Starting preschool can elicit mixed feelings of excitement and anxiety for your child. The first day is almost always the hardest, but your child may feel nervous about school for up to a few weeks or longer. As a parent, you will want to do all you can to help ease things for your child and make the transition smoother. Here are some great tips for doing just that.
1. Have a Morning Routine
In the face of new happenings and changes, kids feel most secure when there is a routine. Starting a preschool program is no different, and your child will be happy to have a morning routine. Even before your child gets used to the routine, let them know what to expect. Create a chart with pictures outlining the various steps of what will become your morning routine. You can speak with your child about it before jumping into it.
2. Stay Awhile
Your child's preschool may allow you to stay for a little while after drop-off. Find out how long you can stay and whether you will be allowed in the classroom. Indeed, seeing a familiar face during those early days will greatly help to calm your child's nerves. Do this for as long as the preschool will allow it or until your child becomes comfortable enough to not need you there.
3. Make the Goodbyes Count
Goodbyes can be incredibly stressful for your preschooler, so you should do your best to make these goodbyes very gentle. If you are staying a little while with your child, let them know how long you will wait, so they aren't too surprised when you tell them you have to leave. Also, make a routine out of it. It can be a special handshake or hug before the final wave. Ensure your preschooler is paying attention when you are saying your goodbye, especially if you are, for example, waving from the window.
4. Celebrate All Achievements
Continually build your preschooler's confidence by celebrating all their achievements. Even starting the preschool program is, in itself, an achievement worth celebrating. At the end of each day, review what your child learned and did in school and celebrate them. Also, communicate with the preschool teachers and keep tabs on your child's progress and all the milestones they achieve.
It will take a while before your child gets used to going to preschool and settling in the new environment. Make these first early days and weeks easier with the outlined tips.
Contact a local preschool, such as Royal Academy, to learn more.