How To Prepare Your Child For Their First Day Of Preschool
Summer is quickly coming to an end. That means the first day of school will be here before you know it. For many parents, this is an exciting time, as they are able to get back into their normal routines. However, if you have a child who will be heading off to preschool for the first time, this may be an emotional time for you both. Keeping your emotions in check will help make the process a bit easier on your child. If they see how nervous or sad you are, they too may be nervous or sad. Here are a few more tips to help prepare your child for their first day of preschool.
Start Talking About Preschool At Least a Month Out
Preschool is not something you want to spring on your child. As such, you will want to start talking about preschool at least a month out. Start talking about what will happen at preschool, how it will be beneficial to them and how this is something that big kids do. Stay positive about preschool and be sure to introduce the topic when appropriate. This helps your child get it into their head that they will be going off to school and that this is something that is normal and exciting.
Go Shopping and Let Your Child Pick Special Items
Before school starts, take the time to take your child shopping. Allow them to pick out a backpack, school supplies and even an outfit to wear on their first day of school. Shopping for the items that they may need is a great way to get them excited about the process. If they select a backpack in their favorite color or with their favorite character, they may be excited about going to school and using that item.
Start Adjusting Your Child's Routine So it Aligns With the Preschool's Routine
When possible, get a schedule from the preschool as to how their normal day goes. Then try to shift your toddler's schedule slowly so that it aligns with that. This includes the time they will have to wake up in the morning, what time they have breakfast, lunch and snacks and even when nap time is. A change in routine can be hard on a child. Helping to minimize the number of changes occurring at once can make the transition easier on your child.
Talk to Your Child About Their Feelings and Act Accordingly
Lastly, take the time to talk to your child and ask them about their feelings. Some children will tell you that they are scared because they are going to be leaving you. Reassure them that you will be there to pick them up at the end of the day and that you will still have plenty of quality time together. Other children are scared because they are not sure if kids will like them. Remind them about how easily they make friends or of how exciting it is when they make new friends at the park. Books are a great resource for getting your child to talk about their feelings and to show them the feelings that they have are normal.
Sending your child off to preschool is a milestone for both of you. Preparing your child for preschool can help make the transition easier on both of you. Following these steps will help you prepare your child the best you can and prevent tears, anxiety and worry on the big day.