Adaptation in Early Childhood Education - the importance of this moment in the life of the little ones.dec 27 | Miriam Costa Pinto
Early Childhood Education marks a new time and a very special experience for the child.
Playing and playing stimulate the social relationship with the world and with those around them, acquiring and putting into practice new knowledge, representing everyday situations, expressing their feelings, their fantasies and solving their conflicts.
Children's entry into institutions has become an event for the family and can generate anxiety for both them and their parents and teachers. It is your first contact with a social group different from your family. In its first days of class it is common that the child cries, because it feels the separation of the family, experiencing a feeling of abandonment and anguish.
The position of family members at this time will be very important for the children. Offering them security, caring, and patience will be essential. The adaptation period will last approximately one week up to 15 days, and in some cases, may be higher or lower. Reactions can vary greatly, both in relation to the emotional manifestations and the time needed to complete the process, since each child has his way of facing this challenge. Behaviors different from those that normally present in your family environment, such as changes in appetite, may arise during this period; return to previous developmental stages (re-urinating or evacuating on clothing, for example). They may also fall ill; isolate oneself from others and create dependence on a toy, pacifier or a lotion. It is natural for the child to manifest a certain difficulty in separating from the mother (or father), the smaller the difficulty. The tranquility and security of the parents favors the transient separation. Therefore, they should rest assured that the decision made was correct. There are mothers who feel more separation than their children, and even if they do not cry, their eyes convey insecurity.
It is important for parents and family members to talk about this moment of the child and to be facilitators in this process, strengthening and encouraging the child to feel happy alongside the class members a part of the day. Some dialogues can be exchanged with the small ones, to encourage them to want to go to school like: you will play, do things you do not do at home, make new friends, paint, snack and go to the playground, etc. Then you tell Mom everything (or for Daddy, Grandma, Grandpa ...). "When the child knows he can tell everything he's going to live, he feels safer, stronger and happier.
It will be imperative, at this time of adaptation, and even when necessary, the presence of the mother, father or someone of confidence of the child so that she can face the new environment with someone with whom she feels safe and, gradually, safe and effective way, saying goodbye to the person accompanying you without major problems. Parents may find it difficult to live in this process because they can not be away for many days from their professional activities. In this case, it would be important that they could be present, at least on the first day, and then be replaced by someone of the child's trust.
Reflections to family and teachers:
* Provide the child with confident attitudes, making sure that you will come back to pick them up at school. Affirm your love and how important it is to the family;
* Comment on school and the things she will do there with enthusiasm, but do not create illusions by saying that everything will be the way she wants. Explain that it is a collective place and that there will be other children with whom to play and share the attention;
* Participate in the process of adapting your child, without hurry that it finishes soon;
* Respect school guidelines and seek to understand teachers' strategy to act together;
* Prioritize not to be late neither at the time of entry nor at the time of picking up the child. This strengthens her confidence in her parents and lessens any discomfort such as anxiety;
* Talk about what the child's day was like, ask and let her talk at her pace. Do not answer for it with statements, eg, did you eat all your snack? Ask: How was the snack time? Tell me what you liked most about your snack;
* Explain routine changes to the child honestly, even if it is small but, of course, with a language appropriate for each age group. Children realize when parents do not speak the truth and this usually affects the trust and respect they have for them.
It is important to understand that children, although small, should be listened to and welcomed in their needs as any subject. They are complete individuals with opinions, preferences, and emotions that should not be dismissed as less important because of their age. Being in a safe environment will enable the full development of your emotional, social, and cognitive skills.
Source: National Curriculum Framework / Child Education