How To Prepare Your Child For Preschool

August 07, 2019

Preschool is a huge milestone in a child’s life. It marks a new phase in your child’s growth and development; they’ll be on their own in a significant capacity for the first time. They’ll learn independence, pick up new skills, and make new friends. However, the transition from sitting at home all day to a preschool schedule can be jarring. Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to prepare your child for preschool.

First and foremost, pay a visit to the preschool and meet your child’s future teacher. Give your child a little tour of the preschool, familiarizing them with the daily schedule and showing them where they’ll store their backpack and other belongings.

Once you’re back home, there’s plenty you can do to ease the transition to preschool. A big one is developing your child’s self-help and other skills. It’s important that your child has the skills to do things like dressing themselves, going to the bathroom on their own, and asking for help, among other basic skills.

Want to get a head start on your child’s social skills? Try a playgroup! Playgroups provide a similar environment to preschools without separating parents from their children. You child can socialize with other kids, play with toys, participate in games, and more, all while knowing that their parents haven’t left them behind for the whole day. Because of this, they can effectively serve as an intermediary step between the safety of home and the complete independence in the preschool environment.

As preschool approaches, shift your routine to the one that’s built around preschool. Cut down on fun time (but not too much), start having more family meals together, establish a good bedtime, and slowly have your child start waking up earlier until they wake up naturally when it’s time for school.

Naturally, your child will feel anxious as the first day approaches. Give them ample room to express their feelings and let them know these feeling are valid. Then, you can work on reducing those feelings of anxiety with some encouraging words.

When the first day is close, it’s time to get organized. Make sure all your paperwork is turned in and your child has everything they need (clothing, backpack, etc.). The night before, pack everything up and label it.

Don’t just drop off your child and leave. Stick around for a few minutes, showing your child around the classroom and nudge them to introduce themselves to their classmates. If you want, socialize with some of the other parents too. If you’re friends with other preschool parents, your child has more avenues for making friends and hanging out with them. That’ll make the transition easier during the first day.

Don’t stick around too long, though – it’s time for your child to experience their first taste of independence. Give them a hug, tell them you love them and that you’ll be back soon, and leave them to the teacher. They might cry and scream, but they’ll soon forget they ever wanted to go home once they’re engaged in all the preschool fun.

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