Every parent wants their child to have a memorable first day at school. Parents are thrilled about this Big Day, but children may not feel the same way. Most of the big days are not so pleasant. One experiences crying, screaming, kicking, hitting and breath holding in children. This is because of the separation and a feeling of anxiety and fear develops in the child’s mind. Sometimes children develop a fear of going to school, which might continues for many months and even during their elementary school years.
The first day at school is a milestone for both parents and the child. Therefore parents must be very carefully and well prepared in advance. Certain tips that might be essential to make it smooth and stress free for them as well as the children are:
- Keep talking with your child about preschool even before it starts like how it will be, what she will do there, who are the others people with her in the school.
- If possible, visit the preschool few times with your child before it starts. It will give children a feel of familiar environment on the D-day. If you cannot go inside the school campus, at least drive or walk by the school. And let her know where she is going to on her big day.
- Start reading pre-school books before the school starts so that your child will feel very comfortable in the class.
- Teach your little one how to sit still and listen carefully in the class. Train them how to use toilet, how and when to wash hands, how to eat Tiffin without taking anybody’s help. Train them how to tie shoelace and also unlaced it if needed. Apart from these basic activities, encourage them to learn drawing, cutting, pasting, writing, reading etc. This can be achieved through role-play and by setting pre-school at home.
- Do some separation sessions before the preschool starts. Leave your child with your friend or relative for short periods.
- Establish a preschool schedule for your child before the session starts like setting a bed time , wake-up time, breakfast habit etc Routines help children to feel comfortable in the D-day, which eases anxiety.
- Develop a “sweet and small goodbye” practice. Say a loving goodbye to your child when you leave her. Give her a kiss and hug .If you are upset, don’t show in front of your child. Hold back your tears while leaving. If you are cheerful, she will be too.
- Reassure your child that if any problem happens at school, you will be always there to help them. Take some time from your busy schedule to ask her about how school is going. Ensure your child knows how to interact with teacher if anything is bothering her. Your purpose is to let her teacher take over the problem so that a fine bonding develops between them.
Remember, starting preschool is a positive step for both you and your little one As a parent, you can make this transition to preschool less anxiety provoking.