Kids’ Clubs are the perfect solution for family holidays with little ones; they allow parents to have a bit of a break and give children the chance to have some fun and make new friends!
However, dropping your child off at a Kids’ Club can cause the same kind of separation anxiety that’s brought on by leaving children at nursery, especially if your child isn’t used to be being apart from you or you’re in new and unfamiliar surroundings. So what can you do to ease the situation?
Visit the Kids’ Club Beforehand
If you or your child are feeling a bit nervous about the Kids’ Club, go and check it out in advance. You can show your little one that there are lots of new toys and fun activities going on, helping them to feel excited, plus it’ll give you a chance to chat to the staff and put your mind at rest.
If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your child at the club, then don’t. Trust your instincts!
At Tots we’ve personally visited each location on our site so we know the Kids’ Clubs we recommend are up to scratch. If you’re particularly nervous about leaving your child in a Kids’ Club we’d suggest staying at Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection which has a UK Ofsted standard Kids’ Club or at Mousses or Periyali resorts, both of which have first-class childcare centres with English-speaking nannies.
There’s no point dropping your child off at a Kids’ Club so you can have some time to relax yourself, but then constantly worrying about your tot whilst they’re gone. Make sure any questions or concerns you may have are addressed with childcare staff before you leave and then go and relax- your child will be having a wonderful time making new friends and having fun!
See The Silver Lining
If your little one sobs and screams when you drop them off, don’t feel upset or embarrassed. Even if they’re used to toddling off on their own at nursery, a whole new environment can really throw little ones, especially when it means leaving their number one ally- you!
You should feel pleased that your little one is so devoted to staying with you- but be firm and positive in your approach and encourage them to get stuck in with playing, as they’ll be having plenty of fun before long!
On the other hand, if all the other children are sobbing away but yours happily wanders off without so much as a backward glance, it doesn’t mean your child is any less bonded with you. Just enjoy and encourage their enthusiasm for having some independent fun!
It’s important that your little one views their trip to the Kids’ Club as a treat- you want them to feel excited about visiting!
If you get stressed or upset when dropping your child off at a Kids’ Club, your little one will suspect something is amiss and get upset as well. Try and be upbeat and positive- your child is going to have the best day, full of fun.
Let Them Bring A Comforter
When you go on holiday, there is a lot for your child to take in. New sights, smells, tastes…it can be overwhelming!
If your child has a special comforter that makes them feel safe, whether it’s a blanket, toy or something else, then allow them to bring it to the Kids’ Club. It’ll help them feel close to you once you’ve left, and offers them that little portion of normality whilst there’s so much going on around them.
Choose the best method of departure
My personal preferred method of leaving my kids at a club is to tell them it’s going to happen in advance. Before and during your holiday talk about how cool the club is, all the new toys and things they’ll do, the new friends they’ll make- when the time comes around to drop them off, they’ll be raring to go!
It’s probably not the ideal approach if your child is very anxious or a bit of a worrier however- if they’re old enough to know an impending separation is coming, they might start to work themselves up or get stressed.
The Sneak Off
I’m really not a fan of this one. This involves letting your child start playing and getting involved with activities whilst you watch, then sneaking off once you can see they’re settled.
Some parents say that this has really worked for them, but the issue I have with it is that it breaks your child’s trust- if they’ve noticed you’ve snuck off they can feel stressed and abandoned, wondering if you’ll even return! This can cause clinginess for future separation and can spoil the rest of their session, so I wouldn’t recommend.
Another approach is on the day, just casually mention to your little one that they’ll be going off to meet some new friends and play with some toys later. This way they have a little pre-warning, so they’ve got less time to feel anxious about it, plus it’s a good way of making it seem like a special treat.
Find our full collection of holidays with kids’ clubs
What do you find works for your children? Have you got any other tips and advice for holidaying mums? Let us know!
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