The beginning of preschool marks a big milestone in a child's life. For many kids, it's the first time they've ever been exposed to a school-like setting. In addition to a new environment, preschoolers also have to cope with schedule changes. It's a lot to take in, so it's understandable if your child is having trouble adjusting. Check out these tips to learn how you can make your child's transition into preschool a positive experience.
Talk About How Things Will Change
Before you child actually starts preschool, take the time to talk to him or her about the upcoming changes. When children know what to expect, they'll have an easier time transitioning into a new schedule and environment. Ideally, you want to be as transparent as you can when talking to your child about going to preschool. You can keep the conversation interesting and fun by:
- Choosing books and TV shows that center around going to school for the first time.
- Draw pictures or use coloring books with school themes to introduce the subject of going to school with your preschooler.
- Discuss what to expect on the first day of school, and all the fun activities that he or she will get to do while at school.
- Do activities at home with your child that are similar to those completed at preschool.
Take Things Slow
Often, children transition into different environments more easily if you transition them at a slower pace. Consider easing your child into preschool by only sending him or her to school two or three days per week for the first few weeks. Gradually increase the amount of time your child spends at preschool until he or she is completely comfortable staying at school all day, every day.
Keep Your Emotions in Check
When a child reaches a big milestone in his or her life, it often triggers an emotional response from the parents. However, you don't want your child to think that there's something wrong or scary about going to preschool. You need to keep your emotions in check. Consider starting a goodbye ritual with your preschooler to make saying goodbye at drop-off easier on your both. This can be anything you want it to be. You might give a high five or a pinky shake, or you may have a special type of hug. When you arrive at the school, complete your special goodbye ritual and leave immediately. Wait until you get to the car to let your emotions loose.
Making the transition from a toddler to a preschooler is a big step. It's going to take time for both of you to adjust to your new lifestyle. Keep in mind, kids are pretty resilient. It won't take long for your child to become accustomed to going to school, and chances are he or she will even look forward to it. For more advice, talk to educators like Advantage Learning Center.