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5 Ways To Prepare Your Child for Preschool

5 Ways To Prepare Your Child for Preschool

How to reduce anxiety and replace it with smiles

Is your little one heading off to preschool soon?

Preparing your child emotionally for pre-school can be a challenge.

Between getting them ready (as well as yourself) there are a number of steps you’ll need to take to make sure everyone gets through with as few moments of stress as possible. Below are some ideas that will help you in making the transition smooth.

Step #1 - Visit the preschool

Visiting the classroom your child is going to be learning in and meeting the teacher a couple of days before is a good idea. If there is a class schedule posted, show it to your child.

Talk to them about what they can expect from the different portions of the day.

You also need to show the child where they’ll keep backpacks and personal things.

Step #2 - Act it out

Life coach Jeanine recommends role-playing a first day at school with your child is a fantastic way to build confidence. Knowing what to expect and coming up with solutions to potential scenarios can alleviate any nerves or uncertainties. 

Jeanine says kids are able to pick up energy intuitively and suggest “acting as if you are going to school, handing the backpack, and sitting down for group time can help overcome any feelings of anxiety. These actions show that there is nothing to be feared in preschool.”

You can also read stories, play games, and even make a snack. It is also a good idea to teach your child social skills. Teach your little one ways of getting someone’s attention, joining a play, and taking turns. You can even use puppets in role-playing.

Step #3 - Work on self-help skills

Preschool is going to be a very big step for your child when it comes to their development and independence becomes even more important.

Help them master self-help skills such as using the toilet, washing their hands, putting socks and shoes on, and using utensils while seated at the table.

Step #4 - Express and acknowledge feelings

It is an exciting adventure for your kids to start preschool, but it is normal for both the parent and child to have anxiety, explain the experts from Agility Academy. They recommend giving your child a chance to express their feelings. Ensure you listen to their fears and acknowledge them to help aid in their anxiety. Remember your child's attitude and mood may change when they're dealing with big things. 

Kids tend to regress in one area of their life as another area grows.

They can become a little less independent like regressing in toilet training. You don’t have to worry because the changes are temporary.

Step #5 - Shift your schedule

When your child is experiencing their first couple of weeks at school, you should slowly make changes in your routines.

Provide them with a calm and peaceful environment when they are home. Spend time together including family meals, limiting media, and making sure they are going to bed at the right hour.

You should provide them with a healthy breakfast and ensure they spend time outdoors. You should develop a predictable and consistent routine a couple of weeks before they can start with school. This will help in making the transition smoother.

Tips for Preparing for the First Few Days

Tip #1 - Getting organised

When the first day gets closer, ensure you have organised and labelled clothing, shoes, and a backpack. Stock healthy snacks and lunch food.

Tip #2 - Stay with your child for about 20 minutes on their first day

Point them to activities and help them get involved. You can also help your child in meeting other children. When you decide to go, try offering a hug and something positive like “I know you are going to have a great day today, I will be back soon to get you.”

Tip #3 - Stay involved 

A major milestone for a child is separating from their parents. Even if they have attended a toddler program or early childhood program, they can get anxious because of the new class and teachers. Integrative Psychotherapist Natalie Wood says that bringing something from home that makes them feel comfortable can help, like a blanket they feel safe with. She explains “children are going to develop independence at different paces with some kids having an easier time separating from their parents. Some are going to need help and extra support. Little touches of home can provide the right balance for the child to start developing their independence.”

If your child is having a hard time saying goodbye to you, make sure you talk to their teacher. This is something they are experienced in and can help in coming up with a plan.

Some approaches that can be used include having a photo at school or shortening the day temporarily.

You should not sneak out, let the child know that you are leaving, and also pick them up at the right time. Preschool provides children with a chance for tremendous growth.

You make the transition a little easier by preparing, and it will make things easier for you and your child.

Are you ready to send your little one off to preschool? Let us know what you’re focusing on in the comments!

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