Preschool is an important time in a child’s life. For many children, this is the first time that they are being left in the care of others. This can be a scary time for the child and a scary time for the parent. Here are some tips to help you maintain sanity while navigating this new experience with your child.
Books Check out picture books from the library about preschool. This will help your child give names to many of the objects and places they are about to see such as teacher, cubby, circle time, etc. “It’s Time for Preschool” by Esme Raji Codell and “Maisy Goes to Preschool” by Lucy Cousins are great titles that can be found at the Santa Clarita Public Library.
Sit Down Take your child to a library story time so he can begin to gain certain preschool skills such as sitting patiently and listening to others. This will give your child something to call back on when discussing appropriate preschool behaviors. “Remember when you had to listen quietly while Miss Angie read the elephant book? Your preschool wants you to sit just like that.”
Practice Pretend you are going to preschool at home. Let your child go through the motions of preparing a lunch, grabbing backpack, sitting on the floor in front of you while you read, working on a craft at the table, etc. This will be a fun bonding activity and help prepare your child’s expectations.
Clean Up Set clean up expectations at home. Don’t let it be a shock to your child that his teacher will want him to help clean up his toys at school.
Share Work on sharing at home. Sharing is a necessary skill when dealing with classmates at preschool.
Visit Visit the new preschool with your child. Let your child meet her teacher ahead of time so that you can talk about seeing the teacher again.
Listen Don’t brush off your child’s fears about preschool. Some fears may sound silly to you, such as the fear that the toys will be different or that the milk will taste weird, and some may not, such as the fear that he will not have any friends. Each of these fears should be treated as valid so that you can have a relationship where your child feels safe coming to you with his worries.