The preschool years are full of milestones! One of the most emotional milestones is the first day of school. For many, preschool comes early. For others, the first day comes at age 3 or 4.
As a parent, the transition to preschool can be daunting. Will they be okay without you? Will they make friends? Will they eat their lunch?
Separation anxiety and fear can leave a child in tears and make the transition to preschool much more difficult. You’re not alone if you’re stressed about dropping your child off at preschool. It is perfectly normal to feel a little bit anxious about this big step. However, take a deep breath because there are things that you can do to make the process a little bit easier.
Here are a few tips for a stress–free preschool drop-off:
1. Stay Positive
It’s important to stay positive when you’re dropping your child off at preschool. If you’re feeling stressed, your child may become anxious as well. Let your child know how much fun they will have and assure them that you will be back soon.
2. Bring a Special Stuffed Animal
If your child has a favorite stuffed animal, bring it along when they start preschool. You can also buy a new “friend” for the occasion. It can be comforting for children to know they’re not alone if they feel scared.
3. Arrive at School Early
If you’re running late, it will add to your stress level. Increase your opportunity for a stress–free preschool drop-off when you give yourself plenty of time in the morning by setting the goal to arrive at preschool 10-15 minutes before the start of the day. This will give you extra time to settle your child and say goodbye without feeling rushed.
4. Have a Routine
Routines are important for children because they provide a sense of security. If you can, try to establish a morning routine leading up to preschool that includes things like getting dressed, eating breakfast, and brushing teeth. This will help your child feel prepared for the day ahead.
Before you walk into the preschool, have a plan for what you’ll do. This will help you to stay focused and avoid getting overwhelmed. For example, decide which parent will be dropping off your child, where you’ll go after drop-off, and what you will do if there is a problem.
It’s also a good plan to establish a goodbye routine. When it’s time to leave, say goodbye quickly and confidently. If you linger, it will make it harder for both of you.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you’re finding the drop-off tough, don’t be afraid to ask for help from the preschool staff. The staff at Bayside Discovery Center also has a goal of ensuring that your child has a stress–free drop-off for their day at school. With years of experience helping children transition for the day, a staff member will be happy to offer suggestions that have worked for other families.
By following these tips, you can make the preschool drop-off a stress–free experience for both you and your child. We’re looking forward to an amazing year at Bayside! If you have additional questions about how to best transition your child from home to school, contact us.