Preparing Your Child For Preschool Program

How to prepare your child for the preschool program, if you feel the impending experience may be stressful for them.


The time when a child is about to start preschool can be stressful for both parent and child. They are worried about meeting new people, learning new things and being away from their parents. The parents worry about behavior, how they will fare, and if they will get the attention they need and deserve.

The best possible thing you can do for your child during this time is prepare them. Show them that this new experience is a positive one and that all the other children will be feeling and thinking the same things. A new school and a new class is just that""new, for all involved.

Some steps you can take to prepare your child for his or her new adventure:

1) Talk It Up: Parents must remember that even if they are feeling nervous or stressed about the beginning of preschool they should always try to be positive when discussing it with their child. Tell your child how new things are often terrific things. Talk about what you enjoyed when you were in school. Make sure they understand that everyone will be meeting for the first time. They are not alone. Also, if they have an older sibling or cousin already in preschool, tell them all the things that person likes about going to school.

2) Tell Them The Teacher's Name: Some of the stress involved is having to listen to a new adult. When you go to your child's school to meet the teachers and see the classroom, give your child a full report. Give your child the teacher's name, even explain what the teacher looks like. It may be a small thing to you, but to your child it could take some of the tension out of a new experience.

3) Read To Your Child: Almost all of the popular television or cartoon characters have books about the first day of school. Make a special trip out of going to the library or local bookstore and getting some of these books. It will help your child to put the situation into perspective if they can identify with one or more of their favorite characters. Once you've read the books, make sure you take time to let your child ask questions or express concerns. They are looking to you for comfort and reassurance.

4) Make Sure Your Child Knows It's Okay to Ask Questions: A lot of children worry about who they can turn to if they are unsure of something when in school. Make sure that above all else your child understands that is perfectly fine not to know something, and it is very important to ask questions. Stress to your child that we all have to ask questions sometimes, and that is the only way we can learn new things. If you feel it necessary, explain to the teacher what you have told your child, and ask him or her if for the first few days they would help reinforce it. Most teachers understand that some children are more wary than others.

5) Don't Hover: When the big day comes, don't hover over your child. Make the drop off as quick and painless as possible. If your child wants you to stay, give them a time limit. Say you can only stay for five minutes, walk around the classroom for a few minutes, and then give your child a kiss and a hug and leave. Chances are, once you've gone they will be fine. Sometimes it takes Mommy or Daddy being gone for a child to truly embark on a new experience.

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