First Day of School!
The first day of preschool is a big day for you and your child.
Here are some tips for a successful start to the first day:
The First Day
Wake up early enough so that you and your child don’t have to rush to get to preschool.
Make breakfast for your child and, if possible, sit down to eat together—or at least talk with them as they eat and you get ready.
Review the day’s routine (what preschool will be like, how your child will get to school/come home).
Pack your child’s backpack together.
Plan to stay a little while
Staying for 5-15 minutes on that first morning can help ease the transition.
Together, the two of you can experience the start to the school day.
When you see that your child is comfortable, it is time to leave.
If he/she is having a harder time getting engaged, you may want to ask your child’s teacher to stay with your child as you say good-bye so that when you leave, they can turn to another caring adult for support.
Think about creating a special good-bye routine
For example, you can give your child a kiss on the palm to “hold” all day long. Or, the two of you can sing a special song together before you leave.
Good-bye routines are comforting to children and help them understand and prepare for what will happen next.
Resist the Rescue
Try not to run back in the classroom if you hear your child crying, as upsetting as this can be. This is a big change and your child may, quite understandably, feel sad and a little scared. But if you run back in, it sends the message that they are only okay if you are there and it is likely to prolong your child’s distress and make it harder for them to adapt.
Rest assured, teachers have many years of experience with helping families make the shift to preschool. Instead, you can wait outside the classroom for a few minutes to ensure that all is well, or call the school later in the morning to check in.
Keep your tone positive and upbeat
Children pick up on the reactions of the trusted adults in their lives. So try not to look worried or sad, and don’t linger too long.
Say a quick, upbeat good-bye and reassure your child that all will be well.