First times can be daunting for anyone. Each of us has felt butterflies in our stomach before plunging into something new. Our little ones have also been through many firsts since their birth, but most of these have happened under our watchful, appreciative eyes.
Going to preschool is a big deal as it marks our kids’ first steps into the world alone, or let’s say without us. Some would call it the most unnerving of the firsts in a child’s life. But with a few tips and tricks, transition into preschool can be smooth both for you and your child. Here’s how you can have a tear-free first day of preschool.
Tips to prepare your child for the first day of preschool
Let me tell you a story
About a month before preschool starts, tell your child few positive stories about school. Tell him that it’s a place for fun, friends and learning. I used to make up bedtime stories about how my son and his friends went to school and became brave and smart individuals. This made him think of school as a must-go place.
Let the socializing begin
Get your child used to kids of his age before school. Take him on play dates or to places where he can interact more with children. Observe his behavior with other kids and don’t interrupt their interactions unless needed.
Role play if required
Take your child to the preschool premises a few times before actual school starts. Familiarize him with the surroundings and if possible, let him meet his teacher and the staff. Also what could work is the two of you role playing goodbye time in the house where he wears a school bag and acts as if he’s going off to school. This may reduce the separation anxiety a bit.
Be ahead of time
On the day of school, dress your child in a very relaxed manner. Don’t rush through the process as this could confuse or scare him. Make sure you don’t feed him too much of liquid before he leaves for the first day as all the excitement could make him throw it up.
Be positive about school
Keeping a check on our own feelings is paramount. I was more a bundle of nerves than my son was. But it’s important that you show that you’re excited about your child going to school. Trust the school to do its job.
Keep the goodbye short and sweet
The toughest hurdle to pass! Lingering around the gate with puppy dog eyes will set off alarm bells in your child. Just whisper a quick bye at the drop off point and turn away, resisting the urge to look back.
It may take some time for your child to get used to being away from you so it’s wise not to compare your child with the other kids. “Look at him, he’s not crying,” is not the best thing to tell your little one at drop off, as he’s least bothered about what the others are up to. Give it time and patience, and soon, you will have a happy school goer who can’t wait to share his day with you.
Also read more about: 7 Ways to Help your Shy Child ease into School#toddlerfears