As a parent, it is quite nerve-racking to see your toddler leaving the cozy corners of the house to face the real world, starting preschool. Preschools are believed to be the foundation for a successful future in school. While this may be a chance for them to make new friends, learn newer skills, and up their interpersonal competence, it would need mental preparedness for the family.
Start with offering your child a mix of indoor and outdoor games, playful experiences and some quieter ones, among others to make them familiar with the new environment they are stepping in. Telling your child a few days before about what’s in store for them is the best way to prep them up. This preparation strategy from the beginning would help to cope up for the first day at the preschool. Find Nearby Preschools.
It may be emotionally and physically straining for you to first, accept that your child will now leave you to join their preschool, and second, to make their first few days of joining better. So how will you, as parents, be able to make that possible? BestOfSchools jots down some do’s and don’ts to ensure a great beginning!
1. Acquaint your child with activities that may take place in the classroom
When it is almost time for you to send your toddler to preschool, gradually introduce them to activities that may often take place there. So, if they are acquainted to play join-the-dots or scribble with crayons and paper at home, they might find it comforting to discover them at the preschool.
2. Prepare your toddler and yourself for the big day
‘Fret not, it’s just a few hours before you will see your toddler running up to you!’ Before preparing your kid to attend preschool, ensure that you, as a parent, are prepared to let them go. If you are sure about the preschool, its curriculum, and other activities it offers, then you must know your child is in safe hands. Once you are mentally prepared, talk to your child and assure them that they will have a great time at the preschool making new friends.
3. Acknowledge their feelings about the first day at preschool
It is not going to be a rosy picture on the first day; chances are your little one might be scared and worried or may be dealing with separation anxiety. Do not go on thinking it is silly on their part; rather motivate them. Tell them that it is okay to feel scared and remind them of all the fun that is in store for them and that you will be around when the class ends.
4. Give your child an outline of what a preschool will be like
You can grab a child’s attention through visuals more than anything. First, show them pictures of the preschool; make them understand that there is a new fun place other than their home. If need be, make them meet the new teacher and the support staff before the preschool begins to help your toddler adjust to the new environment on the very first day.
5. Tell about the fun activities your child could indulge in while at the preschool
Most preschools organize activities that revolve around developing skills of the attendees. Intimate them about all the fun learning in store for them, which may include events, games, and various other activities along with new friends that they will acquaint with during their preschool learning.
6. Add to your child’s inquisitive nature; tell them about the rhythm of the day
Weave a fun story around how their day would look like in the preschool; starting from morning to when they leave for home. While making this an exciting tell-a-tale, don’t forget to mention all important facts like how your toddler will travel every day and how they should conduct themselves while at school.
7. Tell them about how to flag their needs at the preschool
As parents, you might know what your child may need; but you cannot expect the same from the staff at preschool. In that case, it is best to make them learn a few ways to voice their needs; it can range from signaling hunger, to wanting to go to the washroom, or getting hurt while playing.
8. Teach them basic yet most important rule before beginning to attend preschool
Don’t forget to mention keeping away from strangers, or even familiar people offering candies, or chocolates outside the preschool. Make them wary of the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ touch just to ensure your toddler is safe.
9. Label all the belongings your child will carry to the preschool
While identity cards are must, you should also label your toddler’s belongings, be it their shoes, sweater, water bottle or tiffin. It is to ensure that if they lose anything at school, you will be able to identify them easily.
10. Inform the preschool staff about any allergies or a health condition of your child
Entrust your child’s health to staff; but prior to that, make sure you have made them aware of the health conditions or allergies they may have to avoid any medical contingency.
11. Have faith in the preschool staff
It is of utmost importance to have faith in the support staff and teachers who are experienced in managing several kids of their age. It is always best to speak to them from time to time and acknowledge your concerns regarding your little one. Appreciate them for the hard work they put into developing your child’s interpersonal skills and ensuring holistic growth.
1. Stop telling them you will always be there when they’d need you
It is quite easy to manipulate kids into telling them that you’d be there every time they’ll need you. Do not promise them things that you wouldn’t be able to fulfil, leading them to become fussy and cranky. Make them understand that they need to be on their own till the classes are over.
2. Do not pass your anxiety to the child
You are letting your baby step out for the first time; you are bound to be anxious and worried. But that doesn’t mean you spill your concerns out in front of the toddler, which will only discourage them from going to the preschool.
3. Are you a helicopter parent? Do not be one
Helicopter parents are the ones who are overprotective about their child and try to keep a track of every knick-knack of their life. Being worried is different, but to constantly butt into what is going on at the preschool is a big no-no. Keep yourself busy and when the time comes, pick your child and ask about their day. You don’t want your kid to be habitual of you being around, do you?
4. Do not tell the teacher their job
Teachers and staff know their job well. Avoid questioning their way of teaching and disrespecting their position. Instead, you could give them a constructive feedback that helps them decide what could be done in the future.
5. Don’t hang around in the preschool
Once you see off your little one, make sure you do not keep going back to reassure they are okay. This will bother the staff and make it difficult for the kid to leave you. While some preschools may allow guardians/parents to stay back with the kid for the first few days to make them comfortable, it is best to ensure the little ones are not habituated with this routine.
Sure, it isn’t a cake-walk to see your toddler leaving for preschool, but you have to be strong and keep these points in mind to make it easy for you the parent.