How do you prepare your child for preschool?
Transitioning into school, even part time, can be really challenging for little ones. What are some great ways you can get your young child ready for preschool and ensure that her transition is a success?
Honesty. Always honest, regardless of the topic. Parents can ALWAYS be honest with their children. It just has to be broken down....again....and again....and again....(smiling) into a "language" your child can understand. For example:
When I took my daughter to the doctor for her pre-school shots, she asked me, "Mama this is gonna hurt huh?" I said, "Yep, sure will, Coop (her name is Cooper)." But guess what?!!!? WE get to hold hands while you are gettin' 'em. Isn't that great!!!?! She said, "How come that's great?" lol.
I said, "Because you won't be alone. I will be there with you!" She liked that one, thought it was great. But it was true too. I didn't lie about the fact that it would hurt. I also told her that she would probably cry when she got them, and that it would be okay if she did, because it DOES hurt for a little bit, but that's because it SOUNDS scarier than it actually is. I told her it feels like that "sharp sting of a mosquito bite." And then I offered to show her what I meant. I took a toothpick, held it over her finger, then stuck her really quickly with it three or four times. Sounds cruel, but I told her before I even did it, what I was going to do, and she agreed. So, she said, "Ow, that hurt!" But.....it's gone now...." I said, "See, that wasn't so bad huh?" And the best part, is that you were so brave!! I am proud of you. So proud of you, that we can eat lunch where ever you want today!" (or buy a barbie doll, etc...)
In relation to starting preschool, Cooper and I participated in our local HIPPY group. She completed that before attending preschool. It is a wonderful opportunity for them socially, as well as academically in preparation for "big kid" school. Speaking of that word, I also kept reminding Cooper that she would be going to "big kid" school now. They strive to be a part of all "big kid" things.
Preparation for school though, really begins at birth, I believe. Parents should not wait until their child begins school, to start teaching them things. I started teaching Cooper different things from her birth. When she was a month old, I would sit her down on the floor and have one hand behind her head, and tell her "mama, is trying to teach you how to sit up." When she was 3 months old, I started teaching her how to keep her head up by herself. You see, parents should always always be teaching their children SOMETHING and daily. Cooper started walking at 8 1/2 months. Was that me or genetics? Don't know really, but I was never afraid to teach her and always proud of any interest shown from her.
Got off track. Sorry. Cooper and I also visited her school 4 or 5 times before school started. I showed her where the library, cafeteria, gym, main office, and the bathrooms were located for her use. We also knew a month ahead of time, which classroom would be hers. I showed her the playground as well. We also discussed what to do if there was a hurricane. Her question. But a good one. We went back to school shopping together, and I let her pick out 2 backpacks (Barbie and Tinkerbell, of course). The night before her 1st day of school (18 August), we celebrated by going out to eat (we eat out twice a month), and I allowed her choose the location. I explained during dinner that since she was on a schedule (she has been since birth), her bedtime was at so and so time (8:00), and that she and I would have less time together from now on, but we would still get to do fun things at home, if she made the right choices at school. Then I drove her to school in the morning and I was waiting at her classroom door 20 minutes early to pick her up. I made sure all noises were off in the car, and I asked her about her first day of school, and hugged her and told her HOW PROUD I was of her for being so BRAVE when she was so scared!! :)
In my case the question should be "HOW DO YOU PREPARE MOM FOR YOUR TOT'S PRESCHOOL?" LOL... My son was so exited, tha all he did was hug me and said " see you later mommy"..., I was expecting cries, fits, the whole business, but nope, he was fine, and I felt like I was not necessary...., my heart was broken....LOL....
By just taking them and not overthinking it. It's pre-school; not college.
My son started school (Daycare) just before he turned two. He never looked back. Every morning he runs to the back door. I guess we are lucky, but I was the same way when I was little! On the weekend he doesn't understand why he doesn't go but he does enjoy time with us anyway :)