First days in preschool is a milestone not only for the child but for you as a parent as well, since its the first time when you will be separated for almost an entire day, and will have to accommodate to a new place, with new people and other kids, not to mention take on some of his or hers first responsibilities and preschool rules, and it is not easy for every child, and parent as well.
Our feelings and adapting
The time for a child to adapt to the preschool setting usually takes from a couple weeks to a couple months. Longing, sadness, or even fear, are all common preschool feelings both for the child and the parent. It is sometimes wise to visit the chosen preschool ahead of time with your kid to ease some of the accommodation process. Talk to them about it and hear out what they have to say, learn what your child thinks and what his expectations are, it will help both of you out. Explain to him that it is a normal thing to miss you during time in school! The pressure kids feel while separated from you, even for a couple hours is very real and can be a stressful event for a child, so it is important to handle it well and provide understanding.
More useful tips for parents:
- Do not “overhype” preschool for your kid until he starts going to it regularly, to avoid disappointment and high hopes. It is best for the child to discover the fun and new interactions by themselves.
- Explain that it is a normal thing to attend preschool, and that you too, once went to one. Tell them that preschool, school and even a job are all basic parts of life. The child might find comfort in the fact that someone close to them; like mom or dad, followed the same pattern as well. Show them some pictures of yourself while you were a preschooler!
- Go preschool shopping together, it will ensure your child that it is an important and fun new stage of his life.
- Pack your childs favorite toy, if possible, it will remind him/her of home while away
- Don’t overdo goodbyes! Even if you yourself stress a little bit about sending your child away for a bit, keep your cool. Kids notice your feelings faster than you think.
- If your child will feel sad or even start crying, try not to give in and take him back home, it will only delay the adaptation process that will have to eventually come anyway. If you give in, your child might pick up that whenever he starts crying he will get a free trip back home, and that’s not good!
- Dads are usually more firm, so if you feel like you might have a change of heart while taking your kid to school, you might want to pass over that duty to daddy, at least for the couple first days.
- If you are staying with your child in preschool a while, remember to tell them when you are leaving, don’t try to leave without him knowing, as it might cause him to feel unnecessary fear or even panic when he won’t know where you’ve gone.
- Talk to your kid about how his day in preschool went, but don’t be too insistent. With time he will open up to you himself and tell you about his adventures without need of an encouragement.
Below we present some of the famous preschools celebrities has chosen for their kids:
Lycée Français de New York (New York, NY) – the Jolie-Pitt children (Maddox, Pax, Zahara, and Shiloh), Danielle Steel, Lourdes Leon (Madonna’s daughter)
Avenues School (New York, NY):- Suri Cruise
Sidwell Friends School (Washington, D.C.) – Sasha and Malia Obama