10 tips to prepare your child for the first day of preschool

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First day of preschool is a massive milestone for both parents and kids.

As a mother, it was quite nerve-racking to see my daughter leave the cozy corners of the house for the very first time. My undue love and attention for almost 3 years and suddenly it was time for her to start an independent journey. Trusting others with your little darling can be scary at times but an indispensable decision.

"Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever". - Mother

She was the doll of the house, my heart, life, and soul, and then it was time for her to take the first step out into the world. To enter into a new environment, get acquainted with adults and kids her age.

 Starting with the preschool might be a frightening task for some children. Proper preparation will reduce the anxiety and make the child more confident on the first day of preschool.

  • #1. Take your child along while searching for preschool  - Your child must accompany you during the search of his first school. It will make him see and know about the place where he would be going soon. Once you are done with enrolment of your child in the preschool, confirm whether you can accompany your child for the initial days at school so as to make him familiar and comfortable with the school atmosphere, staff and other kids.
  • #2. Talk about school more often  - Try introducing the school topic while talking to your school. The best time can be while reading bedtime stories to the child. Include school as a place where kids enjoy while learning about colors,animals or about everything that fascinates your children.
  • #3. Overcome separation anxiety - In case, you leave your child with grand-parents or nanny while you go for work, make it a habit of saying goodbye to the child and hug your baby to shower loads of love as soon as you return. Assure him that you will return soon for playing. It will naturally inculcate a sequence of your going and returning pattern in their mind, which will further help in reducing separation anxiety when you wave goodbye to your child on first day of school.
  • #4. Duration of stay - Talk to the class teacher about keeping the stay duration shorter for the few initial days of school. For instance, starting with barely 30 minutes, you can increase the kid’s duration in school to 1, 2 and 3 hours in forthcoming weeks respectively.
  • #5. Register for school’s transportation facility - Many kids just hate it when their mothers leave them in the school during the first few days. They tend to cry their hearts out in order to gain sympathy and affection of their mother at that particular moment. So opting for school’s pick up van is quite better for as soon as the kid enters the van, there is so much to distract them (from mothers, of course) on the way to school. The different vehicles, on-road trees and flowers, other school children in the van and the support staff, all of these make the kid to reach the school happy and excited by the observations he/she made during the journey.
  • #6. Put the favourite toy and food in school bag - If the school policy allows, you can also try putting your kid’s favourite yet harmless toy in the school bag. For instance, the teddy with which he/she cuddles all day or the colouring kit that he/she uses everywhere all day can be good enough to make the kid spend a happy day at school. Additionally, do remember packing your kid’s favourite food/snacks in the tiffin so that if everything else fails to gain their interest, the lunch box is at least the last resort left with the school staff to entertain you kid.
  • #7. The Helping Sunday - Introduce a role playing game to your kid on Sundays where you become a kid and he/she plays the role of your mom and afterwards, your school teacher. Indulge them in activities like dressing you up, combing your hair, packing your bag and lunch (all just implicitly, not expressly). You must act as a happy-to-go-to-school kid during this game. Then, as your child portrays a teacher’s role, try indulging with full fervor by asking childish questions and laughing and playing simultaneously. All this will indubitably make the kid believe that going to school is an entertaining activity and there is nothing to be frightened about.
  • #8. Get to know other school kids - In case, you know some other children who will be joining the new school in the same class as your child, try arranging a little get together with parents of those kids. Arrange some exciting games for kids at the get together so that all of them get to know each other beforehand. So when your kid creates fuss over going to school on the first day, enhance the excitement by reminding that the new friends will accompany them at the school.
  • #9. Take kid for shopping for school - You heard it right. In order to lure the child for going to school happily, take him/her out for buying stationery (as informed by teacher) for school. Make him choose his favourite crayons, pencils, colouring books, tiffin, water bottle, school bag and assemble all these at a visible place so that seeing them daily increases his excitement of going to school.
  • #10. Schedule sleep times - Last but not the least, try scheduling your baby’s sleep time as will be required during school days. Say goodbye to late night sleeping rituals and adopt a reasonably early waking routine. This is significant as if your child has had a proper sleep, he will not be reluctant to avoid school just for the sake of sleeping at home.

A consistent routine with short yet sweet goodbyes will eventually lead to your child getting used to school. Till then, just keep your patience and help your little one in turning a new leaf in his life i.e. schooling.