We all know of many benefits of a preschool education but starting a preschool could be a very emotional experience for both parties: parents as well as a child, therefore it is very important to be prepared.
First of all look back and remember how you chose the preschool for your child in the first place: you probably did an extensive research considering all the important factors such as safe environment, philosophy, program and curriculum, professionalism of the staff members. It is safe to assume that you have already put a lot of thought into this matter and decided that this is a place you would want your child to be. If you have some new questions and doubts please call the school and get all the information you need.
Before the school starts talk to your child about it, remember together the journey that brought you here, use pretend play to explore the idea of preschool and read books about it.
Try to practice self reliance skills together and adjust your child's schedule to the school's day for a smoother transition. Take some time off work to be there for your child during the first two weeks and most of all don't forget how wonderful and exciting this experience could be for both of you!
Calmly enter the room together and reintroduce the teacher to your child, then step back and allow the teacher to start building relationship with your child. Your support and trust of the teacher will reassure your child that he or she will be happy and safe.
If your child refuses to participate and clings to you, don't get upset because it may upset the child even more. Stay calm and always say a loving goodbye to your child, but once you do it, leave right away. Never sneak out! Leaving without saying goodbye might make your child feel abandoned and a prolonged farewell might give a sense that the school is a bad place.
A consistent and predictable parting will make the leaving easier. You can choose to wave goodbye from a certain outside window, read a book or choose a short game or activity together before you leave. Think of some comfort objects your child might need in the beginning like a favorite blanket, a toy or a family picture and bring them to school.
Whether your child is eager or reluctant to start the school make sure you talk to the teacher and let her know everything that might help your child. Don't forget teachers have many years of experience helping families to make this transition so don't run back to the rescue if your child is upset because it will only prolong his or her distress. Instead wait outside for a little while and call the school to make sure everything is ok.
Have a wonderful beginning to your school year!