An often unavoidable step in the lives of parents as well as babies, integrating an adopted child into daycare requires certain measures and precautions.
Integration to daycare can be perceived as a source of stress and a form of abandonment on both sides. It is certain that many children find it difficult to pass between the comfort and daily routine of home with mom and/or dad and life at daycare where they find themselves surrounded by other children they do not know, in an environment they don't know either, supervised by someone they don't yet trust. The majority of daycare educators agree that gradual integration often greatly facilitates integration into daycare.
A few precautions
In the case of adopted children, certain measures and precautions often impose themselves. Having already experienced a tragic abandonment during which they saw themselves cut off from all ties with their biological mother and father, a sudden and cruel disappearance of the most significant people in their short life, these children often carry within them a gaping wound.. It is obvious that the later the child is abandoned in life andthe more time he spends in an orphanage, the greater the reactions to a gesture experienced as a “second abandonment” are likely to be. What is important to make sure is that the child does not interpret his arrival in daycare as well as the departure of his parent as a return to an orphanage. Let's put ourselves in his shoes: the last time his original parent took him to another house with other people, he never came back… The image of a few adults taking care of a lot of children at the same time also brings up memories of an orphanage in his head. Adopted children therefore easily tend to be insecure and anxious for this and other reasons.
It is therefore recommended to make a smooth transition between the routine of home and daycare. During the first few days, make occasional visits to daycare with the child at different times of the day. Allow the child to observe, by your side, the arrival of the children at the daycare and their departure at the end of the day. He will then understand that the children do not stay there, do not sleep there and that everyone returns home in the evening.
Marie-Félix, 10 months
Thereafter, for one to three weeks, promote gradual integration without the presence of the parent, starting with one or two hours and then gradually increasing to half a day. Maintain the half-day rhythm for a few more weeks then, if all goes well,add periods for lunch, naps, etc. until joining full time. Before leaving home as well as on your return, it is strongly recommended to give a lot of affection to the child: rocking him, kissing him, cuddling him… a good dose of affection that will do a lot of good, both both child and parent.
Some parents have already told me that they had had difficulties with daycare centers who found it "too complicated" and that gradual integration over such a long period was disturbing. We will always find this very sad, because with each change of custody environment, everything has to be started over. The big loser in this situation will always remain the child, this little being who is vulnerable to change. For my part, I am fortunate to have a childcare environment that is very open to gradual long-term integration. It was even the person in charge of the daycare who offered me, even before I spoke to her, to come and spend a few hours, for a few days at the daycare, with my daughter, in order to secure her. I spoke to her about the integration protocol and she is completely open and collaborative. It's so precious!! I can't thank him enough!
Some people may say that this form of integration is too slow, will make the child fearful and will not promote the development of their autonomy. However, we must really take into account the fragility of adopted children. It is not uncommon to be called a mother hen or father hen in this kind of situation. The important thing, I cannot say this enough, is to put the needs of your child above all else and all judgement.
Chantal Massicotte, adoptive mother
In addition to being the mother of a little girl of Vietnamese origin, I am a social work technician specializing in employability and social reintegration. I am also a "godmother" in international adoption, a function by which I am led to help, support and advise the future parents who are recommended to me in all stages of their project for the Bas-Saint-Laurent region. You can also follow my journey on my blog.