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I’m re-entering the workforce. How can I prepare my 3-year-old?

Communicate in a positive manner, on your child’s level, that you are going to go to work and be gone during the day. Let your child know you will be together in the evenings.

Take the child to the daycare or babysitter you will be using, and let him or her interact with the caretakers and other children. Any way that you can slowly assimilate the child into the new pattern is helpful. If you do not have a job yet, it would be beneficial to put the child in daycare part time. This will make the transition to full time easier.

Children at this age prefer and feel safer with a regular routine. Set a bedtime that allows the child to get full rest but wake up earlier. The morning schedule should mimic what will be needed when you begin to work.

Spend time playing with your child in the late afternoon or evening. Clear your mind of the day and all that you have to get accomplished and just be together. By doing this your child will know what to expect when you go back to work and can look forward to having individual time with you.

— Pat Barrett, Ph.D., is a psychologist and child therapist with EMERGE Ministries in Akron, Ohio.

To submit a question to Q&A, e-mail tpe@ag.org. Only questions chosen for publication can be answered.

Answers provided in Q&A are the opinions of the columnists and are not official representations of the position of the Assemblies of God or Today’s Pentecostal Evangel.

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