It is highly possible that you’re having difficulty coping with your child’s impending first day of preschool. However, taking the steps to prepare them for their first day can go a long way toward preventing issues and ensuring the most positive experience for both you and your child. The right preparation is key in ensuring that your child gets the best head start for their preschool education. Here are a few of the best tips for preparing your child for their first day of preschool.
Sort through your Own Emotions
Mixed feelings are incredibly common in parents when their children get to the age where they are preparing for preschool. It is common for you to feel sad, excited, proud, and any other mix of emotions. Children pick up on your emotions. If you are anxious about your child attending preschool on their first day, they will pick up on this and will start their day with anxiety. When you take the time to sort through your own emotions regarding their attendance at preschool, you will be able to provide a calm front on their first day. This will ensure that they start the day being similarly calm. By sorting through your own emotions, you reduce the chances of causing your child to be anxious on their first day of preschool.
Visit the Preschool Together
Before their first day of preschool, you will likely want to visit the preschool together. This helps to ensure that they are able to become familiar with the environment with your comforting presence. When they are more familiar with the environment, it will be more comfortable for them after you leave on their first day of preschool. By visiting the preschool together, you can help to ease them into the idea of being there without you. This may also help them to get to know the teachers or other students before they attend preschool, which can also help to ensure a much more comfortable environment.
Start the Day Early
The last thing you want is to be rushing through the morning routine on their first day of preschool. This can cause them to easily become overwhelmed and anxious. You should also attempt to be there early on their first day. This helps to ensure that you can spend ample time on a goodbye, without hovering. You don’t want to rush the goodbye on the first day, because this can simply exacerbate your child’s anxiety about their first day at preschool. Starting the day early can help to get them off on the right foot on that day.
Send a Comfort Object
Comfort objects can include anything familiar that reminds them of home. This will help them to comfort themselves when they start to miss being at home. Family photos are often fairly easy to send along with them to help remind them of home. Other options include familiar blankets, clothes that smell like you, or other potentially comforting objects. These can go a long way toward improving their first day at preschool.
Start a Morning Routine
Routine is incredibly important for children. It is crucial to ensure that you get them on a routine before their first day at preschool. You likely want to start working on the routine approximately a week prior to their first day. Implement regular bedtimes and waking up times. Follow the same steps every morning to get them ready for the day. You will want to use this exact same morning routine on their first day of preschool. This will help to start them on a familiar path before their routine is changed by preschool, which should reduce their overall anxiety at the school.
Give them some Control
Provide your children with as much control as possible regarding the situation to help reduce stress and increase their excitement. Allow them to pick out their own school supplies, such as a backpack or lunchbox. They will likely feel like they have little control over the situation when they begin to attend preschool. By allowing them to choose out these small things, they will be more excited and less stressed out about school.
Mimic Preschool’s Rules and Routines
When you start to regulate your child’s regular routine, you will want to try and get them on a schedule as close to the preschool’s as possible. Consult with the preschool and learn about their routine. This will help you to add these rules and routines into your child’s daily life. For example, if the preschool has their normal naptime at noon, but you have your naptime around 2, you will want to start easing the naptime closer to that of the preschool. The same thing should apply to their meal or snack times, various activities, and more. This will help to ease them into their new routine at preschool.
Don’t Sneak Out
Many parents are tempted to sneak out on the first day in order to avoid the possibility of hysterics. However, this can actually be detrimental to your child’s well-being. When you sneak out, the child doesn’t know what to expect about when you’ll be back or anything else. This often exacerbates any separation anxiety that they may have. However, you also shouldn’t hover excessively during your goodbyes. Keep the goodbye short and sweet but be sure that you don’t sneak out and that your child knows when you will be back.
Taking the steps to prepare your child for preschool will go a long way toward ensuring a far more positive experience. When you take these steps, your child will be better equipped to have a positive initial experience at preschool. To learn more about what to expect on the first day of preschool or how to help your child prepare for preschool, contact our team at Corner Canyon Academy today!