The first day of school can be a most rewarding experience for your child. Some children adjust perfectly well on the first day and have no issues settling down into the new routine. Other children, however, may find it difficult to engage in a new environment away from their parents or familiar faces. The way a child behaves may not always be easily predictable. A child who seems sufficiently independent for his age may breakdown crying the first time she realizes her mother or father will not remain for the duration of the day. While another child who is typically clingy, may feel right at home once he sees the other children. It is, therefore, very important that parents help their children adjust to the idea of being in new surroundings prior to the first day of school.
Let your child meet her teacher before the official first day. Introducing your child to her new teacher will help her to form a bond before she is officially entrusted to her care. Allow your child to ask any questions she would like of her new teacher, for example: if there is nap time, her name and the types of activities involved.
Use a calendar to start an official countdown to mark the days off before the first day of school. This way your child is actively engaged and less anxious to commence this new chapter. Allow him to place the mark on the calendar and make the experience more pleasurable with stickers, singing and any other interesting complementary activity.
Take you child shopping for school supplies and the clothes she will wear on the first day. Let her choose exactly what she wants, within reason. And let her know how proud of her you are that she is ready to go off to preschool. This will promote positive anticipation and give her a sense of independence.
Plan your drop off and goodbye routine. Let your child feel secure and confident on his way to school. Also ensure he knows that you will not stay with him throughout the day but will return promptly when school has ended. Embrace him and tell him how proud you are of him for being such a good boy.
Sing familiar children’s songs on the way to school and let her know that she will also enjoy singing with her new classmates. Keep a positive attitude on your way to preschool and do not add to her anxiety by outwardly expressing any other frustrations you may possibly have on that day.
Get him seated beside a classmate and formally introduce him to this new friend by finding some common ground that both children will likely share. This will help to ease his tension and get him more interested in the program and being around his peers.
After the first few days most children adjust quickly to their new environment. Even if your little one did not have a seamless first day, soon she will enjoy the nurturing and stimulating environment of preschool and all the wonderful activities it involves.