The first time your child goes away to school, even for just a few hours a day, can be a nerve-wracking proposition. (Well, it is for me anyway!)
- How do you know they’ll be safe?
- Can both of you handle this huge transition?
- What if they cry when I leave? What if I cry???
Take a deep breath – everything is going to be OK! Here’s what I’m doing to help ease the transition in our home:
ASK. ALL. THE. QUESTIONS.
During my tour of the preschool we ultimately chose for our child, I spent over two hours with the director grilling her on all of my concerns. To her credit, she was completely patient with me and answered every one of my questions thoroughly and with compassion. As a parent, your child’s preschool exists to serve your family. Do not hesitate to ask every question that comes to your mind. I arrived at my tours of various schools with a printed list of questions in-hand to make sure I didn’t forget anything that was important to me. If the school is a good fit, you will feel peace about the way that every question was answered.
Help Your Child Get Excited About School
It’s totally normal for your child to feel some apprehension about the coming change in routine. Here are a few ways we are working on getting excited about school:
- I let my son pick out his own special new backpack.
- We’ve been driving by the school periodically and pointing it out, and reminding him of the fun he will have there.
- We’ve checked out every book we can get our hands on from our beloved Richland Library about starting school for the first time. Here are a few we’re reading now:
Allow Your Child Space to Ask Questions and Process Their Feelings About School
As school approaches, your child might start to have questions and feelings about their first day they may not know how to articulate yet. By asking your child open-ended questions and giving them space to talk and think, you can help them process their feelings about school and work to alleviate any anxieties they may be having. Some questions Finn has asked me in the last few weeks include:
- “Will my teacher be nice, or mad?”
- “Will you stay with me at school?”
- “Will the kids in my class be friendly?”
His questions have given us a great jumping-off point for reassurance.
Remember, Your Baby Will Be Ok (And so Will You)
You worked hard choosing the right preschool for your child. You’ve done your due diligence. Your child will be blessed and enriched by their teachers, new friends, and new experiences. And of course, their time in preschool will be the perfect transition to get them ready for kindergarten. But don’t forget (I have to keep reminding myself of this), if your child isn’t thriving or the school just isn’t the right fit, you can leave! It’s not Harvard. You, the parent, are still in the driver’s seat. Your child will be just fine, and so will you.
Now excuse me while I go cry into my latte because he was LITERALLY this little five minutes ago: