How to cope with a change in environment for a child?
Q: My daughter is 1 year 10 months old. She is healthy and quite matured than other children of her age. She is comfortable with rhymes and can say almost everything. She can identify animals, birds, fruits and flowers. Earlier we were staying in Kolkata and I used to work there. We have shifted to B’lore on the 5th April this year. I have left job for her. In Kolkata lots of relatives are there who used to give her attention almost although the day and in a way she got pampered a bit. She has become stubborn and adamant. Now we have given her to a play home which is very near by to our house. She stays there for 1 hour daily. But she keeps crying through out the span of her staying there. The teacher keeps saying not to give a break and to continue. She would adjust very soon when she will understand that she has no other option but to go there. Please advise whether we should continue or we are in the wrong track.
A:What a total change of environment for your little girl! From a world of loving aunts and cousins, speaking Bengali and playing with her, she has been shifted to a new place, where nobody understands her. Any surprise that she is in tears all the time at the play school? Even you must be having some difficulty adjusting to the new place. Your daughter, who is not even two years old must be missing the extended family and everything that goes with it. Make the change easier for her, by spending more time with her and talking about all her favourite people she has left behind. One hour at a play school could generally suit most children. It is not a reflection of any immaturity if she cries at the play centre; it is more like a protest at the unfairness of it! See if you can locate a Bengali speaking family in the neighbourhood, with whom she can spend a little time each day. Suggesting that there is no other option but this play school sounds too harsh an attitude. There are always other options. Maybe you could be around in the play centre for 15 minutes at the beginning and come back a bit early to pick her up. After a few days, the normal routine of one hour could be restored. If the place doesn't allow any flexibility, it is probably not the best option under the circumstances. I am not making a comment about the centre, only about your childs perception of it. It is good for your little girl to know many things (rhymes etc), but it is even more important for her to be happy. Do work on that aspect.