Preparation for nursery and kindergarten

by 12.12.2022

So glad this guide is a fact!! And I’m also glad that the transition to nursery or kindergarten is increasingly being seen as a fundamentally important and emotional period for the whole family, and not as “well, so what…”.

Many people have already implemented this guide and we have great feedback about it. Of course, it is not a universal solution and the doubt “It is not so easy in practice” is quite natural.

Here I would like to share what you can do as parents the moment the realization comes that our lives are not a textbook chapter and some simple “making it”.

And so:

Step 1: Prepare for the upcoming change with the idea that you are not alone in this maelstrom.

Here, phrases heard from relatives and friends are probably ringing in your head, how this child MUST attend kindergarten, you MUST go to work, and most of all, you MUST be ready for it!!!

 The pressure and demands are enormous…With all the stress we’ve been under, and especially the last year or so as a result of the Covid pandemic, it’s human to not feel ready and want our child to wave goodbye, walking into a building where we don’t know exactly what and HOW is happening.

And at the same time, we transition from a 24/7 mother to a working woman again, wife, and friend – an extremely a complex task, without written instructions and guidelines.

Again, you don’t have to be alone in this challenge. But if you’re feeling alone and overwhelmed with anxious thoughts and wondering what you’re actually going to do with yourselfwhen he’s no longer at home, just know that it doesn’t make you bad mothers and parents.

On the contrary! – worries are instinctive and change in a new situation is difficult without support. Reach out to someone you can share and talk it out with to gain acceptance and support.

Step 2. Prepare your child for the upcoming change.

Here the ideas in the guide are very specific but know that we are here for you if:

  • Your child refuses to do new activities on their own, activities that you are convinced they are ready for, but you often find yourself in conflict with them.
  • You don’t dare to refuse them something, to state your wishes, to set limits to conform with you and reality.
  • You have bad experiences at the kindergarten or you just have no idea how to explain what this place is and why it is important that they visit it every day. Either you tell them about the kindergarten, but you feel that these conversations are too positive and unrealistic, or you keep something quiet because of your fears.

Step 3. The child is already enrolled and attends nursery/nursery school. What now?

Even if you managed to somehow get through the stages above, there is no guarantee that the child will respond with enthusiasm and acceptance of these new activities and routines.

What to do if they suddenly start stamping their foot and flatly refuse to go to the garden?  And what if every day is accompanied by rewards and promises just to get out of the house? If you have problems with eating or sleeping immediately after leaving the garden? Is the separation in the morning too drawn out and emotionally exhausting?

These are individual cases that should be discussed with a specialist in a timely manner, especially for YOU to be at ease.

I myself, not only as a psychologist but also as a mother, can say that I have been in these situations and have gone through the transition periods. I was afraid to let my boy go, I wanted to protect him from all possible difficulties, and I was dedicated to always being there, on the line, by the phone, ready to save him and make it work!

I had the absolute ambition to be not just enough and good, but the PERFECT, responsible mother! By following the steps of the adaptation program at my own pace – smoothly and non-traumatically my child realized and gained independence and confidence in this new stage of life, and I move on to the next challenges with the knowledge that I will not be perfect (and I don’t need to be), and I know HOW to be available emotionally for him when he too is going through difficulties and needs support and security.

Therefore, I am happy that we have compiled and tested in reality this short guide, which gives understandable, practical approaches and ideas, but also provokes more questions to seek answers together with you and the children, according to their individual needs and circumstances.

Because there is always a solution and it is not difficult!

Gergana Markov, PhD, Marina Titeva