Friday, August 21, 2009

Back to School Planning: How to Prepare Your Preschooler for a Smooth Transition

Your child is about to enter her first year of preschool. You are both excited but you are worried at the same time. What if she cries? What if she holds on to you and begs you not to leave her? What if her teacher is mean?

While all of these are reasonable concerns, remember why you have signed her up for preschool in the first place. You are giving her an opportunity to make friends and learn how to socialize with her peers and teachers; develop her communication skills; learn more about he world around her; and begin feeling independent and responsible. Isn't all that very, very good?

Some tips to make the transition smoother:
1. Take her to school ahead of time to introduce her to her new teacher (who I promise, will not be mean!)
2. Let her visit the classroom to see where she will be spending her time.
3. Allow her to play on the playground and encourage her to find a favorite activity there that she can look forward to visiting when school starts.
4. Let her choose her own backpack that will make her excited to show off to her friends.
5. Let her choose her own back-to-school outfit (that you approve of) to give her a confident feeling as she walks through the door.
6. Be sure to say goodbye to her at the door and allow her to walk into the classroom without you. That physical separation allows her to understand the boundaries. This is her classroom and you will leave to do the things you need to do.
7. Leave her with a smile even if you feel broken up inside watching your little girl starting a new adventure on her own, without you.
8. Promise that you'll be back, and PLEASE, don't be late at pick-up time.

This is a wonderful new adventure for your child and your family. Enjoy the time you have free to hit the gym, run errands unencumbered, or just take a bath and read. A positive attitude will go a long way to making your child's transition successful.

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