The big day has finally arrived! Your toddler has been up since the crack of dawn and is fully dressed in that adorable first-day-of-school outfit. She is wearing matching shoes and a fabulous hair accessory. She put on her toddler briefcase and is carrying her lunchbox around since 7:15am. Starting school is going to be a breeze! However it doesn’t always work out that way. After spending years with Mommy, it’s quite an adjustment to head out on their own. Here are some tips to help make the transition a little easier.
Make sure your child is well prepared for her first day. She should understand all the rules and know what is expected of her. She may be starting school with children who has been in the daycare system for years and are quite comfortable with a classroom setting. To help her familiarize herself with the classroom setting you can role play, initiate discussions or read her books – I like DW’s Guide to Preschool.
Keep all negative and nervous feelings to yourself. Speak about her day at school in glowing terms. Take a picture of her before she leaves. Sing songs all the way to school.
Don’t sneak away. Tell your child that you need to leave now and will be coming back to get him. If he cries ask the teacher to take over. Most children stop crying right after their parents leave. You can call the school later on to make sure he is okay.
When picking him up avoid over-exuberance. Let him unwind a bit before pelting him with dozens of questions. He had a very stimulating day! Try to ask specific questions such as “What did you eat for lunch” as opposed to “How was your day?”
Ask the teacher who he played well with and invite him over for a play date the next weekend. Life is always better once you have a buddy.
If she continues to cry each morning, try having someone else drop her off at school. She may just be stuck in a rut.
If she still has adjustment issues after a few weeks, enlist the teacher’s help. She may have dozens of tricks to help your child get used to school. Even some extra attention does wonders!