The first day of school is an exciting milestone in any family’s life. You want your child to have a successful start, but you might be unsure of how the first day may go.
It is normal for many young children to become upset or cry when they separate from you and try a new experience away from the familiar. We are prepared for this and know that it can take time. Below are some suggestions to help make your first days at preschool successful for both you and your child.
- Visit the classroom with your child before the first day. Our Meet and Greet is a perfect time to meet your teacher and to look around your new classroom. Then you can talk together at home about what you saw and what your child will be doing on the first days.
- Talk with your child about whether there is a special object (blanket, toy) he or she would like to bring to school for comfort. Please remember to mark all items and talk with your teacher about items brought.
- Talk with your teacher about sending a family picture to post in a special spot for your child to refer to during the preschool day.
- Visit the preschool playground before school to let your child become familiar with the equipment and feel successful on the first day of playground.
- Do some pretend play with your child about how you will go to school and how you will say good-bye. Imagine waking up, having breakfast, getting in the car, walking in the door and kissing good-bye.
- Agree on a good-bye ritual, how many kisses, hugs, etc.
- Make sure your child is clear on who will pick him or her up.
- Find out something about the schedule for the day so you can talk it over.
- If you are sending lunch or a snack, involve your child in preparing it. Include a special note, picture or poem as a surprise.
- Allow enough time! Make sure you awaken early enough to have a relaxing morning, with time to dress and eat a good breakfast.
- Find out in advance by talking with your teacher if you can stay with your preschooler for a while before saying good-bye if you think that is what’s needed.
- Don’t hang around peering through windows after you have said good-bye. Once your child sees that you are reluctant to leave, he/she becomes reluctant too, diminishing all attempts by the teacher.
- BRING TISSUES! This may be harder for you than your child.