If your child is about to embark upon his or her first day in preschool, you'll want to make the experience a positive one in every aspect. This means preparing your child for preschool before he or she begins. There are several things you can do to help your child adjust and succeed. To help your child with the transition, follow these simple "do's and don'ts":
1. DO Establish a Routine Beforehand
It's a good idea to establish a regular routine so your child will have a chance to get used to the new schedule. Determine a good bedtime on schooldays and stick to it. In addition, set a wake up time on weekdays so your child will become used to awaking at the same time each day in preparation for a day of preschool.
2. DON'T Exclude Your Child From Decision Making
Children like to feel important, especially when beginning a new experience such as preschool. Therefore, it's important not to make all of the decisions without some approval from your child. Allow your child to choose their own backpack, school supplies, and clothing. It will help your child gain a positive outlook and enthusiasm about preschool, as well as a sense of independence.
3. DO Allow Your Child To Become Acquainted With His or Her Classmates
It's a good idea to arrange a play date where your child can get together with other kids in the program. Making new friends before preschool begins will give your child a head start on becoming well adjusted and "fitting in." Also, if there is a visiting day, take your child to meet the other kids and the teachers.
4. DON'T Let Your Child Go Empty Handed On the First Day of Preschool
That very first day may be a bit awkward or even frightening for your little one. To help your child feel secure and comfortable, let him or her bring along a favorite toy or belonging. Anything from a small stuffed animal to a favorite blanket may help make the transition more comfortable and familiar. If your child prefers, allow him or her to bring along a personal belonging of Mom or Dad's. Before doing so, get permission from the teacher to be sure you are not breaking any rules.
5. DO Make Your Exit Quickly
It's best to make it a quick goodbye rather than delaying your stay. On the first day, hug and kiss your little one goodbye, with reassurance that you (or another trusted individual) will be back to take him or her home. Keep that smile on your face and a cheery attitude as you say goodbye, and your child will get a sense of reassurance.
For additional information about preschool, check out websites like http://www.kidscountry.net.