Today is Monday and the first day after Alice’s weekly absence in kindergarten. Now, a year after we started attending this educational institution, exiting after an illness is no longer a stress for me. When we just started going to the garden, any break automatically meant that the habituation process would have to be repeated. And this process, I must say, is not very pleasant.
So, I’ll tell you about how we got used to kindergarten.
The first day went just fine! Even when we were just filling out documents, we came to get acquainted with teachers and specialists Alice really liked to be here. She paid little attention to children, but all these interesting multi-colored verandas, slides, climbers attracted her very much. And on the first day she walked briskly, holding my hand. I was proud and looked a little condescendingly at my parents, leading, crying children. Remember – pride is a sin! I paid for it in full. On the first day, Alice spent exactly one hour in the garden. At that time I was sitting in a car parked near the kindergarten fence. Our wonderful teacher convincingly asked me not to loom over the fence and not to poison the child’s soul, vowed that they were not going to beat and torture my daughter (at least on the first day) and I was sitting in the car so as not to be tempted. I honestly tried to read, but I don’t remember anything I read. It turned out to be much more fun to look at the watch. Sometimes I opened the window and listened to whether my daughter was voting in the crying. A lot of children were voting through the open window, but the voices were contented and happy. An hour later, I skipped while trying to look relaxed and moved to the veranda of our group. Alice was calm and quite happy with her pastime. I was happy! In parting, the teacher tried to lower me from heaven to earth and warned that tomorrow would be worse, do not be alarmed. I did not believe her.
The most important thing is that Alice likes the first time, if everything goes well, then usually there are no further problems. A slightly different situation happened with the garden, here she was left alone, without me. Of course, before that we had not sat around the clock at home alone. We walked, went to classes in development centers, it happened that I left her in a private kindergarten (for special children, in the center where we studied) for an hour. Still, we were preparing for kindergarten and this was not an absolute shock for her. Which did not save us from the adaptation process.
On the second day, I had no time to pretend to be proud posture, and look down on it is bad when you drag a wriggling child. Of course, I exaggerate a little, but Alice was very reluctant, she tried to break out, run away, slip away and accompanied all this with burning tears. Thank you very much to our teacher (experience, she has a huge son of difficult mistakes), she greeted us with a smile, reassured us, saying that everyone went through it and let me go with the world for exactly an hour. Of course, I did not go home, but again sat in the car. It turned out to be much more pleasant to take Alice, she was delighted to me when I arrived, she was no longer roaring. The first 15 minutes to cry it turned out to be enough, then she did not see any more sense in this and calmed down.
By the third day, I was already mentally tuned. Again tears, again attempts to break free. Since Alice cannot speak, which means she cannot explain that she does not want something, she shows this with her actions. If every time she doesn’t want something and starts to cry, I would follow her, we wouldn’t go to kindergarten, we wouldn’t go anywhere, I would carry her to the toilet in my arms, but in my teens maybe she would start pounding me and dad. Therefore, by the way, it is so important for non-speaking children to give the opportunity to communicate using alternative means of communication. Since Alice calmed down every day faster and faster in the kindergarten, I did not give up and did not give up, but continued to drive her. The hardest thing for us was the path from the car to the group. To sweeten her pill, I took her favorite sweets and began to reinforce the way to the group with sweets. Two weeks later, Alice calmly walked into the garden in the morning. This calm lasted until there was a failure in the ritual. For example, there are no places to park near the garden, I had to drive away. Everything, the ritual is broken, again tears. We missed it for a week due to illness, again we begin to adapt. Of course, each time the adaptation process went on calmer and faster, which could not but rejoice.
For the second year Alice has been going to kindergarten and now she has no tantrums about this, even if we park the car in another place, skip or go on another path.
What helped me with this:
1. Our wonderful teacher and all the specialists who work in a group with our children (we have a “Special Child” group, the length of stay in the garden is 3 hours). If the atmosphere in the group was bad, if my daughter was unhappy there or she was offended, then the process would not go so quickly. Perhaps it would be even worse. We were lucky. True, a lot depends on a person who works with a group of children, and first of all, whether the child will be comfortable there, which means he will want to go to the garden or not.
2. Our delicious reinforcement. Simple trick. Works with both adults and children. How often do we tell the child: “Finish a quarter without triples, get a new game for Sony Playstation” or to ourselves: “I’ll finish the project, I will note this thing in my favorite restaurant.” Sometimes, we need additional positive motivation to overcome ourselves.
3. Patience. A lot of patience. Calm and motherwort. I drank 5 tablets of motherwort before bedtime, setting myself up to the fact that tomorrow morning I would be calm as a boa constrictor. Each one has his own ways of attuning himself to the positive and the belief that we will overcome everything. Sometimes, small rituals such as a cup of hot milk at bedtime or a warm bath can add strength or give us a little respite to tune in. You cannot drive yourself into the semblance of calm, you need to learn to find it.
4. Schedule. Yes, we have come to the conclusion that the visual schedule is a very important and necessary thing. In the full sense, we haven’t implemented it yet, but before I go somewhere, I show Alice on the monitor a photo of the place where we are going. It has become easier, it still does not work 100% with unfamiliar places or places where it takes a long time to get to, but it works perfectly with permanent places.
5. The ability to make a decision by Alice herself. When we don’t want something, we can force ourselves to reconcile ourselves with this decision. When Alice cried, I still led her to the kindergarten, I forced her, she had no choice. Now I have found another way. If she does not want to get out of the car when we arrived at the garden, then I give her such an opportunity. I go out myself and just wait for her. Periodically, I open the door and ask if she is ready to go. If not, continue to wait. The main thing here is not to give up. Once, my husband and I waited for her at the car for more than an hour when we arrived at sea, and she suddenly refused to go out. If I’m alone, I just sit on the sidewalk and start reading. The child has a choice and time to make a decision. As our practice has shown, sometimes this solution is difficult and you have to sob, knock with your feet, let the snot bubble up, sometimes quite easily and quickly. It is worth noting that every time everything decreases, the child understands that there are only two options: to sit in the car or get out and go. If only once you show weakness and failing to cry, you go on, then in the future the tears will intensify, the tantrums will go on growing, because the child will understand that his tears influenced your decision and the third option appeared that was most interesting to him.
Therefore, hold on! Brace yourself! Have patience! Love your children, but remember that you are the main one, it depends on you how your child can adapt to the world and the more independent he becomes, the easier it will be in the future.