It’s Not Goodbye… Just See You Later
In the daycare world kids often come across many many changes and growth during their time in care. Kids are growing so fast it’s hard to believe sometimes. So many different milestones are being met, emotions are evolving, and so many wonderful moments are being created within their classrooms.
As children start to get a bit older, they realize and can really feel the change happening around them. During their time in care, children will be transitioning to different classrooms as they mature. Even at a young age, these kiddos know exactly what is going on. They sense your emotions as parents and ours as teachers along with all of their own.
When your child becomes apart of our classrooms, they become apart of us. We are so lucky to spend a huge chunk of our day with them. They really are an extension of our family, our kids. So when its time to make that transition to a new classroom or maybe you are exiting daycare for ‘xyz’ reason, it is so important to make sure as their parents you are preparing them for these changes.
It is important to make sure they are able to express and work through any feelings they may be having about moving to a different classroom or leaving school. This is such a great opportunity to really engage your child to use words to express their emotions.
In some cases, you may not feel like you personally connected deeply with your child’s teacher. But, your child who has spent weeks upon weeks with their teachers may feel very differently. On the other hand, you may absolutely adore and connect with their teacher, and maybe they did not.. at all-haha! Most importantly, it’s not about us. It is about them. So allowing them the chance to communicate their feelings about leaving should be a priority.
While talking with your child about these changes, it’s great to speak with their current and future teachers. Their current teachers should be discussing the upcoming transition as well. Be on the same page; discuss the child’s hesitations and/or excitements together. That way when either party is speaking with the child about the changes they can both address any concerns that the child may have. If you are able, it’s wonderful to meet your child’s future teachers before they enter the new classroom. As the time gets closer, doing a walk-through together and meeting the new teachers is helpful so you both can get a feel for the new environment.
Most important, allow the child to say goodbye. Let them know of their last day in their current classroom so they can gain a small piece of closure. Allow them the opportunity (if they would like) to say goodbye to friends and teachers. Remember, your kiddo has spent weeks after weeks with the same group of friends (some would say family) and they have made some wonderful bonds. It is a happy, sad, exciting, and scary time for some; transitions can sometimes be hard on all of us. Communication is so key here to see that the emotional needs of these kiddos are being met.
Remember, its not goodbye forever. Just see you soon or until next time.
~ Ms. Whitney
Lead Pre-K Teacher