Preparing For A New Class

Transitions from one class to another (especially from Jump Two to independent Jump Three) can be a huge change for your average little person. Here are some tips to help ease the way... • Believe in your child. Children are amazingly resilient. In our experience, we often see that children can handle far more than their parents give them credit for. Sometimes new situations are scary and overwhelming - these emotions are healthy and normal. Help your child label these feelings and remind them that you believe that they can handle themselves. For example, "I really see you are feeling scared and shy today. We all feel scared and shy sometimes. I know when you are ready you will join right in and try your best. The coaches and I are here to help when you feel ready.".

Respect your child as the individual that he/she is. Every child is different. Some approach new situations with confidence and enthusiasm and others take time to warm up. Respect how your child responds to new situations and give them the tools THEY need to thrive. Eager children may need a gentle reminder to stop and listen to rules and expectations. Shy children may need your patience and understanding.

• Jump coaches will always introduce themselves but kids often have a hard time remembering names in new situations - tell them the name of their coach beforehand, introduce them to their coach on the first day, and always use the coach's name when talking about the class. Repetition brings comfort!

Talk to your child about a new class beforehand: "You'll get to go into the gym with Coach _____and the kids. Moms and dads will stay outside the gate. You will start the class with circle time and then you'll do circuits just the same as always. Coach _____will be there to help you."

• The hardest part of a new class is often leaving for the first time, or even first several times. Some children might need you to join in for circle time while others will quite happily give you a high five at the gate and never look back.

  1. Instead of asking permission- give choices. Instead of "Do you want me to stay" or "Is it ok if I go now", try "Would you like me to join you for circle time or watch from the lounge?", "Would you like me to leave now or after circle time?".
  2. Do what you say you'll do - Saying you'll go and then staying might seem comforting at the time but long term it creates uncertainty "Are they really going to go/stay this time or not". Certainty helps your child feel comfortable. If you are uncertain that you'll be able to leave the first time then use "watching from the lounge" as the second choice.
  3. No Sneaky Escape - They might not notice you leave, but they will notice your absence. Again, certainty breeds confidence!
  4. Avoid ultimatums and threats - as tempting as they are they rarely (dare I say never!) work. Saying something like "If you don't join in we are leaving and going home!" always ends badly. Children feel trapped and want to join a new class even less.
  5. Be Patient - joining a new class might take a little while, it will come faster if they don't pick up on your frustration.

Use your coach as a resource. We are here to support you and your child through any transition they may face. Ask us questions... or tell us your plan so we can be part of it. We want your child to feel comfortable and shine in every class!