It’s hard for parents to send little ones off to their first day of preschool. But if it’s hard for you, imagine how much scarier it is for your child. While you will certainly be preparing clothes and school supplies for the year ahead, don’t miss these 7 tips that will help your child get mentally prepared for that special first day!
1. Make sure they’re comfortable going potty
One of the most intimidating things for preschool-aged children is getting used to going on regular-sized toilets. When you’re out and about in the weeks leading up to school, make sure they feel comfortable using toilets outside your home. Many little ones are afraid of going to the bathroom in new places, so helping them adjust to this will make the toilets at school less intimidating.
2. Show and share
If your child has siblings, they may already be learning how to share. However, if your child is the only one you have so far, you should see about having a few playdates before the first day of school. You can also take them to the park to play with other children and learn how to share, take turns, and get along with others. It will make these things feel more natural to your child on that first day.
3. Talk to them about school
Children thrive on routine. While school is a routine, it’s a brand new one, so talking about this change that is coming is a great way to prepare your child. The sooner you start talking about school, the better as your child will know what to expect.
4. Meet the teacher
Most schools host an event before the first day where you can meet the teacher. When your child sees their teacher face-to-face, they will feel safer because you’re there with them. On the first day, your child’s teacher will be a familiar face, and they will be less likely to be afraid.
5. Show them around the school
It’s likely that when you meet your child’s teacher, you’ll be invited to look around the school. Perhaps you looked at the preschool on your own when choosing it, but your child hasn’t yet seen it. Let them see the playground and the activity stations. Get excited about these things, and your child will soon share your excitement.
6. Encourage quiet time
Your child may have already outgrown naps, and not every school still offers them. But if your child’s preschool has this quiet time, help your child adjust by giving them quiet activities to do. Looking at picture books and settling down for 20 minutes can help them feel less bored during these quiet moments at school.
7. Let them have their feelings
Our feelings are personal, and while we should express them appropriately, it is OK to feel sad, scared, or anxious about that first day of school. But the more you go over these other tips to prepare your child, the less of a shake-up this change will be. And don’t worry…after a few days, your child will adjust to this new routine. Just don’t be surprised when they cry on a Saturday or Sunday because