You were there when your child was born. You first saw them
and realized your life would never be the same. You were there when they said
their first word, and you were there when they took their first steps. You were
also there when it was time to send your little one to pre-school. They cried
and clung to you and had a bit separation anxiety. It was perhaps the most
gut-wrenching time of your life. It is now several weeks later, and if your
child still hasn’t adjusted to the new routine, it could be wearing on you
both. How do you help them in order to ease the transition every morning? Here
are some tips for making preschool less of an adjustment for your family.
Little kids are smarter than you think, and have the ability to pick up on nonverbal cues. If you are nervous about dropping them off, they will be nervous too. This is why you need to prepare yourself in advance. You need to do whatever it is that relaxes you beforehand. Make sure they are prepared as well. Talk together about their preschool and what they like and don’t like about it. Mention friends they might have and what activities they might look forward to doing. Your child will feel more normalized if they come to expect and look forward to learning.
Children do much better when they have a consistent routine. When they know what to expect, many of the stressors will not be as bad when the time to take them to preschool is there. Having breakfast together, packing lunch, going on a morning walk, and preparing for school are all routines that can help a child be ready to see their teacher in the morning. Make every day more or less the same, and make sure they are ready and prepared to go when the time comes.
Don’t Sneak Out
One of the worst things you can do is just leave without telling your son or daughter goodbye. They will feel tricked and betrayed, and it will make the meltdowns even worse later on. Moreover, you can also make a loving goodbye a part of the routine.
Talk to the Teacher
If your child’s preschool is worth their salt, it will be a safe, productive place. Make sure your school has a plan in place to “weather the storm” if your child has a meltdown due to separation anxiety. Make sure the teacher knows about their issues. You might also need to learn how to teach your kids about disabilities or dealing with someone or something different than they are used to. Kids have trouble straying from what they know, and with your help and support, will be able to feel welcomed and excited again.
Preschool can be a big adjust for kids. Make sure both you and they are prepared with the right ways for dealing with this change. Involve the teacher and create a good, positive atmosphere around pre-school. Hopefully this good feeling will last a lifetime of learning.