Children and parents who are well prepared for school can avoid the difficulty of adjusting to school. Make it fun for your child by making things easy.
Plan your part of the adjustment process. It can be just as heartbreaking for you, as your child, when you separate. Are you emotionally prepared? Touch base with the Director or teachers before the actual enrollment date. Do a trial run and spend half an hour at the school at a time a few days before the official start date. Make contingency plans for work or other activities that you have planned if things become difficult on the first day or first few days. Think about what foods to prepare and how it should be packaged. Food that the child usually likes is best for the first month or two, i.e. comfort food. Try not to introduce new food items during this time as too many changes are hard for the child to accommodate
Have you completed all documentation for your child? Physicians Reports, vaccination cards, emergency contact information and other forms completed. The school will not admit your child if all paper work is not completed. Review all documentation with the admissions office before the start date.
The Drive To School and Work How long does it take, to drive your child to school? Have you made provisions for traffic and parking? If you are working, how long does it take to get to work from the school? How long does it take you, to get to the school and pick up your child?
Prepare Your Child
Get your child involved in laying out his or her clothing for the school day. Pack a favorite toy or pacifier that might give your child some comfort. Send a family picture along which can kept it in his cubby that can be a source of comfort. Children may scream, cry or cling when you drop them off at preschool. This separation anxiety, which is quite normal, can in some cases create an extremely difficult situation for you. Keep calm, be consistent and don't be daunted.
Plan a Trial Visit
Do a trial run at the school, even for a few minutes. Keep calm. Don't panic. It is a natural part of your child's development and in time they will get used to it.
The Good-Bye Routine
Saying Good-Bye can be one of the most difficult things for your child. They cling to you, cry, scream or cause a mini riot. The trick to an effective Good-Bye is to follow some simple steps. Always say Good-bye. Do not prolong the Good-bye. Never slip out without saying Good-bye. Tell your child exactly what time they will be picked up and follow through on the timing. If you think you might get late, tell them about that possibility. Give your child a kiss, a hug or a wave when leaving. After a few days you may discover that your child's crying at you leaving only lasts a few minutes. Children get used to the process very quickly. But a consistent routine is the key to your success.
The Hello Routine
After a hard day at work, parents can often be tired and irritated. The important thing is to put aside your problems and pay attention to the needs of your child. Follow a consistent pick up schedule, especially at the beginning. Children need to know that you will be back to pick them up at the time your promised. Some children will run into your arms, give you a hug and tell you about their day. Others will see you and carry on with an activity they have been doing. Give them a few minutes. Stand back a little bit. Pick up your child's lunch box and other materials they have using and firmly indicate that you will leave within a specified time period. After you get in the car, listen to your child. Most children want to tell you about what happened in their day. Also tell them about your day, in simple terms that they can understand. Kids want to know about your day too.
Prepare these items before school
Blanket Small Pillow (Optional) A warm jacket (Light one for summer) Lunch (100% Juice Only) Picture of Family A Change of clothes 2 pants, 2 socks, 2 underwear Diapers & supplies (If not potty trained) Check fingernails are cut Pack outstanding documentation Label all clothing
At the School
Sign-In your child first. Place all material in his or her cubby which will be marked with their name. Spend a few minutes with your child (no more than 5 minutes). Hand over child to teacher. Say a firm goodbye. Walk out without looking back and do not linger and then hang around in the parking lot.
It is not easy to do, but be brave.
Another method is to practice saying good-bye. Get one of you relatives to look after your child. This trial separation will teach your child the concept of separation from you. Play a game of hide and seek. Subconsciously this helps your child grasp the concept of leaving and coming back.
Introduction to school friends and teachers
If your child is introduced to the teacher or Director of the school before the actual start date, it will give the child a familiar face to identify with. If you know one of the children at school, arrange a play date, so that your child can see and take comfort in a familiar face.