Beginning preschool is exciting for some children and for others, it is an anxiety-filled and stressful event that they have no desire to do whatsoever. One of the biggest differences between the excited child and the one that fears this day is how prepared he or she feels about the event prior to its arrival. Preschoolers are still at that tender age when the most important people in their lives are their moms and dads. As parents, we can have a tremendous effect on how that first day of preschool goes. To help ensure that it is as successful as possible, follow these tips to prepare the child and get them off on the right foot.
*Take your young child to the school before the first day and walk them around, showing them their classroom, the office, the restrooms, and other places that they will be needing to be able to find. Strange places can be very frightening to little children, so giving them a chance to see and familiarize themselves with the place that they will soon be spending time, you are giving them a confidence that they wouldn’t otherwise have.
*Meet the teachers that will be regularly interacting with your child and take your preschooler to meet them, as well. This will give your child a chance to become comfortable in the presence of these people and it will also give you a chance to feel that same way. In addition, you can take some time to speak with the teachers and let them know anything that you are worried about or unique things about your child, which will help them to understand how to give your child the best chance at preschool success.
*Have an attitude of excitement yourself. Your preschooler will pick up on your attitude about this coming event in his or her life. While there is nothing wrong with letting your child know that you will miss them while they’re away at school, this can have a negative impact if you go overboard. The child may spend their day worrying about you, when he or she would otherwise be able to have carefree fun in preschool. There is a delicate balance with young children and they will pick up on cues from you about how they should be feeling and responding to their own first day of preschool.
*Accompany the child to that first day of preschool. Having you there to walk him or her into the classroom will help the child to feel confident and assured with this new experience. Introduce him or her to a couple of the other children in the class before you leave. Get them settled in, but then make your departure, assuring the child that you will be coming back to get them at the end of the school day.
*Get to preschool a bit early that first day. It will be nice for your son or daughter to be able to get organized and settled in without feeling that there is a terrible rush to do so. This will also give you and your child time to greet the teacher, meet the other students, and just take a deep breath for the upcoming day.
*Be available by phone throughout the entire first day. Assure your child that if anything goes wrong and that you are needed, you will be there. The child may be worried that he or she will get hurt or that something else will happen and you won’t be available to help him or her. These children are used to having you there when you are needed and the primary source of the fear and anxiety they have is often rooted in the feeling that they are being left completely alone. Not everything is going to be a need and the child should also understand that, but a real emergency is something that you will be available to attend to.
*Send your child to the first day of preschool with something that provides them with a sense of security. You won’t want to send them with a security blanket, as this will make them stand out in the crowd of kids in a potentially negative way. But, there may be something small that they can take with them from home, which will be inconspicuous to everyone else, except the child.
The first day of preschool can be very different experiences for different children. If you want your child to have the best first day possible for him or her, you can take steps that will help ensure that this happens. The above tips for giving your child the security and excitement about that first day will make it a special, once in a lifetime experience that you can both recall fondly for years to come.