The first day of school is a big step. Help your child ace it with these get-ready-for-school tips.
So often excited anticipation translates into a smooth, stress-free transition on day one, but it can also be stressful for you and your child. Either way, these tips can make the first days of preschool a more manageable experience for your little one and for you.
1: Don’t rush through the morning
No one likes to race through the school morning routine, especially on the first day. So get everyone up at a reasonable hour. That way, you won’t have to hurry your child or risk being late because you had to tame your frazzled toddler’s tantrum.
2: Arrive fashionably early
This way, your little one can slowly settle in before the real action starts. He’ll also get more face time with his teacher, which will be tougher to do once all the other kids are there to vie for her attention.
Don’t worry about bringing all the necessary supplies on day 1. It is acceptable to bring it in gradually during the first week. Another good time to bring in supplies is in the afternoon when you fetch your child, as the morning should be focused on introducing the new teacher to your child and vice versa.
3: Bring a comfort object
At Baby Steps we allow comfort objects to be brought in during the settling period and I am sure most other schools do too. Your child can bring along his favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or whatever object does the trick, so the new setting doesn’t feel so scary. Once your child feels comfortable with his surroundings, he’ll let go of his comfort or at least leave it in his locker when he plays.
Day 3 melt downs: Some children are great on day 1 and 2; however on day 3 they realize that school is an everyday thing. Melt downs on day 3 are very common, so don’t be surprised!
4: Put on a happy face
Anxiety may be eating you up inside, but don’t let on, nerves are highly contagious. If your tone’s upbeat and you seem confident that your child will have a good time, there’s a better chance that he’ll be upbeat too.
What normally helps is when moms write the teacher a letter explaining a little bit about their child preferences, quirks etc. The Teacher can then read this when the class has settled. This is also very helpful for the teacher.
5: Keep good-byes short and sweet
When it’s your cue to make an exit, hold back your tears a little longer. Smiling helps to unscrunch those furrows in your worried brows. Give your child a hug, and let him know when you’ll be back (“I’ll pick you up after lunch”), then head out, don’t linger. He can’t get on with his day until you do.
No matter how tempting, never sneak out when your preschooler is looking the other way. It’ll make him feel insecure and less trusting. The person you need to trust, is the Teacher, to take good care of your little one.
It’s normal for kids to have a meltdown when it’s time to separate (though many don’t). If your child is crying, chances are he’ll be fine five minutes after you walk out the door. If it’s taking a while for your little one to adjust, don’t panic, preschool teachers and their assistants have seen it all and they know just what to do, so ask his teacher for help.
6: Be consistent
Keeping your child off school will not help them to settle. Keep to your usual morning routine at all cost. Children find great comfort and security in routine.
And just remember, you have got this Mom and Dad!
Wishing you a blessed 2020 and a happy school year ahead!
Principal and Owner
Baby Steps Early Learning Centre