Any new beginning can be terrifying. As you get older, you’ll replace one school with the next, one job with another but if you had to pick a place where this endless cycle started, it would definitely have to be preschool. Why? Well, because it’s a first job-like experience that a child will have, a place where they have to go every day from X to Y every workday and obey the commands of people other than their parents. How well they will take it all depends mostly on the way you prepare them for this major transition in their lives. With that in mind and without further ado, here are four tips to help you prepare your children for preschool.
They can sense your fear
By the time preschool draws close, you’ll find yourself in a scenario where you have to have “the talk” with your kid and explain to them what all of this will look like. Depending on your presentation, they can either see this as something simple, normal and natural or as the next big step in their life. If your kids are social, you can tell them that this is the place where they’ll meet new friends. If not, you can tell them about all the new toys and games that they’ll encounter there. There’s always an angle to make this concept appear a tad more appealing.
The next thing you need to bear in mind is the fact that, for a lot of kids, it’s the separation that’s the real nemesis. Think about it, if you’ve kept them too close by or avoided giving them any responsibilities of this kind, it might be a tad harder to just make a clean cut. Naturally, getting a babysitter in these few short months is not a very good plan, so, why not look for an institution like an early learning centre instead? This way, they’ll get a shorter, simplified version of the experience and you’ll get to help them get accustomed, as well as see how they will react in a much safer (even controlled) environment.
Another thing you want to check is how well your kids work with others. Previously, we’ve discussed a plan that might help unveil this, nonetheless, during that time, you won’t be able to first-hand supervise the encounter. Instead, you’ll depend on the report of the teacher which has limited insight into what’s going on in their group. To solve this problem, try to organize some playdates. Some kids get along quite well, while others don’t. You have something to learn about your child from both of these encounter types. The conversation that you have with your kid afterwards is also quite important for the future formation of their social relationships.
Talk to the teacher
The last part consists of meeting the teacher which can usually be done during the open house day at the preschool. Use this chance to exchange a couple of words with them but don’t expect to achieve much during this meet-up. Every other parent will be there with the same intentions. Instead, just try to get a quick assessment of their character. It’s also quite important that you talk to your kid about the teacher. Tell the kid their teacher’s name and try to have them memorize it. Also, you can tell them a bit about what they are like and try to teach them that they’re the ultimate authority in your absence.
The very last thing you need to understand is the fact that all of this might be harder for you than your child. You would be surprised by just how quickly kids learn and adapt to all kinds of circumstances. So, don’t underestimate your child. Do your best to prepare them for what comes next, talk to them and address any questions that they may have. Most importantly, don’t worry too much and try to get a good night’s sleep. This way, you’ll do them the favour as well.