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Settling


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I Have had a terrible day settling new children, again - there must be a better way!!! Does anyone else experience parents doing a runner? I have parents that try to drop there children through the door and run off on their first day. I have parents who I have spoken to first thing in the morning and say to them, "You may be able to step out at 9.30 and leave your children for half an hour", who then run out the door at 9.30 with out saying good bye to me or the child leaving the child in tears. I have parents that I ask to step out of the room for 5 mins that don't come back for 2 hours. I hate settling. I need help, what am I doing wrong??? How do you all go about settling?

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Poor you. Sounds like you've had a difficult day. And when children get off to a bad start it takes so long to build their confidence and trust in you doesn't it? We have had a few problems settling children but I think our parents are more supportive than yours sound. We usually suggest parents to plan to stay for the first session (especially if we don't know the family or the children), and then they can be pleasantly surprised if we are able to suggest they leave later in the session.

 

Have you any written information that you give to parents before the children start wher you can suggest different approaches, and ask parents how they think it would be best to settle their children. Sometimes I think parents don't always take time to think about the process and prepare for it, and just expect their child to cope.

 

Hope next week is better for you

Carolyn

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Ho Oli

I don't think yopu are doing anything wrong. It is difficult when parents won't stay when a child is upset. I sometimes think they feel inadequate or in the way if they stay. As you have done we ask them to stay for a while, just to leave them for half an hour, to sit in the entrance way etc. And, fortunately most of them do. But we have had some parents who have left a very distressed child and then have been impossible to contact during the morning.

I would suggest that you emphasise the fact that they should say goodbye to their child-it is so distressing for them if they don't. And all you can do is keep telling them what your policy is. It can also be very disruptive for the other children so perhaps if you tell them this it might help.

Good luck.

Linda

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Oli, we have an induction day at the start of a term when there are more than about 10 children due to start. This is when we tell the parents that on their first session they are expected to stay, afterall, the staff are complete strangers to the children. This is an unwritten (soon to be written) rule. All parents comply with this, we also tell them they must say good bye and sometimes within the childs hearing ask them to go to the shop for us because we need the bread for snack time. At least we then have a definite reason to tell little charlie of where mom is and when they'll be back. If there is an easy way to settle them I promise to tell, but having parents on side is better. We find granny's are the worst for hanging around and causing insecurity. :D

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I invite and recommend parents to come into the session 2 weeks before their child attends by themselves. I always tell parents that I feel it unfair to leave their child with some one that they don't know because we tell children not to speak to strangers,!!!!

This also gives parents time to digest all the paperwork and gives the child time to become familiar with the session. They are expected to come between 9.30 and 10.45. Parents accept this but if they are unable to attend before-hand they are still invited to stay untill their child is happy.

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Thanks for your support. I'm sure that by Monday I will have recharged my enthusiasm! I am a new Fs co-ordinator and there was nothing in place when I took the position. I have just written a breif settling booklet for parent this evening in response to my terrible week.

 

I am finding that my Bengali parents seem to not want to co-operate (the most) with their childs settling process.

 

Thanks again for your support

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HA... we've got a Sri Lankan family just started, Dad sits out of sight so child can get used to us, but he falls asleep, dad does, sitting in a chair leaning against the wall. We havent the heart to wake him, but he's in the path of the toilets and we really try to be quiet, but I have seen him jump once or twice when there is a particular crash. Just hope child settles quickly my nerves cant stand it. :(xD:o:D

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We do all the right induction stuff (apart from the sleeping father!).

 

We have "open house" for parents first thing every morning (while sharing takes place).

 

Settling children is a significant role for early years workers. We all know, by instinct, and by training, what to to. We always give tender, loving support. Sometimes we decide to "attach" an unsettled child to an adult, or to a child who who like to be supportive. Or we do a bit of each. Or, another school of thought .... let the child be, and join in as and when they want to. I've never known a child that hasn't settled pretty quickly. What I have known ... and I bet we all have ... is .... settled child suddenly becomes unsettled! My own did. This is harder to deal with than the "new one". It relies on complete setting undertanding of the child's development, background, recent events. Settings with effective keyworkers should have no problems over this!

 

 

Diane

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We had a written guideline that was given to parents on enrolment: you will stay with your child on their first day until 11pm at which point they go home. If you don't stay your child can't start. After that children did upto 11 for the first week and then staggered after that to take in dinner time. They were all full time so we had to really make it a step at a time. No one ever tried to leave secretly I have to say but some did try to say they couldn't stay and we would make them come back the next day. Very strict!

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