Nervous excitement fills the air at Preschool. Kids, parents, and teachers look forward to (and possibly cringe) at the thought of THE FIRST DAY.
Watching your child walk into preschool on the first day can be very difficult, especially if it is their first time away from family.
Nearly every year I have taught, at least one student or parent has displayed separation anxiety. Yep, you read that right. Parents have separation anxiety, too!
Here are some examples.
I've been there as a parent and as a preschool teacher. It's not easy. Just know...it doesn't last forever.
Here are some tried and true tricks to make the transition easier.
---In a few short sentences, explain to your child they have an important job to do at school. Drawing a picture, making a tower out of blocks, lining up cars, painting---any activity at school they enjoy can be their 'job'. This gives them something to look forward to.
---Add that you have Mommy or Daddy business to do while they are 'working'. This makes your child feel important and gives them a sense of self worth.
---Give a hug, high five, or fist bump as a parting ritual prior to the first day. Kids love routine and will say good bye with confidence if they've parted in a similar way before.
---Tell your child who will be picking them up after school. Some kids don't understand this concept and feel abandoned.
---Say a quick good-bye, turn around, and don't look back. Especially if YOU have tears. When kids see their parent or another child cry, they are more apt to do the same.
If you encounter a tough time separating, keep in mind you are not alone. Many parents and kids experience emotional separation. Luckily, it is very rare for a child to cry for more than a few minutes after they enter the building.
Parents agonize much, much longer!
In my teacher role, I text parents as soon as possible (sometimes with a picture) to let them know their little one is doing fine.
Before long the day is over and kids and parents are happily reunited.
Looking Forward to Sunshine Smiles and
a GREAT FIRST DAY!!!