Parents play a crucial role in preparing their children for preschool. It is a new experience for the child and can make them feel a little emotional about being separated from you. The child is still not familiar to stay alone for several hours without you.
As a parent, you are excited that your kid’s major milestone is approaching, but also sad to let your little one goes alone in this big world. Emotions are conflicting but normal. Parents always wonder why early school matters but visit https://www.tqee.org/why-early-years-matter/ to understand the importance.
Simple strategies for preparing preschoolers to ensure a smooth transition
Explore pretend playschool idea
Take turns in playing the role of a child, teacher, and parent. Perform common daily routines like saying goodbyes, singing songs, taking naps, reading stories, playing outside, etc. reassure child preschool is a place, where there will other kids with whom she/he will enjoy playing and learning. The child may ask many questions. Answer all the questions patiently. It helps the kid to gain more control and decrease their anxiety.
Never start prep months in advance. The building ahead of time can make the kid feel as if preschool is a big event and can start feeling overwhelmed when school starts? Instead, make a casual discussion about preschool 3 to 4 weeks ahead.
Drive by the school whenever possible. It makes them get familiar with the surroundings. You can show them the slide in the playground and talk about how outdoor activities they will enjoy with their teacher. Talk about their teacher, so they don’t feel strange when they meet her the first time.
Practice self-help game
Skills like fastening her shoes, zipping her coat, putting her backpack, etc. need to be taught. You can make a game like having a race on who puts their coat on first or unzips the coat. If your kid will be carrying lunch then plan a picnic, so it gives him/her a chance to get familiar with how to unwrap the sandwich. These are skills essential for their first day!
Listen to their concerns
When a child shares their concern, you are tempted to reassure them quickly. Nevertheless, listen to their worries, so they now you know about them. Children’s preschool worries can influence their experience. Will the teacher be strict or nice? Will you come to pick up on time in the afternoon?
You know the kid’s worries are normal but tell them that starting something new is scary and even you feel that way. You can teach them how to handle the worries. If the worry is about missing you, then pack a family photo in her bag. Tell her to look at it when she misses you.
Routines make the kids learn to order and time concepts. Established routines help in smoother transition as the kid is mentally prepared for the day. Stick with early morning routines like brushing teeth, eating breakfast, getting dressed, combing hair, and organizing their things.
Have a chat with their picture and reminders of the task they check after it gets concluded. Bedtime routine includes brushing teeth, having a bath, wearing their pajamas, reading a storybook, saying prayers giving hugs, and tuck in. It is a great way to settle a restless kid!
Your kid may need more nurturing, patience, and support from you as preschool is a huge change in his/her life!