Do you remember starting preschool? Maybe, maybe not. Do you remember the first time that you were really nervous about starting a new school year? Sure you do. The anxiety is sometimes and unfortunately the most memorable part. There is something about nerves that imprints upon your psyche. For a little one starting preschool, there can be a lot of nerves. In many cases, the first day of preschool is the first time that your little one has been under the supervision of a stranger. This can create separation anxiety.
It can be hard for parents too. Your child’s nerves can induce nerves in you, the parent. You may worry about whether your little one will have separation anxiety, creating a circle of jitters that can be hard to break once started. To help both you and your child deal with the big day, here are some tips for starting preschool.
Get to Know Your Preschool Teacher/Provider
Even a little bit of knowledge can help to calm your nerves. This is why it is so important to get to know who is going to be taking care of your children. Make sure you thoroughly research the child care facility your child will be attending. Get to know the staff and ask about their history and training. Most childcare professionals are naturally approachable and would be happy to open up to you. You will be surprised how this can help reduce your concerns.
Now that you are reasonably calm, you can better help your child negotiate any nerves that might come up.
Arrange a Play date
To help make the first day more familiar for your child, arrange a play date for your child and another child in the classroom. Even better, enroll your child in a preschool program one of their friends attends.
For children, the play date exposes them to new children from their class and makes the first day a little more familiar because they already have a buddy –or even a group of buddies- in the class now. This can cut down on the separation anxiety.
Make the whole process fun
Take your child shopping for school supplies and let them pick out a new backpack and their favorite school supplies. While shopping, you can talk to your little one about your first preschool experience and all the fun things they can expect to learn and experience.
Don’t make goodbye too long
This one can be really hard, especially if your little one is upset and bawling as you try to leave on the first day. Your natural instinct is to comfort them. Definitely do this, but don’t drag it out too long. Most children who have fits of tears snap out of it when their parents actually leave. If you stick around too long, you are reinforcing the idea that separation anxiety will only be alleviated by your presence, when the opposite should be the case. And a good childcare provider knows exactly how to get children to calm down by directing their attention to something else.
Starting Preschool at Toddler Town Chicago
Starting preschool doesn’t have to be scary. The professional and caring staff at both Toddler Town locations are attuned to the anxieties that can come along on the first day and will help your child transition into the preschool environment. Toddler Town Chicago’s exceptional preschool programs are designed for both fun and learning. Toddler Town Chicago and Evanston is where children learn to learn! Come check our programs and contact us today! We look forward to starting preschool with you and your child!