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If your child is starting preschool this year, you may be approaching the milestone with conflicting emotions. You’re excited about all the fun your child will have and the free time you’ll get. At the same time, you may feel a little sad or guilty. These emotions are normal. Your child is also bound to have mixed emotions about the transition, feeling excited but at the same time worried about being separated from you and starting something unfamiliar.

When to Start Planning for Preschool

There’s no need to begin preparing your child for preschool several months in advance. Some parents begin talking about preschool and inadvertently build it up too much. This sets preschool up as a huge event in the child’s life, which can be overwhelming and scary to a little one. Instead, start talking about preschool in a casual, upbeat manner a few weeks beforehand. Make comments like, “Do you like these snacks? They’ll have yummy snacks at preschool too!”

Set a Schedule

Without a consistent schedule at home, your child may have issues at school. Following a routine provides opportunities for making decisions and acting responsibly, which they’ll be expected to do at preschool.  Creating a daily schedule can help ease your child’s transition to the structure of a preschool setting.

Develop motor Skills

Our child’s use of fine motor skills will increase dramatically in preschool. Prior to preschool, help your child develop their fine motor skills during play by creating a fun craft that involves snipping paper, coloring, and gluing. Activities like coloring and drawing will also help enhance these skills. You may also want to incorporate clay into their playtime, allowing them to form and shape it into small figures.

Plan a Visit

It’s never a bad idea to visit the preschool before it begins. Meeting their preschool teacher can eliminate a lot of anxiety associated with being introduced to new people on the first day of school. If it’s not possible to visit during a school day, visit on a weekend or evening. Play on the playground and walk around the campus. Many preschools also offer summer camps, which are a fantastic way to get your child used to being away from you. These experiences will further familiarize your child with their new environment.

Separation Anxiety

You may want to stay for a few minutes on that first morning can help ease the transition. Together, the two of you can explore the classroom, meet some other children, play with a few toys. When you see that your child is comfortable, it is time to leave. You may want to ask your child’s teacher to stay with your child as you say good-bye so that when you leave, he can turn to another caring adult for support. Rest assured that your child’s teacher has most likely done this before and knows how to handle any anxiety your child might have throughout the day.

Getting Yourself Ready

Before their first day of school, you should feel completely comfortable with your child’s preschool, the curriculum, and the staff. Even so, it’s normal to feel a bit sad those first few days.  Your child’s growth and development has been solely in your hands until now, so it can be hard to spend time apart. Remind yourself that your child is in safe hands, having fun and learning new things.

Contact Us to learn how the right preschool experience can give you peace of mind.