You spent loads of time picking out the perfect school, paid hundreds of dollars in application and enrollment fees, and took countless tours. Thankfully, your child was accepted and now the time is near; the first day of preschool. Exciting, yes. But most parents are not prepared for the emotions that the first day brings. Not your child’s emotions, YOUR emotions. So take a deep breath and prepare yourself. Your child will be all the better for it.
Here are some tips on how to cope with your child’s first day of preschool.
- Make a plan about how the day will go. Write down the plan and go over it with your child. Draw pictures if necessary ( your child will not care if you are bad at drawing). It could look like this: 8:00 – we get dressed and eat breakfast. You get your new backpack and water bottle ready and then we’ll put on your shoes. Time to get in the car 9:00 -We drive to preschool and park. I will walk you in and say goodbye. Ms. Pat will be there to take care of you. It will be so much fun! 9:30 – I will go to the coffee shop and do some work 10:30 – I will go to the grocery store. 12:00 – I will come pick you up from preschool! I will wait in the car line for Ms. Pat to bring you out. You had a great day – hooray!
- When you say that you will drop off your child at the door and leave, really do it. Lingering too long never works well. Your child need to see that other adults ( her teachers) can take care of her.
- Make your goodbye short and sweet. You may work out a routine ahead of time. A genius mom that I once knew drew something special on her son’s hand exam morning when she said goodbye. You can also work out that you will give three hugs and two kisses or something similar.
- Try not to panic once you leave. Its is fine to feel emotional about turning over your child’s care to someone else but remember that it is just for a few hours. If you need to have a cry, no problem, just don’t convey those feelings to your child.
- When you pick your child up, remain upbeat and positive. Don’t worry if your child gives you little detail of the day. She is probably exhausted. Young children are still learning to recall experiences so be patient and the details will come.
- If you have any concerns, address them with your child’s teacher, not your child. Young children aren’t entirely capable of giving accurate accounts of their own experiences. If your child said someone hit her, confirm that with the teacher before reacting. Before you know it, your child will be jumping out of the car to run into preschool and your fears will be put to rest. In the meantime, trust that you made a good decision on your child’s behalf by sending her to the right preschool for her. Everything else will fall into place.
Let Them Fly!0