From time to time at Inkpots, children come to holiday workshops not knowing anybody else, and our way of doing things is new to them too.
Over the years, I have developed a few strategies for settling new children in, especially those who are a little anxious. I have pulled some of these ideas together to help if your children are going to some new events this coming summer.
- Contact the workshop organiser in plenty of time and ask as many questions as possible. I have no problem at all with parents who want to know all about Inkpots – it means we can get all the wrinkles ironed out before the event. If the leader isn’t keen on answering your queries, maybe it’s a sign that the workshop isn’t for your family.
- Do share what your child is interested in; if I know which things a child likes, I can weave them into my planning, and that helps smooth out any bumps.
- If you haven’t been to the location before, you can have a look on Google Maps and then you can all see where you are going.
- Also try to find a photo of the event leader – so much easier to know who you are looking for!
- At larger events, it may also be worth sending a family photo may help the organiser too so that they know who to look out for.
- If you are travelling some distance to go to an event and your child is particularly anxious, you could combine it with visiting somewhere else too. This is just so it takes all the emphasis on what the child is doing.
- Make sure that all your child’s questions have been answered – for example, I am always happy to do a quick Skype or Facetime session to have a chat if it helps beforehand.
- It may also be helpful for your child to go with a friend too – and it’s always great to share the experience.
- Find out if your child really wants to be included in photographs. So many of us post pictures on social media as a matter of course. I always try to check with individual children how they are feeling about photos that day, but sometimes events take over. But it’s perfectly ok to say no!
- Do follow up how things went with the workshop or event leader – again, it always helps for future planning for me if I get feedback from parents. And it works the other way too, as you may pick up some ideas for the future too.
I hope that these ideas help – do share any tips and thoughts you have too.
These principles also apply to Inkpots Inc, our online club. If you are at all interested but have queries, just let me know. I really would be delighted to hear from you! http://inkpots.org/membership-join/