Planning to send a child to preschool is very stressful for parents. Lot of questions start flooding into our minds and we start thinking unnecessarily. My daughter was 2.5 years when she started going to play group and there were so many questions running on my mind like is it too early to send her to school? Will she cry? Would she be able to leave me and go to school? What if she starts having separation anxiety? Will she get adjusted in new atmosphere? Which school to opt from so many options? What if the teachers in school get tough on my daughter and so on. Trust me, these questions kept running on my mind every single day until actually my daughter started going to school and finally I was relieved of my worries. Every parent will go through this situation and the fear is very natural as our child will be stepping into a completely new milestone. By following few things, we can prepare ourselves and also the child to go to preschool.
1. Keep telling your child about how fun the school can be: This will really help and create a positive feeling about the school in child. Inform the child that there will be many tiny one’s like you and you get to play with them, sing and dance, teachers will make you paint and do other activities with you, you get chocolate on birthdays and many other things. This really works as child can imagine a happy atmosphere. Initially my daughter was reluctant about going to school but after letting her know about the fun things she herself would insist me on sending her to school.
2. Stay away from your child for few hours or a day: If you are around your kid all the time and have never been away from him/her then it is better to consider this step as this will prepare your child to accept the fact that you will not be there in school. If your child has already grown with baby sitter or grandparents then this is icing in the cake and you don’t have to worry about this step.
3. Visit all schools in your list and finalize one: You randomly can’t decide one school and enroll your child there. It’s best to make a list of few good schools, visit them and take a tour of those schools which gives you a slight idea about the atmosphere there, talk to teachers and other support staff and discuss about the various activities that they do. When all this is being done you already know which one is the best. Also make sure to select a school that is located within 1-2 km radius rather than selecting a hi-fi school.
4. Be open and discuss your mind with teachers: when you visit the school, the sole purpose should not be just to see how the school is, or to enquire about the fees and timings. Also take your time, sit with teachers and discuss all your queries. If required list out all that you want to ask, it could be your fears, concerns or anything for that matter. As mentioned earlier, I had a fear about teachers being strict or how would they handle a cranky kid. When I mentioned it to them, their answers and their explanation on how they tackle things was very assuring.
5. Practice independent eating in your child: Start giving finger foods or solid foods to child so that he can start eating on his own. This will help the child in school as teachers cannot be around your kid everytime to feed. Initially start with dry fruits, any fruits or vegetables and slowly start with other solid foods.
6. Set a bed time routine: Considering to set a bed time routine will help if child has irregular sleep pattern. I never thought of setting a bed time routine and my daughter always slept by 12am or 1am and would wake up by 9 or 9.30 in the morning. When she started her school it was very difficult to wake her up and she always ended up being late in the initial days and would also be cranky. We had a tough time to cope up with her sleep timings. Gradually, things got better and my daughter started sleeping and waking up early. So ensure to set a sleep pattern well in advance.
Preschool is a first step towards your child’s education. Proper planning and preparation will relieve you from stress and things get easy. Follow the above mentioned points and this is definitely gonna help you.