For young children, preschool is undoubtedly one of the most exciting yet challenging transitional stages of life. A well-rounded preschool education builds a child’s academic foundation and provides valuable life skills such as communication, problem-solving and critical thinking. Preparing your child for the transition to preschool is essential as you will want your child to feel confident and comfortable in a new environment. Here are some of the best ways to let your child adapt smoothly:
1. Prepare Yourself
The first step to preparing your child for preschool is to prepare yourself first. Instead of being nervous on their first day of school, remember to stay calm and collected when dropping your child off at school. Children tend to be incredibly sensitive to what others around them are feeling, especially when it comes from their parents or caregivers. They pick up on nonverbal cues that indicate signs of tension or melancholy fairly quickly and may even subconsciously mirror your demeanour.
Be positive when talking about school with your child and let them know that a preschool is a great place for making friends, having fun and learning new skills. Through positive reinforcement, your child will feel less anxious about starting preschool and might even look forward to it.
2. Avoid Too Many Changes
Starting preschool is a huge change in your child’s environment and having other major changes at the same time can overwhelm your child. Such changes can include moving into a new house or signing up your child for a new hobby. It would be best to have your child start their first day in preschool with no other adjustments to their current routine.
While it may seem like a good and exciting time to introduce new routines as they start a new chapter in their life, do bear in mind that having their attention split between too many new activities may cause stress. These changes can cause a significant disruption in their child’s life. Hence it is important to plan well and wait for a good time for your child to start preschool.
3. Get Your Child Ready
Start having conversations with your child about preschool before it starts so as to let them get an idea of what preschool is like and what to expect. It is good to familiarise them with the idea of learning and what they’ll be doing there. You can start by encouraging them to read and providing opportunities to play with other children so that they can get a slice of the preschool experience.
Setting up a fixed routine before school starts also helps to get them used to the schedule once school commences. Ensure that your child goes to bed on time and create a consistent healthy morning routine such as having breakfast and reading a book, similar to how it might be done in school.
4. Speak to Their Teachers
Work with the teachers to support and help your child adjust to school. It is a good idea to talk to your child’s teacher if your child experiences separation anxiety, or if they have any other difficulties adjusting to preschool.
Take into consideration that teachers at good preschools are well-trained and experienced early childhood specialists who have the skills necessary to support children through these challenges. They’ll only require your help and an open line of dialogue so they can collaborate with you to resolve these difficulties and provide your child with an excellent educational experience.
Preschoolers often experience uncertainty in the weeks preceding the start of school and in the following weeks. Parents undoubtedly want their children to be successful and at ease in their new situation. Through the use of the tips mentioned above, your child will feel heard, noticed, and loved, even if they are unsure and struggling.
At Raffles Kidz, we understand the difficulties during this transitional period. As one of the best preschools in Singapore, we provide a nurturing preschool environment with passionate teachers to ensure that every child adapts well. We also enforce good parental communication as it is key to a quality preschool experience. Book a tour to find out more today!