Have you ever worried about your child screaming and crying and hugging your leg on their first day of daycare/preschool? It’s never easy to let your child go, especially if you’re not used to it. Even more so if your child is used to being with you every day. Not only is it hard for you to let go of your child, but it will be hard for them too. There are ways in order to help your child through the first day of being away from you.
Ask questions: I find it to be very important to ask your child/ren questions. Some kids will come out and say how they feel; others have a hard time finding the correct words to do so. The other reason you should ask questions is to help prepare your child for what is going to come next. For example you need to ask questions such as;
- Would you like to make new friends?
- Would you like to learn?
- Don’t you want to do art work?
Look for centers together: After asking simple questions, let your child know that you are going to prepare them for daycare/preschool. The best way to see how your child will react to places is by visiting and touring the facility. Again you need to ask him/her questions.
- Did you like the playground?
- Does the teacher seem nice?
- Where the kids nice?
- Did you like the classroom?
Prepare: Once you have found the right day care for your child, you need to speak with him/her and explain that he/she will be attending daycare. The best way to go about this as simple as you can. Make your sentences short and concise because for obvious reasons children cannot interpret what you’re saying all at once. Take it day by day.
Day1.) You will be going to daycare
Day2.) You will be going to daycare, and you will make new friends
Day3.) You will be going to daycare, you will make new friends, and you will have a nice teacher
Day4.) You will be going to daycare, you will make new friends, you will have a nice teacher, you will get to play at the playground
Day5.) You will be going to daycare, you will make new friends, you will have a nice teacher, you will get to play at the playground, and you will get to do arts and crafts
Day6.) You will be going to daycare, you will make new friends, you will have a nice teacher, you will get to play on the playground, you will get to do arts and crafts, and I will not be there.
Explain one fun aspect every day, while reminding him/her what you said the previous day. Make it sound fun and interesting, that’s all kids care about right? On the last day explain that you will not be there, it’ll be easier for the child to take it in and remind them of all the fun the/she will have. Keep in mind to always let them know what they are going to be doing while they are in daycare/preschool.
Ask questions: I cannot stress enough to ask your children questions. The most important question to ask and guaranteed your child will say no. Ask your child if he or she is ready for their big day.
Visit the facility: While preparing your child, you can visit the facility you’re putting your child in. Let your child observe what other kids do, try to have him/her interact with the other children, and step back and watch what your child does. Most facilities should allow you to go and visit with your child for a couple of hours before your child starts to attend. Try to be able to go visit the facility about two or three times just so your child can get the feel for it. Also explain to your child that when he/she starts to attend the school, you will not be there. You both are there together to observe and see if your child will like it. After the second visit your child should forget that you’re even around.
Food: Before your child starts daycare/preschool go to the store and let him/her pick what he or she wants to eat for lunch and a snack. It’s important that for the first few weeks you let your child decide what they want to eat because, for one, you know that your child will eat their lunch. Second it helps them feel a little independent, well hey they need to right, it’s their first day of daycare/school.
Dress: Let you child pick what they want to wear for the first couple of days. It’s very important that your child feels some kind of normalcy and independent while they are gone and away from mom/dad.
On their first day explain to him/her for the last time what they will be doing while they are in daycare and that you will not be there. As always make sure that you tell your child you love them and that you did whatever you had to, to make sure they will be safe. This was how I prepared my daughter and it worked out perfectly. I’ve also given this same exact advice to friends and it worked for them as well. I hope it works for you, and if it doesn’t PLEASE let me know. Even more so if you found better ways to prepare your child I would love to hear it.