One of the first church milestones for your child is when they begin to attend Nursery each week. The adjustment from being with Mom or Dad all the time can be tough for them and make the experience miserable for everyone. However, there are some things you can do to make the transition a little easier for all. Helping them achieve independence in attending their church class now will be something that will help set the tone for the rest of their Primary experience. Just remember to be consistent and to not give up.
Here are ten things you can do to help your child transition to Nursery:
1. Talk about Nursery during the week and let them know what they will be doing on Sunday. Emphasize how big they are now to be able to go to a class by themselves.
2. On Saturday remind them that tomorrow is church, and that you “GET” to go to your Nursery Class.
3. Sing basic Primary songs to your child, so that they hear something familiar from home when they attend their Nursery class.
4. When dropping them off let them know where you will be and reassure them that you will be back soon to pick them up when their class is over.
5. Try to take them to the potty if they are potty trained prior to coming to class.
6. Get them acquainted with the Nursery Leaders, outside of church. Maybe go to visit a Nursery Leader or have them come visit you on a different day of the week other than Sunday.
7. Let them know how happy and proud you are that they can go to their class by themselves.
8. Ask your child to share with you what they have learned and what they did in Nursery that day.
9. Remember, being left in a strange place can be difficult for little ones sometimes. They may need to adjust gradually. Let your Nursery Leaders know how you wish them to handle it when your child is wanting to leave or is upset and crying. They understand that you know your child best. They don’t wish to make this a negative or frightening experience for your child. Some children will settle down after a few minutes of crying and others won’t. Please let them know what works best for your child.
10. Be patient. Rome wasn't conquered in a day, and it may take some time for your child to become comfortable with Nursery. However, if they learn that you expect them to go to their class, and that it isn't a scary place, then they WILL make the adjustment.
One other thing to note--if your child is sick, please keep them home. They will not have a good experience if they aren't feeling well. And bringing a sick child to Nursery can make all of the other children, as well as the brave Nursery Leaders ill.