A mom writes in asking for advice on how to prepare her child for preschool. She says that her son is very clingy, and she is worried he will cry and scream and generally be unprepared when the big first day comes.
Walter Rhein, a father-of-two with teaching licenses in English and Physics, weighs in with some advice.
A Mamas Uncut fan asks:
“I need preschool readiness tips! My son is going to be starting in a few months and he’s so clingy. I don’t want him to cry and be upset, but he never wants to leave my side. Help!”
– Mamas Uncut Community Member
Advice from Walter Rhein
Every child is unique and they develop at different speeds in different areas. Some children are very outgoing and eager to make new friends, while others are reserved and mistrustful of new people. Although these may seem like radically different personality types, it is common to find both personalities represented among siblings. When your child is reserved, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prepare him or her for the first days of preschool.
It is never easy for a young parent to leave his or her child at preschool for the first time. But keep in mind that your concerns are common and the organization has resources in place to help you deal with the transition. Never hesitate to discuss your concerns with your child’s caregiver. They will often have further tips, exercises, and suggestions to help you and your child feel more comfortable.
One exercise is to leave your child in a safe space under appropriate supervision and tell them you will leave for a short duration of time. You can even turn this into a game. Begin with a few minutes, then move on to an hour. If the child becomes occupied in play, you might be surprised to discover that he or she might not even notice your return.
As you prepare to send your child to preschool, the school usually organizes a few activities which allow your child to become accustomed to the situation. These can include days where the parent accompanies the child for a few hours which allows the child to feel secure as he or she gets used to the environment. A parent is the focal point of existence for many children so the potential for distress is understandable. When a child understands that he or she is in a safe space and that the parent will return shortly, they quickly adapt and relax.
Preschool is a fun place for children as they are allowed to make friends and interact with peers. You’ll find that through the process of preparation that precedes the school year, your child will quickly develop a strong comfort level with the preschool setting. Your school will also be accommodating for any special concerns you might have.
[Images via Shutterstock.]
Walter Rhein is a father of two beautiful young girls and holds teaching licenses in English and Physics. He has publishing contracts with Perseid Press, Harren Press, and Burning Bulb Publishing. He maintains a blog about Peru at StreetsOfLima.com and posts links to his articles and public appearances on his Facebook page. He can be reached on Twitter and LinkedIn, or by writing to [email protected].