It’s that time of year . . . the newspapers are filled with back-to-school ads and information, and your child is starting preschool for the very first time. You’re excited for your child to begin this new venture, but you’re also a little worried. How will your child handle being away from you—perhaps for the very first time?
There are some steps you can take to help ensure that this transition is a smooth one:
• A couple of weeks before the start of school, begin a “count down” calendar so that your child will anticipate the start of school with excitement.
• Visit the preschool ahead of time; and if possible, take your child to meet the teacher(s) and tour the classroom. Many preschools have a built in “meet and greet” time already scheduled. Take photos of the teacher, the classroom, and the outside of the school building. Perhaps you will want to make a book for your child using the photos you have taken.
• Learn about the structure of what a typical day in your child’s preschool looks like. Play “pretend school” with your child, taking turns being the teacher and student.
• Keep your own attitude positive and affirming. You know that your child is going to reap great benefits from being in preschool—try to keep any anxiety you may have from showing to your child.
• Develop a good-bye ritual. Keep it short, loving and consistent each day when you take your child to preschool. Once you have completed your good-bye routine, leave the classroom with a smile, knowing your child is going to have a wonderful time entering this new phase in his/her life. S/he is now a student!
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