Sending your child to preschool is a very big deal. Your baby just isn’t a baby any longer, and it can be hard to realize that your child is growing up. Your young preschooler may be having just as hard a time as you about going to preschool. They may feel anxiety about going to a place where you aren’t going to be with them.
To help calm these feelings of anxiety and worry, it’s important for you to be strong about the situation and to save the tears. See below for some helpful tips to prepare your child (and you) for preschool.
Keep It Fun
Again, keep those tears at bay when talking about your child starting preschool. Your child may take one look at you crying and start to cry themselves. Instead, focus on the positive and fun experiences they will have. Tell your child all about the new friends they’ll make, the exciting games they’ll play and the new things they will get to learn. If you are talking about preschool in a fun manner, your child will follow suit.
Pick Out a New Backpack
Allow your child to pick out their own new backpack for preschool. Let them pick out whatever character or color backpack they prefer. Tell them that is the backpack they will use for school, and make a fuss about how big they look in their new backpack. You can also allow your child to pick out a lunch box as well.
Read Books About School
Read books with your child about going to school, such as “Llama Llama Misses Mama” by Anna Dewdney and “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn. Both are great reads for your little one going off to school. Begin to read these books and others about going to school to help prepare them for what is ahead. They can relate to the characters in the books that are also having anxiety about school but in the end love and enjoy school.
Take a School Tour
Take a tour of Kid’s Country Learning Center beforehand with your child so they can meet their teachers and see the classroom. Allow your child to play for a bit in the classroom (if possible) so they get used to their surroundings. Your child may feel less anxious when they know what to expect on their first day of preschool.
Meet Other Parents/Kids
Talk to the teacher at Kid’s Country Learning Center ahead of time about getting in touch with other parents whose children that will be going to the same preschool, and set up a play date or two before the school year begins.
Talk About the Day
Be sure to talk to your child about how the day will go, such as drop off and pick up. Assure your child that at the end of the day you will be there at the door waiting to pick them up.
Keep Goodbyes Short and Sweet
On the first day of school, be sure to keep your goodbyes short and sweet. Don’t linger too long, but don’t just drop your child off without saying goodbye either. Keep it short, tell them to have a great day, give a quick hug and kiss goodbye. Lingering too long may make your child want you to stay there longer or make it that much harder when you go to leave. Keep your goodbyes short, sweet and all your own.
Use these seven, simple tips to prepare your child ahead of time, help keep first-day jitters at bay and relieve any anxiety your child may be feeling.