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WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SPECIFICALLY FOCUS ON THE TRANSITION OF CULTURES?

INTERCULTURAL EXPERIENCES AND HOW THEY CAN LEAD TO PARENT-EDUCATOR PARTNERSHIP CHALLENGES

This process is a two-way street so giving the family an information package telling them about the kindergarten including: settling in guidelines, language policy, daily schedules, information on the parent educator association.

You can also include information about local transport, local health centers and emergency numbers. This would give the family a feeling of being welcomed and that you care about the whole family unit. Within the acclimation, the caregiver’s role is to portray the “safe haven” for the child. Additionally, the parents can help the child settle into the new environment better if they themselves have confidence in the kindergarten and have discussed the settling in process with the staff.

As shown by the case study, an unfamiliar environment enhanced by an unknown culture and language can lead to distress, disorientation and unpleasant feelings that a child usually cannot self-regulate nor verbalize in a way that guarantees appropriate support. However, aside from verbal encouragement, it is the more subtle signs a child will pick up on that decide how fast or smooth the transition to this unknown environment can progress. By involving parents in a way that acknowledges existing differences, they receive the necessary support to function as a bridge between the well-known and the unknown. Prior to the first kindergarten visit, the child will likely never before have experienced this volume level nor have been exposure to this number of other children. It is possible that the approach and the concept that existed in the home kindergarten were also very different. 

The fear that triggers the unknown can be eliminated by careful and sensitive regulation in the form of physical attention given by the caregiver. This gives the child the ability to explore in peace, which is the basis for getting to know the new environment and build a relationship with the people and children there. Even in this situation the potential for distress is present. Physical attention, soothing, simply the way a human body can be touched by another person differs between cultures. For the child, this is a very influential transition to an unknown system. Often adults have the idea that little children, as they cannot fully verbalize their experience and reflect on it accurately, do not notice this transition or find it very easy to adapt.