The first day of school can be a very stressful event for you and your preschooler. You can help curb some of their (and your) anxiety over the first few days at preschool with a predictable routine that gives you and your child time to calmly prepare for the day ahead.
Set a Bedtime and Stick to It
You likely already know how cooperative your preschooler is when they are cranky and tired, but did you know that not getting enough sleep can also be a source of anxiety for your child while they are at school? Overtired children tend to have difficulty controlling their emotions and are more likely to act out in ways that are not acceptable in a school environment.
However, when your child is well-rested, they are better equipped to handle the emotional, social, and academic challenges of preschool. Getting the right amount of sleep is a must, not just for the first few days of preschool, but for your child’s entire academic career.
Create an Anxiety-Free Morning Routine
Starting off your day at a more relaxed pace may mean everyone gets up a little earlier on school days, but it can make a huge difference for everyone in the family. However, it may take a few practice runs before you find the perfect amount of time needed to get everyone ready for the day.
By slowing down, you have the opportunity to enjoy a healthy breakfast with your child and everyone can start the day off in a better mood. This may seem obvious, but if your morning routine makes you feel rushed and stressed, it is also stressful for your preschooler.
Control Your Anxiety
Many parents are just as anxious about the start of the preschool as their child. Unfortunately, this anxiety and stress can cause your child to feel anxious and stressed about starting school. Children pick up on the emotions around them and will likely be more anxious because you are. I know it’s hard, but you need to do your best to control your own feelings until after you have left your child at preschool.
Use the Car Ride to Reinforce that Preschool is Fun
The car ride to school is the perfect time to talk or sing with your preschooler – you’d be amazed how much this will help your child during the day and throughout the preschool year!
Make Sure Their Clothing is Play-Ready
Your preschooler will spend much of their time playing, as this is how young children learn best. You can help them get the most out of their time in preschool by making sure to dress them appropriately.
- Dress your child in clothing that is easy for them to use without assistance. Not only will this build their confidence, it will also help them learn self-reliance.
- If your child dislikes having their clothes get dirty, sending them a change of clothes can help decrease their anxiety.
- Make sure to dress your child appropriately for the weather.
- Your child will spend time outdoors on a normal day of preschool, so make sure to dress your child in clothing that is easy to move, run, and play in.
- Shoes should be comfortable and sturdy so that their little feet don’t get hurt if stepped on!
- Choose clothing that you are okay with getting messy.