Starting preschool for a 4 year old is a scary process. They have a lot of new faces around them and a lot chaos going on. If your a stay-at-home parent and your child has been with you every day of their little life , they can develop anxiety very quickly. Which is basically a mommy/daddy withdrawal or the fear of mommy/daddy not coming back. It can be quite overwhelming for the child and the parent. The child may kick and scream throwing a fit for you to come back and not leave them. Which as a parent is a very heart breaking experience.
I know! I balled my eyes out the first day leaving her at preschool.
However, the transition does not have to be hard.
After the first day, I put together a transition plan to help both of us cope with her going to preschool. I didn’t want the second or third day to be as hard as the first, mostly for her.
So here is the transition steps I took that have made a huge difference.
- At home: when it is time to get your little one ready for school get excited about it for them. Start jumping up and down and say, “Hey guess what its time to get ready for school. YAY!” “I’m so excited for you, your going to have so much fun.”
- Then they will get excited and start getting ready.
- In the car: Sing different things related to their school (be loud, happy and excited) for instance you can sing about painting and learning the ABC’s or drawing and snack time. This way they are still excited about going and your reminding them that they have to go to school. Encouragement is very important to a toddler.
- At school: When you get to the classroom and sign them in, walk with them for the first 15 minutes. For instance at my daughters school, when she gets there she has to put her name badge on, put her back pack in her cubby hole, place her picture under her mood for the day (happy, sad, mad) here you encourage happiness by talking them into socializing with the other kids. Then they have to go wash their hands and gather their plates, cups, and utensils for lunch. I will stand and watch as she does it, then I will sit next to her and as she is grabbing her desired food I will be excited about it, “Oh cool, strawberries” “Yummy PB&J’s”.and I again tell her that I am leaving to go to work, to have fun and eat really good and I will be back. By then she is just like “Okay mom, See you later”
- Then I leave the class room
When I take these steps the transition from home to school goes great, but if I don’t give her encouragement and reassurance then the transition is terrible.
If your having problems with your child’s transition to their new preschool, I hope you consider these steps. It is a great improvement.
The Child Development Institute also has some great tips and tricks for parents.
Well thanks for joining me!