Starting preschool is an exciting milestone for any child, but it can also bring up a range of emotions. For some kids, separation anxiety can make the transition to preschool more difficult. This is natural; separating from their parents and venturing into a new environment with unfamiliar faces can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are many ways to help your little one cope with any feelings of anxiety or fear they may have before they start preschool. Let’s look at five tips that you can use to ease the transition into school life.
- Talk About It
One way to help your child prepare for starting preschool is to talk about it in advance. Remind them that even though you won’t be there all the time, you will always come back and pick them up when class ends. Make sure that your child knows that no matter what happens, you will always be there for them and love them unconditionally.
- Get Them Ready Ahead of Time
Another way to get your child ready for preschool is to give them time to get used to their new routine and classroom environment ahead of time. If possible, try and take a few trips to the school before classes begin so your child can become familiar with the new space and meet some of their future classmates and teachers in person before their first day arrives. This will give them confidence knowing that they already know some people at school who can help make the transition smoother and less intimidating on day one. Also emphasize on how many new friends they will have to play with and the cool and fun activities they’ll get to participate in, like art and music.
- Set Up a Goodbye Ritual
Create a goodbye ritual with your child before they go off into their new environment every day; this could be anything from giving each other high-fives or hugs or saying a special phrase together like “I love you” or “Have fun!” Whatever ritual works best between you two is great – just make sure it’s something positive that both of you look forward to doing together before they head off for the day. This will create a sense of security as well as provide closure each time your child leaves home for school each morning which can make all the difference in helping them stay calm throughout the transition process. Kids can benefit from taking a personal item with them, and most preschools are really open to this. Something from home that helps them feel safe, like a special doll, stuffed animal or blanket.
- Reassure Them That They Are Safe
It's important for your children to know that everything will be okay - even if mommy and daddy aren't around all the time - because their teachers are there looking out for them too! Letting your children know that they have reliable people in place watching over them while they are away from home will put both yours and their minds at ease during those first few weeks away from home every day while attending preschool. Let them know that if something happens, or they’re not feeling well, you are a phone call away.
- Give Yourself a Break
Lastly, remember that while this transition might feel like a stressful period with lots of adjustments being made by everyone involved - don't forget about yourself! Take breaks here and there throughout the process so that everyone stays calm during this big change - including you! Even if it's just 10 minutes spent reading a good book or taking part in an activity like yoga or meditation - giving yourself moments away from all these emotions surrounding school drop-off times is essential for everyone involved (you included!) to maintain control throughout this process! Separation anxiety for parents is a thing, we’re all a mess when it’s time to trust strangers with our little humans we love so much, but hopefully you’ll have done good research on the school, environment and staff and feel confident that they see new faces all the time and will look out for your little one.
Starting preschool can bring up mixed emotions for both parents and kids alike – but with thoughtful planning and preparation combined with lots of reassurance and communication along the way – making this huge transition easier on everyone involved doesn’t have to feel like such an impossible task after all! We hope these five tips have helped provide some insight into how best tackle separation anxiety when kids start preschool so now it's just finding what works best between you two as a family unit moving forwards into this exciting new chapter in life! Good luck on this amazing journey!