Preschool is important for social development in children. It is a vital milestone for parents as well as the child. While some children may go to preschool happily, others may exhibit signs of separation anxiety like tears, clinging to the parent, refusal to wake up on time and vomiting. While some children take a few days, some may take months to overcome this.
Here’s how to help your child say bye with a smile:
1. Plan your goodbye- Saying goodbye can be really tough for your tiny tot. Prepare your child by introducing play, like peek-a-boo or saying bye-bye. Create a goodbye ritual like kissing your child on the cheeks, saying bye and walking out while dropping them off. Ensure that you stay calm when you drop your child.
2. Familiarise – Before starting with the preschool, make yourself well aware of the preschool’s schedule. Take your child for a familiarization trip, meet the teachers and support staff. Share your own childhood stories with your child to create interest.
3. Make a school routine – Plan some activities similar to that of preschool at home on weekends. These may include some play and learn activities, art and craft sessions with snack breaks and lunch breaks in between.
4. Don’t sneak out - Don’t walk away when your child isn’t looking at you, as this may result in loss of trust. Inform your child in advance in case you are going to run late in picking them up. Children are confident and at ease when parents set expectations in advance so always say bye to your child and assure them that you will be back.
5. Rules and rewards - Some children try everything to avoid school. Create incentive & excitement for your child to go to preschool. For example, put up a chart at home and stick a sticker or star on it if your child goes to school with a smile. Once s/he gets five stickers, reward your child.
Starting preschool is a great time, a time for your child to take the first few steps outside the familiar home surroundings. These tips will help your kid ease into the preschool and say goodbye without tears.