“In this classroom, relationships are fostered, families are respected, and children are honored.
In this classroom, nature’s gifts are valued and children’s thoughts are captured.
In this classroom, learning is alive and aesthetic beauty is appreciated.” -Unknown
Happy Weekend Trinity Families, What a wonderful first week of school we have had. Overall, the children have done extraordinarily well and with each week it will only get better as your children become more familiar with their environment and their new teachers. An important part of this transition is for you, as parents, to show excitement and encouragement for this first school experience. Your heart might be breaking inside, but your child will feel your doubt and concern. Make sure you tell them that school is fun and they will be safe and loved. Saying goodbye is often the most difficult part of the transitioning to school. Below are some types to make the goodbye not so stressful. These strategies can ease the jitters of separating on your child’s first day at preschool.
- Plan to stay a little while. Staying for 15-30 minutes on that first mornings can help ease the transition. Together, the two of you can explore the classroom, meet some other children, play with a few toys. When you see that your child is comfortable, it is time to leave. If he is having a harder time getting engaged, you may want to ask your child’s teacher to stay with your child as you say good-bye so that when you leave, he can turn to another caring adult for support.
- Keep your tone positive and upbeat. Children pick up on the reactions of the trusted adults in their lives. So try not to look worried or sad, and don’t linger too long. Say a quick, upbeat good-bye and reassure your child that all will be well.
- Think about creating a special good-bye routine. For example, you can give your child a kiss on his or her palm to “hold” all day long. Or, the two of you can sing a special song together before you leave. Good-bye routines are comforting to children and help them understand and prepare for what will happen next.
- Resist the rescue. Try not to run back in the classroom if you hear your child crying, as upsetting as this can be. This is a big change and your child may, quite understandably, feel sad and a little scared. But if you run back in, it sends the message that he is only okay if you are there and it is likely to prolong your child’s distress and make it harder for him to adapt. Rest assured, teachers have many years of experience with helping families make the shift to preschool. Instead, you can wait outside the classroom for a few minutes to ensure that all is well, or call the school later in the morning to check-in.
The Before School Plan
- Wake up early enough so that you and your child don’t have to rush to get to preschool.
- Make breakfast for your child and, if possible, sit down to eat together—or at least talk with her as she eats and you get ready.
- Review the day’s routine (what preschool will be like, how your child will get to school/come home).
- Pack your child’s backpack together. If your child is bringing lunch, select foods that you know are his favorites. Having some familiarity on his first day is helpful as he adjusts to so many changes.
- Let your child choose a special stuffed animal or blanket to bring to school with her. These “loveys” can help children make the transition from home to school, and can also make naptime easier, too. You may want to send your child with a family photo or favorite book as well. These familiar objects can help if she feels lonely during the day.
Each child deals with separation differently, some will see it as an adventure while others as the place where they can’t be with mom. Children who are slower to warm-up child just need a little more time!
TLS CDC Director