4 ways to help your child overcome preschool jitters
Stepping outside from the comforts of your home or parents’ gentle care is bound to bring along a few fears for the new preschoolers. At this age they venture into the outer world for the first time. Getting introduced to and left on their own with new people and new surroundings is a scary change in itself. Some kids take it well in their stride but some exhibit signs of fear and anxiety, that are quite natural at this new development. Here's a brief look on the most common fears and how you can help ease those.
Though kids at this age aren't really aware of separation anxiety but they do know that you are leaving him/her behind and won't be back soon. It's the first time they are venturing out on their own and spending a considerable amount of time without your loving care and attention. The first day and few days thereafter are the most crucial in helping your child ease into the new people and surroundings of the school. No matter how heart wrenching their cries must be for you, but don't linger on the good byes. Let them know it's ok and leave without looking back or dwelling on it. You can always check back with the teacher an hour or two later as to how your child is doing and most often than not, you would be relieved to know that he/she has settled in for the day.
Some parents take utmost care to potty train their child before he/she steps into preschool but that may still be a new habit for them and with a new place and other kids around, it might seem to them a challenge everyday. But it’s best not to push your child too much on this, just to meet the first day at school deadline.You can check with the school beforehand if they are flexible about it or hold on a few days longer. Sometimes it could just be the toilet itself that's scary for the child. Then you could ask to send his/her own potty chair beforehand.
This is the time of the day where kids participate in common day-today discussions and are encouraged to talk and share. But some kids might not quite feel up to it right away. In that case the teacher can let the child observe for few days and gradually let him/her ease into it. Also as a parent you can give him/her ideas beforehand by asking questions like ‘What would you share today? Would you like to tell about the new colouring book you got?’
Your little one has too much to deal with all of a sudden. New place, new strange people, new kids all around, new food, new playground, new bathroom, all unfamiliar grounds can definitely make your child pause and hesitate before moving on. You can help by familiarising the child with prior visits to the school, showing him/her around the whole place, acquainting him/her with the teacher, the dining place and playground. Also if an older kid from your neighbourhood or family can tag along, it becomes all the more easier and reassuring for the child.
The most important thing is to let your child know that it is ok and that he is going to enjoy. Listen to his/her fears and concerns and work on it along with the teacher. Don’t push your child. Let him/her take it easy with their small new strides everyday.
How was your child’s first day at preschool? Is your child ready for preschool yet? Are you?