The first day of preschool is a big day for little tykes and parents alike. If your child has gone to daycare, the first day of preschool might be easier for him or her to adjust to, but separation anxiety can still be a big concern. Use these three tips to help prepare your child and yourself for this one of the many educational milestones to come.
Go on a Tour
After you do your research on local preschools and narrow down your choices, considering arranging to go on a tour of your child's new school together. This will help to eliminate your child's fear of the unknown while simultaneously giving you an opportunity to meet the teachers and administrators at your child's new school. Your child will be less intimidated and feel more comfortable if he or she is already familiar with some of the preschool's staff.
Send a Friend
If you have something that reminds your child of you, like a stuffed animal from your childhood, this may make a good substitute. Alternatively, you can go to a store with your child to pick out something new or whip up a homemade rag-doll. You can choose a doll or stuffed animal that has some of your physical characteristics or even elect to pick out something that is silly or goofy, as long as it helps to bring your child comfort. Reinforce the fact that preschool is nothing to be afraid of, and remind your child that you are nearby.
Stop in for a Visit
Although you don't want to disrupt the learning environment, preschool teachers are very familiar with how difficult it can be for some children to adjust during the first few weeks of school. If it is okay with the preschool administrators, think about stopping in and having lunch on your child's first day. You may end up being surprised at the number of other parents you see who have the same idea.
Socializing children from an early age helps them to avoid separation anxiety, but there is no way to predict how your child will react on the first day of preschool. No matter what you do, there may be tears, tantrums, and whining, but in the end your child's education is tantamount to his or her future. Remember that things will only get easier after you and your child tackle your anxiety on that big first day.
Go to sites like http://www.kidscountry.net to find a preschool near you.