Preschools are an excellent medium for children to interact with same age group kids and learn all about playing, sharing and caring. However, sending a child to preschool, especially if the child has never been away from the safeties of the house, has its own set of challenges. The process of adjusting to preschool is definitely not easy, for both the parents and the child. Both go through a plethora of emotions - anxiety, anticipation, guilt, fear to name a few. Here are some pointers on how parents can help their children adjust to preschool.
Often it is the parent who suffers more anxiety and guilt. Am I doing the right thing? Will he/she be alright? How will he handle school without me around? These are some of the most common thoughts that go through a parent's mind, which results in parents getting anxious and overprotective. And children can pick up body language as well, and the same vibes are rubbed on to the kid, unnoticed. So be confident and positive about your decision. Letting go, to some extent, definitely benefits the child. As they grow up, children need to have their space, be a bit independent and need to learn to socialize and mingle with different people. What better way than to start from preschool?
Another important point is to make the child comfortable in his/her new environment. When I initially thought of sending my daughter to playschool, I made multiple visits to the school – during school hours, after hours and also had my husband visit the school and meet the faculty with her. Even before starting school, she was fairly familiar with her school and the folks there.
If you have kids from the same locality going to the same preschool, it would be a great idea to let the kids know each other beforehand. “See, you will meet and play with Rohan at school today. He will be there too” might just reassure your anxious kid to some extent! My cousin's son was lucky this way. At a very young age, he had similar age group friends in his locality, with whom he played regularly. When they started school together, the kids were so comfortable in each other's company; they hardly had any issues being away from parents. School was just a different place where he met his friends to play and he was very happy to go to school every day. His was probably the smoothest transition I've seen.
One of the main reasons for the child to get tensed is separation anxiety. One way of helping with separation anxiety is by letting the child take a transitional object like a lovey to school, as a form of assurance. It could be a favorite toy, a family picture or a story book. Also give lot of verbal assurances that mom/dad would be back in sometime and take them back home. Also assure them that when mom/dad is away, the teacher would be taking care of him/her. Coping with separation is an important skill a child needs to learn, and sooner or later, they will get the hang of it.
Children thrive on routines. Have a fixed schedule of waking up, bath, breakfast together, packing bags and leaving happily for school. Once there, greet the teachers together, and bid a cheerful goodbye to the child. Make it short and sweet. Taking too much time or creating a scene to say bye would just make it tougher for the child (and parent) to let go. Children may get clingy and refuse to leave the parent, but be firm and consistent. One golden rule is - never sneak out unnoticed. This would just make the child very insecure. Make sure you let them know about you leaving and reassure them to be back later to take them home. Once back home, talk about school, teachers, activities and friends. Let them know that preschool is a fun place to make friends and play with!
Another very important point is to interact with the teacher. Sometimes when the parent is helpless, teachers can come to rescue. Talk to them about the resistance and anxiety your child may have. They may be able to divert the kid with a special toy, game or give that extra needed attention to the child.
And finally, look at the cues. Some kids are social bees, some are shy natured. Each kid adjusts to the change at his/her own pace. If your child resists school a lot, do not brood. Give him/her some more time and try again after few months. There will surely come a time when they want to stay back at school and will resist coming home!
Sss I feel the same
Very much informative
I do send a teddy with my daughter and she happily goes to the school
In my case, we had a very good teacher who helped my child settle well in the class. Well written
I talked to my child about his school activities. Slowly he started enjoying telling stories.
Very well explained and it's all true.
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