It can be difficult when we deal with separation as an adult, let alone young children. Parents cringe and sometimes tears well up in our eyes when we see or hear our little gems crying for us.
When your child is separated from you, expect them to cry. In fact, be happy when they do so. It shows that they miss you, they miss home. It is very natural for young children to be attached to you and their main caregivers. Unless your child is extremely extroverted or unattached to anyone, he/she will not be affected by the separation.
After working with young children for many years, I have observed that these are the following factors affecting adjustment to a new environment.
Depending on personality, your child will react differently when they need to deal with separation. A few questions we may want to ask ourselves:
Is my child an extrovert or introvert?
Is he/she sociable in a social setting? During playdates, birthday parties or visits to friends’ home…
Does he/she generally have a happy disposition?
If a child is an extrovert and someone who is sociable, he/she will most likely take a shorter time adapting to a new environment or situation. Children with such characteristics enjoy interaction. Having teachers and children around them will gain their attention. In the beginning, they will miss home. However, they are interested to make friends and know more about people around them. Thus, the ease of adaptation.
Children who are happy tend to adapt better as well. They tend to look for happy things in life. Being with new friends, playing with teachers appeal to them. Again, though they miss mummy and home, they can be distracted with the excitement in the new environment.
On the other hand, if your child is an introvert, he/she may take a longer while to adjust to a new environment. He/She prefers home to any other environment, he/she likes familiarity.
Past experiences are one important factor too. Questions to ponder…
When you were separated from your child the last time, what was his/her reactions?
How did you respond to it?
Every experience the child goes through gets deposited into his/her memory bank. This in turn will affect his/her future encounters. If it is a school setting, my suggestion to parents is that DO NOT pull your child out from the school while he/she is still in the crying stage. Unless the school is deemed unfit. It is really natural for children to take 2 weeks to a month or so to get adjusted to any new environment.
Truth be told, the same goes for adults! It is just that we do not burst out crying anymore. We are able to contain our emotions within ourselves. Our coping mechanisms would have been built based on the above-mentioned two factors: our personality and past experiences.
Last but not least, parents’/caregivers’ emotions can affect child’s ability to handle his/her separation anxiety. I hear parents say these quite a bit… “I hide how I feel when I drop my child off”, “He/she doesn’t know that I am upset, I don’t show it”.
Children are great at sensing things, especially when they are younger. They are innately connected to parents or primary caregivers. It is advisable for parent to keep your emotions at bay. Drop your child off, say a good “Goodbye” and go get a cup of coffee. Do not linger around, peep… etc. When you do this, your child could feel you and this causes their emotional upheaval. To add on, other children in the class may be reminded about their parents and start crying again.
One of my friend, he sent his child to my preschool. His son cried for the entire month, at drop off and pick up times. During the first month, he was very anxious, without being aware of it. He would call, text or email me every day, including weekends. Finally, I sat him down with his wife, over coffee. We discussed about the child’s situation and agreed that he should cut down his frequency of call/text/email. The outcome? His son stopped crying.
Now, the big question… What should we do as parents?
Talk to your child about what to expect
Bring your child to the premise
Go through the timetable with your child
Let them know when are you going to pick them up
For example, “You are going to have story time, activities, snacks, activities, goodbye song. Then mummy will be there to pick you up!”
Say “goodbye” nicely
Hug your child, say “I love you”. It is very important for your child to know that you love them even if you send them to school
Say goodbye to your child (Even if they are wailing for you)
Pick up slightly earlier
Be the first few to pick your child up in the beginning
Allow your child to cry, it is an expression of how he/she feels
Reflect how they feel at that point in time and what are they doing/what they would like to do
For example, “You really miss mummy and you want to go home. And you want to go home now…”
Things to expect when your child is adjusting…
become more clingy at home
say that “I don’t to come to school” all the time
start to get apprehensive once child wakes up
R.. Pee in their pants etc.
It is really up to us to make every experience a good memory. Being mindful of all the above mentioned will ease the transition of our little ones into their new environment.
Ms. Joyce Lim has over 20 years of experience in the Early Childhood Education field and is a Certified Trainer in Parent Education and Teacher Training.
We will be having a Curriculum Day on 17th February (Friday) at 6pm. All current BibiNogs parents are encouraged to attend. Prospective parents are welcome too! Come join us to get to know our curriculum, learning goals and unique teaching approaches better! Refer to event details below.
Register your attendance through your respective centre (the centre that your child is enrolled in) by 13th February, seats are limited:
On December 3rd, BibiNogs held its Annual Charity Event. Every year, BibiNogs organises a charity event to give back to the community, locally or abroad. This year, we were pleased to be supporting the NUHS Fund – a fund set up by National University Hospital of Singapore to support children with severe medical conditions needing funds for medical treatment.
At the same event, there was a 45-minute parent workshop conducted by our Director, Ms Joyce Lim. Joyce has 20 years of experience in the Early Childhood field and is a certified trainer. The topic of the workshop was “Primary One Preparation: Raising Resilient Kids”.
Parents had a fruitful time attending the workshop and purchasing second-hand books (and directly contributing to NUHS Fund this way), while children had a wonderful time creating crafts and engaging in hands-on activities!
Parents attending a parent workshop on how to raise resilient children
Parents engaged in the parent workshop
Parents deeply involved in the discussions while attending the parent workshop
Our little K2 bookseller was hard at work. (Prior to the event, BibiNogs’ families and friends donated pre-loved and new books. The books were sold at the charity event and all proceeds go directly to NUHS Fund.)
