Starting preschool can be an exciting time. It can also be a time filled with anxiety and questions, especially for parents. Here are a few tips to help you prepare your child to start preschool and help to alleviate any lingering concerns that you as a parent might have.
1. Drive by the school
Once you have selected a preschool and made the final decision that your child will attend this facility, start driving by the school before your child begins.
As you go by, point it out, speaking positively about the upcoming change. You can also reminisce about your experiences at school, allaying any apprehensions you might be sensing.
Tip: It may be most helpful to simply state facts. "This is your new school."
2. Schedule a time to visit the school ahead of time.
One of the most helpful things about unfamiliar situations is if they are made more familiar. How can you do this? Set up a time to visit the school with your child before school starts. For some, this may mean scheduling a visit during the enrollment process and for others, this might be on a separate occasion to simply acquaint yourself, and your child, to their new environment.
Questions to ask: Consider asking questions that will relate directly to your child's familiarity with the new environment: Can you show us where my child's cubby is? Can you show us where the restrooms are? Anything that will directly relate to their new experience.
3. Set up a time to meet your child's teacher.
Alongside a visit to the school, it can be helpful to schedule a time for your child to meet with their new teacher. Not only will this offer them the opportunity to say hello and familiarize themselves with the classroom, and their teacher, it will also allow you the opportunity to ask any last minute questions.
Questions to ask: Consider reversing the roles and asking the teacher how you can help support their efforts in coming to better understand your child.
4. Talk Positively
Of all the recommendations, of all the tips and tricks, perhaps the most helpful is to think and talk positivity about preschool. Both you and your child may be feeling a wide range of emotions, but it’s important to stay positive and energetic about this change.