It may be time for your child to start preschool. While you are busy preparing for your child to go to preschool, she may feel anxious about the new experience. Having to part with her parents, and face strangers and new environment all alone could be frightening. Therefore, it would be better to prepare your child a few months ahead to help her adjust to the transition smoothly.
Keys in Preparation for Preschool
Encouraging Basic Self Care
e.g. putting on clothes, going to the toilet and tidying up. This will enhance her independence and self-confidence in coping with pre-school life.
Establishing Simple Rules and Routines at Home
Let your child learn how to follow instructions and change activities upon request.
Promoting Quiet Activities
e.g. listening to stories, drawing or art and craft. Let your child get used to activities which require her to sit down and pay attention for a while.
Creating Opportunities to Mix with Other Children
Take your child to the park, playground, or to play with neighbours. Let her mix with other children, learn to share and take turns.
Overcoming Separation Anxiety
- You may rehearse with your child by having brief separation with her. Initially, leave her for just a few minutes. Then, gradually lengthen the time.
- Find a baby-sitter your child likes. While she is playing with the baby-sitter, tell her that you are going to leave for a while. You must tell her when you will return. For example, “Mummy will return when you have finished the colouring” or “I will be back after you have dinner.”
- Keep your promise to be back on time, so that your child would not worry. To assure your child, you may leave your belongings with her, and ask her to keep it for you until you are back.
- Avoid threatening your child with “I don’t want you”, “Get out!” or “I’ll tell your teacher to punish you”, etc. It would make your child fear of being abandoned or reject school.
Exposing Your Child to Interesting School Life
- Take your child to the nearby kindergarten, or read and tell her stories about interesting school life. These can help her learn more about school.
- Before school starts, familiarize your child with the route to school. Let her try on the school uniform and carry the school bag, play going to school with her.
- Attend the school orientation helps your child get to know the school environment and like the school.
When school starts, your child may feel distressed or temporarily regress in behaviours as she is not used to the new school life. Keep close contact with the teacher and team up with the school to meet your child’s needs. With good adjustment, your child will enjoy a happy school life.