Parents get to purchase interesting books while doing good for the community
The bookseller was kept busy the whole time!
Children created X’mas crafts
Parents and their children engaged in hands-on activities together
Teachers helped children with their hands-on activities
Home-cooked refreshments were prepared by our very own teachers!
On 16 November 2017, delegates from Russia, Kazakhstan and Serbia visited BibiNogs Preschool at King’s Arcade. The delegates’ goals were to: study BibiNogs’ best practices, understand our curriculum and pedagogy/teaching approaches, as well as to get to know the rich cultures and traditions that exist in Singapore. The delegates were educators, school leaders, business leaders as well as officials from government agencies.
The delegates observed our teachers and children in their classrooms. Our children engaged the delegates in activities as well as put up a performance for them. A lively and fruitful exchange then took place between the delegates and our Teachers, Principals and Directors. At the end of their visit, BibiNogs children presented the delegates with Batik art pieces that they created themselves!
Delegates observed teachers and children in action
Our Director Joyce made a presentation to introduce BibiNogs’ philosophy, curriculum and teaching approaches
A lively and productive exchange took place. We all learned alot about each others’ education systems and schools!
Our children created Batik art pieces that symbolise Singapore’s cultural heritage for the delegates . The delegates were thrilled to receive Batik art pieces as memorabilia from Singapore!
The delegates presented beautiful cultural gifts to BibiNogs. Thank you!
This was a very productive and heart-warming exchange for the adults and children alike!
From 30 November to 2 December, BibiNogs will be running a fun drama and multi-arts holiday programme for 3-6 year-olds (in English)! Unlike other speech & drama programmes, this workshop, titled ‘Tibby and Scaredy Snout’, teaches children important social and emotional skills (develop a strong sense of self, empathy and responsibility towards others etc), in addition to the confidence to express themselves. This workshop provides a multi-arts experience (Drama, Visual Arts, Music, Movement) while working on language and literacy development of children. Check out the details below, and enrol at email@example.com
Having repeated this phrase: “Sharing is having more” to my two older kids for almost half a decade, I stopped to ponder as I begin to appreciate the statement more. My extended version – “less” may mean more.
Have we had experiences of buying new toys for our children only to realize that after a week or so, or sometimes merely a few days, they got bored and asked for more? I was chatting with another mummy the other day, she said that her children are getting smarter and they are getting bored of their new toys faster.
Points to ponder:
have we created for children a sense of diminishing marginal utilities by introducing more new toys in a shorter span of time?
have we not given our children enough time to explore and re-explore their toys and materials?
are we too impatient to have them occupy their time quickly so that we could have our own time?
The above were my own reflections as a parent. I do not indulge my kids by buying new toys but they do get new supplies of toys after birthdays and Christmas celebrations. After a while, I stopped opening up the new boxes of toys. People who know me well would know that I love to have an organized space. To my pleasant surprise, my children started to innovate, re-purpose and re-create their existing pool of toys. Their play became engaging and extensive. They started to creatively use different toys like cars, Lego, dolls, kitchen toys to extend their play.
There will be days when they engage in opening “shops” to sell things or preparing interesting menus for “restaurants”. If not, the two of them would create different things with their Lego & playdough. The latter would sometimes be props for their other role-plays.
In the beginning stage, they may look bored. However, have patience. Soon after they get over their boredom, the “less” things they have would not work against them, but encourage them to create their own play experiences.
Thus, sharing is having more, “less” may mean more!
The benefits of having less would be:
spending less on toys
expanding your children’s capacity as they create using “less” toys
(if you have more than one child at home) teaching them to co-operate and share as they adapt to the circumstance of having “less”
learning to treasure the things they have
Ms Joyce Lim has over 20 years of experience in the Early Childhood Education field and is a Certified Trainer in Parent Education and Teacher Training.
Every year, BibiNogs organises a charity event to give back to the community, locally or abroad. This year, we are pleased to announce that we will be supporting the NUHS Fund – a fund set up by National University Hospital of Singapore to support children with severe medical conditions needing funds for medical treatment. In conjunction with the charity event, our Kindergarten will be opening its doors for new parents to visit. Come check us out and do some good on 3rd December!
How you can be a part of this:
1) Donate your children’s pre-loved books now (drop them off at any of our centres)!Then come to our Charity Drive and Open House on 3rd December, all the donated books will be sold there and all proceeds from the sale will go to NUHS Fund.
2) Attend a talk by our Director cum Certified Trainer, Ms Joyce Lim,who has 20 years of experience in the Early Childhood field. At the Charity Drive on 3rd December, Joyce will conduct a 45-min Parents’ Workshop on ‘Primary One Preparation: Raising Resilient Kids’. All proceeds from will go to NUHS Fund.
3) Visit our Kindergarten at King’s Arcade and get to know what makes BibiNogs so special! You will enjoy discounts off your term fee if you/your friend sign up for our Kindergarten/Drop-off programmes at the event!
See you on 3rd December! Sign up and RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org
One of BibiNogs’ goals is to groom children to be appreciative of global cultures.
Over Deepavali, the Festival of Lights, we not only celebrated the festival but immersed ourselves in a variety of cultural activities. The children discovered so much about the festival! More importantly, the fun and hands-on activities allowed them to understand more about the Indian culture.