it is worth explaining the situation of the child and not to give it much emotional color and to explain a preschool as a new place full of new and pleasurable experiences.

With goodbyes section it is important for the parent to be at peace, self- control, time devoted to their child, but the time should not be prolonged. A child can not feel the anxiety of parents, because it will raise its concerns. Sometimes babies use techniques to keep parent with them, in this case, calmly explaining to the child that we have to leave, say goodbye and leave.

Parents should give time to their children to get used to the new rules, new tutors and peer group.

Children who have passed from the nursery to the kindergarten can communicate to parents that they would like to go back to the “old” kindergarten or nursery school – this reaction is caused by the stress of a new environment, we feel secure in what we know, new things for us are always a source of concern. Over time, however, with getting to know the environment, the child will accept a new position and stop to recall the previous facility. Of course it is always worth to keep warm memories of the earlier stages of life.

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