The first day of school is a big step for those little feet. Indeed it is the first time your child will be going to a home away from home. To make preschooling a manageable experience, as anticipated, you got to make the first (day) experience the best. Meaning, you should get your child ready for this transition right on day one. Here are some tips that will keep the first day chaos down to a minimum.
- Encourage play-dates- Before embarking onto the preschool journey, encourage your child to have a couple of playdates with peers or simply playing school with stuffed toys.
- Set excitement- Children are naturally curious, active and eager to try new things, get them excited by talking about the big play area, new friends, toys etc.
- Keep your anxiety at bay- If your child sees you anxious while preparing for the first day, nervousness is sure to set in. Stay calm and avoid the morning rush.
- Arrive early- The first day of school is always busy at the arrival time and it becomes very tough to hold your child from having a meltdown when all the other kids are having one. Hence, it is good to arrive a little early to school in order to give your child ample time to settle in before the school hour starts. This extra time will seed some familiarity with the new place and people.
- Keep a happy face- The more comfortable you are, the more comfortable your child will feel to explore this new zone.
- Allow the teacher to take over- Once you introduce the teacher to your child, step back and allow the teacher to bond with your child. Your endorsement of the teacher is crucial to assure your child that he/she will be happy and safe in the teacher’s care.
- Dont stick around- When you see your child being okay distancing from you, you know it is the right time to melt to the background. You can watch your child from a clinging distance and let the teacher engage with your child.
- Keep Goodbye short and sweet- Do not sneak when your child is not looking at you. Leaving without saying goodbye makes kids feel abandoned, while on the contrary, creating a long farewell scene is also not good. It will serve to reinforce a child’s sense that preschool is a bad place. It is better to leave after giving a quick hug and assuring your child that you will be back soon.