Enrolling your little one in a preschool is only the first step in the long (and fun) journey of parenthood. Every child is different and settles in their own time frame – for some, it may be harder than for others. But we urge you not to worry. Read on to know the six best ways to prepare children for preschool. If your little ones are well prepared, they will be able to settle in without too much fuss.
The first step in preparing children for preschool would be to understand that children are primed to stay close to their parents and will react by crying and protesting when first left alone in new surroundings. This is normal, and we urge you not to worry or instinctively pick your little one up and comfort him/her.
When your toddler is at the centre, during the initial days of his/her settlement process, ensure you are ready to take a step back and let the qualified staff interact with your child. Your child needs to learn that these are his/her own surroundings and (s)he can enjoy playing with the staff and other children. Your child can do that only if you are ready to let your little one be by himself/herself, even if (s)he cries or protests initially.
Children naturally pick up on the reactions of others around them. If you are calm and composed when you leave your child on the first day, (s)he will pick up on that cue. However, if you are anxious, fearful or worried, your little one might reflect the same behaviour and cling on to you. We understand that you will be anxious on the first day, but try your best to remain calm and remain neutral.
Everyone moves at their own pace, and this is true for children as well. Some children may naturally be more independent than others. If they are used to being in the presence of other relatives/friends, they may find it easy to settle in. If your child struggles to settle, don’t worry – it’s perfectly natural. Appreciate all the progress they make – they will soon begin to realise that they can enjoy themselves.
When you drop your bundle of joy at the school, let them know you are leaving. As time progresses and your little one settles down, build a goodbye routine, so they know you will be back to pick them up later.
Remember parents; this is going to be a stressful period for you and your little ones. However, don’t despair, if they are prepared for preschool, it can be the best time of their childhood.