5 Tips For a Successful Transition to Preschool
By Anna Boot, Preschool Teacher
Sending your child to preschool for the first time can be hard on both you and your child. You know that your baby is growing up and life will never be quite the same. It is also a wonderful time of growing and learning for both you and your child! You will be so proud of them at the end of that first preschool year. Here are some tips to help make that transition smooth:
1. Talk to your child about what to expect
Take the time before that first big day to talk to your child about what preschool will be like. Listen to them and answer any questions and concerns they may have. There are some great books about the first day of school that can help start the conversation. Visit your local library or ask your child's teacher for recommendations.
2. Visit the classroom
There is usually a time set up by your school where you can visit the classroom and meet your child's teacher(s) ahead of time. This can help your child see what being at school will be like, and help them get to know some other kids and their teacher.
3. Take a deep breath
Try not to stress about your child's first day. If you are stressed, they will be too. So really take a deep breath, and teach your child how to calm down if they get anxious. Practice counting down and taking deep breaths together.
4. Talk to your child's teacher
Most preschool teachers are more than willing to address any questions and concerns you might have. So go ahead and send them an e-mail or arrange a time to meet. Knowing that a great teacher will be taking good care of your little one can help you to not worry!
5. Let go
Yes, I know this is the hardest one. When it is time to drop off your child, give them a hug, reassure them that you will see them soon, and then let go. It will be a lot easier for them to adjust and get engaged in their classroom if you leave. They will be having so much fun that they will only miss you a little bit. They have learning and brain developing to do!
It will all be okay. Your child will do great at preschool. It will be a transition for everybody, but the rewards are great. Your little one will soon be talking about new friends, sharing new experiences, and getting excited about what they are learning at school. Make sure you take the time to listen to them as they tell you about their day. After all, talking to you is an extension of their learning. Enjoy this special time of the preschool years!