It’s normal for a child to get nervous on the first day of preschool. If your child is only three or four years old, virtually everything is brand new to them. It’s no wonder that the first day can be a little scary. The good news is that you have a few options for calming your child’s fears on the first day. Try the tips below to put your child’s mind at ease.
Note: While first day jitters are absolutely normal, if your child struggles with day-to-day anxiety, talk to your pediatrician about your child’s therapy options. A child psychologist can coach your child through some healthy anxiety coping techniques.
Before the First Day
If your child seems nervous about the first day of preschool, you can start calming them down before their first day even starts. Since preschool is an unfamiliar situation for them, try to make it familiar. For example, ask if you can bring your child when you take your first tour of the school. See if you can introduce your child to their new teacher before the first day. This way, your child won’t have to deal with a lot of new things when the first day arrives.
Next, remember that your child picks up their social and emotional cues from you. If you seem nervous, your child will likely get nervous too. You can improve the situation by getting excited about preschool. Talk about preschool in positive tones. Tell them about all of the fun things they’ll do, the things they’ll learn, and how happy you’ll be to hear all about it when you pick them up.
While you’re preparing your child for the first day of preschool, you should also encourage their questions. Children learn by asking questions. Questions help preschoolers familiarize themselves with the world around them, and now that world includes preschool. When your child asks questions, take the time to answer them and let them know that questions are a good thing.
Reduce Separation Anxiety
Sometimes, those “first day of preschool” jitters come from separation anxiety. If your child has been in daycare before, then you might not have this issue with preschool. However, if preschool is the first time your child will be away from you for a significant amount of time, they may be nervous about it. Ultimately, preschool will be a great thing for your child, but that first day can be a little tough. You can reduce separation anxiety with a few techniques, though.
First, remind your child that you will come back to get them. Tell them exactly when and where they can expect you. Sometimes, this reminder is all a child needs to relax and have fun.
Second, find your happy medium between lingering too long and running off as soon as your child has their back turned. Try not to sneak out of the room. It may work as a temporary solution, but next time, your child will just keep a closer eye on you when you drop them off. At the same time, you don’t want to stick around too long. Sit next to your child for a minute or so while they get settled, but then you should leave the classroom. When you stay longer than a couple of minutes, your child learns that they can convince you to stay, which will only make the next drop-off more difficult.
First Day of Preschool
Is your child getting ready for the first day of preschool, or are you still looking for the perfect place? If you still need a preschool for your child, look no further than Legacy Academy. At Legacy, your child will experience the perfect mix of fun and learning. Ready to learn more about our curriculum or schedule a tour for yourself? Get in touch with us today. We’d love to hear from you.