Message from the Executive Director

Perspectivei33j "Supporting a New StepcThe Role of Supporters and Guardians"

@Back-to-school season has arrived, which also includes daycare centers. Entering an unknown environment such as a kindergarten, daycare center, or school is exciting and uneasy for both children and guardians. Letfs think about what kind of care is especially required by guardians and staff for a child who makes that first step.
@Guardians hope for their child to adapt to a new group without difficulty, and help prepare their child to eat, go to the toilet, and change their clothes by themselves, listen to the teacher, and sit properly on a chair before entering a daycare center or school. If this doesnft go well, guardians become worried about whether their child can get by in school. If the school requests for the child to learn the above-mentioned things to some extent before their arrival, the guardiansf impatience and burden will increase.

@ Whether or not the guardians communicate this attitude to the child, a great deal of problems in the carefully fostered relationship will arise. The guardians focus on what their child canft do, and form a strict view of what their child should be made to do. As a result, the child receives the negative message from the guardian whom they trust that their current self is not enough. The bond between the parent and child will change and their self-esteem will be damaged. And the indications of this will appear. For example, crankiness at small things, not listening, shielding away from adults, failing to toilet, and regressing to childish behaviors. Some children insist, gI donft want to go to the X center.h If considered objectively, these symptoms could be considered a phenomenon brought about by adultsf frustration and changes in attitude, but guardians who are at the center have difficulty realizing this. They even act in ways that add to their childfs anxiety, saying gYou can do this, canft you?h, gYou canft go to X if you act like that.h, etc.

@It is necessary for the guardian and staff member to cooperate with each other for the child to get used to a new environment. It is ideal for staff to have a humble attitude towards guardians, asking them about their child in order to work together.

@Some guardians donft talk about their worries because they donft want to be thought of as overprotective or annoying. Some tend to make one-sided demands, saying gPlease do this.h or gPlease donft do that.h because they are so worried. Staff shouldnft criticize these as impossible demands. They should understand and listen to guardiansf worries and anxieties which are reasonable, because they have to send their precious child into an unknown world.

@And it is important for guardians to accurately inform staff about their childfs history and current condition, and directly communicate their difficulties and anxieties for the future so that the staff can understand the child better. If we can provide support based on mutual understanding, both the staff and guardians can feel comfortable.
@cChildren observe the relationships among adults. They feel most reassured if their guardian and staff build proper communication and show understanding and care. That will make it possible for a child to take a new step with confidence.


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