Your child going to preschool for the first time is a moment that all parents wait for. It is a major milestone in their lives. The child has a sheltered life within the family and preschool is generally the first exposure the child gets to other children and adults for prolonged periods of time.
A little apprehension on the part of the parents as well as the toddler is quite natural. The child needs to be prepared to expect changes in their little world when they start preschool. The parents should be ideally preparing their toddlers for preschool weeks before the big day.
Challenges while Preparing a Toddler for Preschool
There are many changes in the lives of children as they enter primary or elementary education. They need emotional and mental support to adjust well to school. Preschool can be a scary place for the first few days as it’s for the first time that the child has been without a parent or a familiar place for some time.
There are a few challenges that the parents face when sending their little ones to school.
#1 Unwilling to go to School
The parent can face a situation where the child is unwilling to go to school. As parents, we cannot really comprehend how the real world that the toddler encounters in the course of elementary education can affect the child. It is a new experience and the child needs to be eased into the situation.
#2 Adapting to a New Routine
The young child is accustomed to getting up at a certain time and eating or napping at a certain time. The toddler may find it difficult and stressful to adapt to the new timings. It could make them cranky and whiny. It may upset their equilibrium and make them unwilling to go to school or enjoy their day at the preschool.
#3 Lack Proper Toilet Training
Preschool children are sometimes not fully potty trained and the school timings may upset a routine that has been set at home. Incidents may happen that may throw the child off guard or embarrass them.
#4 Being Introvert
The child is not used to a classroom situation and may not bond with the teacher. They may also be apprehensive of meeting a group of children if they are from a single child family. Shyness may prevent the child from participating in classroom activities.
How to ensure that your child is comfortable in preschool?
Aggressive behavior or extreme lack of communication can be a symptom that your preschooler is not comfortable in school.
There are a few things that the parents can do to ensure that their toddler is prepared to attend school.
#1 Make your child Comfortable with the New Routine
The first step is to make sure that the kid is within his comfort zone. Once you know which school your child is going to, make an effort to know their schedule.
Start training your child to follow a routine of sleeping, napping, eating and maybe go to the bathroom according to the schedule. Small children can react badly if you wrench them away from a comforting routine.
#2 Work on Reducing Separation Anxiety
Once the child starts going to school please accompany them to their class and reassure them that you will be waiting for them outside the class or school. Some preschools allow the parent to slowly taper off their time in the classroom with the child.
This may help in reducing separation anxiety in children which will ultimately make for less aggressive and rebellious attitude in the child.
#3 Get your Child Acquainted with the culture
The parents can show the child that a school is a place that all children go to and equate it with the fact that grown-ups need to go to work.
Small gestures from parents and a little preparation can make adapting to primary education easy for the child. The child learns to enjoy school and this creates a strong base for the progression of schooling.
Preschool is the foundation for higher education and the child who is happy and adjusted in the primary education years is more likely to be successful in life as the personality and attitudes of the child are shaped in these years.
We encourage you to share your similar experiences you, your friend or someone known had while sending your kid to preschool for the first time, in the comments section below.