While preschool offers many benefits, it also comes with its fair share of emotions – for both the parent and the child.
As a parent, you may worry about her struggling to make friends. Or whether he’s prepared academically. Your preschooler may feel anxious about the unfamiliar environment.
Don’t worry. It’s normal to have mixed emotions about whether your child is ready for preschool.
Pediatrician Sarah Adams has a few tips to help you and your child start school with ease.
“To make sure she is on the right track academically, read to her and help her acquire some basic skills,” said Dr. Adams, of Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics in Hudson. “She should begin recognizing and remembering letters, numbers and colors.”
Simple activities will help her develop the skills she’ll need to succeed in preschool, such as:
- matching objects to pictures in books
- playing make believe
- sorting objects by shape and color
- completing small puzzles
“Preschool is a great time for children to develop socially,” Dr. Adams said. “Encourage her to play with other children in the neighborhood and to participate in extra-curricular community activities to help prepare her.”
Exposing him to other children before school starts allows him to get used to playing fairly. As he gets more comfortable with playing with others, he’ll be more aware of and sensitive to the feelings and actions of others.
“Remind him that when he is playing with others, each person gets an equal turn with a toy,” Dr. Adams said. “Encourage fair cooperation by helping him see the situation from the other child’s perspective.”
When problems do arise, tell her to use her words instead of throwing a tantrum. This type of behavior will help the teacher deal with any problems that do arise among the children during the day.
After all of this, how should you get your preschooler excited to go to school?
- Discuss how fun school is and how many friends she’s going to make.
- Remind him that he is not the only one who’s nervous.
- Buy her something she can take on the first day to remind her of you.
- Comfort him by saying if any problems do arise, you will help resolve them.
- Find another child in her class and have them play together beforehand.