Freeflow with Jennie Mo': Smooth Transitions
This week had me thinking a lot about transition and what that means for us and our children. The post Labor Day week is a week of transition for all of us, adults and babies alike. Summer is over, some of us who left town for the summer are back, some may have moved homes (like me), new schedules are starting, and, drum roll, some of our babies may be separating from us for nursery or pre school. This is a major step whether you or your child’s program opt for a gradual transition or a “rip the band aid off” transition. There may be tears (and I don’t just mean for your child, we know this is very hard for the parents too!) So I wanted to give some words of advice: Don’t try to avoid tears, just try to have a game plan on how to manage them.
I don't think there’s anyone in this world who likes to hear a baby or child cry. Even a millisecond of it is hard for an adult to hear. Our immediate response is to avoid it and end it at all costs. We’d do anything to make a sad child happy, am I right? But I want you to try to think about why. Isn’t sadness a part of life? When you have to leave your child for the first time and he/she is sad, isn’t that natural? Normal? Typical? Shouldn’t we expect that (unless you have the rare breed who runs from you eagerly and excited and says, “Bye see you later!” And you’re just left with your own tears to deal with!)
So ask yourself, how will I handle my child’s tears? What would benefit them the most?
Sneaking out: Do you want your child to feel anxious that a loved one will leave without saying bye at any given time? That’s easier for you but not them.
Showing them you’re also sad: You have to exude “cool as a cucumber” and be the leader in this. Example: “You’re going to school! This is going to be really fun. I have to leave now but I always always come back and l'll see you later! I love you.”
Lingering: DO NOT. Do you linger when you take off a band aid? If you do, you’re doing it wrong. Rip that sh*t off, say goodbye, and LEAVE. Also, avoid peeking. If they see you, you’re starting all over again.
We hope that no matter what program your child is or isn’t starting that we still see you at USP, even for our school age children, as we are starting programming for children as old as 5 years old this year and revamping our open play in the coming months. Here's to smooth fall transitions!