Starting preschool is a big milestone, often met with excitement and anticipation. So, to help you get through a tear-free first day, here are a few ways you can prepare your child.
- Keep things consistent
Some mothers may witness their little ones having a bad reaction on the first day – and they may decide to pull their child out of class. Don’t do that! It denies your child the chance to work through his or her negativity and sets a precedent for how they face future problems. Keep things consistent, instead, by going with your child regularly, keeping goodbyes short, and telling your child what to expect.
- Get help from the teacher
Hopefully, your child’s teacher at a centre for child care in Sydney or in your local area will be warm and caring, and able to anticipate your little one’s needs. But, it’s all new to you, too, so brief her with any necessary information that will help both the teacher and your child get to know one another. It’s helpful for teachers to know as much as about the child’s home life as possible so as to help make their transition into childcare easier.
- Get something comforting ready
Send your child to childcare with a little reminder of home to help ease any separation anxiety. If your child doesn’t have a favourite toy or blankie, even a sippy cup or familiar pillow could do the trick.
- Don’t just sneak off
While it may be tempting to bolt from the classroom, your child is going to feel more afraid if you disappear suddenly. The best way to handle the process is to begin by sitting next to your child at childcare, but not interacting with him or her, but just acting as a safety net. Then, start developing a goodbye ritual, like a special hug or even a handshake, with a “seeya later!”
- Don’t spring a surprise visit
Once you have left your little one at childcare, do your best to resist going back to check on him or her, and try not to phone the childcare every hour. If you’re always checking up, your child may end up checking up on your constantly. Rather develop a team approach with the teacher and trust the teacher.
- Have a pep talk with yourself
Come up with a mantra for yourself, like, “this is the best place for my child, I’ve made the right decision.” That way, you will remind yourself of why being apart is healthy. Keep repeating your mantra as much as you need to. Remember that kids can pick up on moods, so if you are anxious and nervous when you drop your child off for the first day at childcare, he or she is likely to take on your attitude. Instead, try to be upbeat and calm, even if you don’t feel it, and keep reassuring your child. Remind him or her that you will be coming back later and that they are safe at childcare.
With those tips in mind, Toddle will be able to prepare you and your child for his or her first day at childcare.