Starting preschool can be an exciting adventure for any small child. However, it can also inspire some fears and anxiety. Preschool-aged children will look to their parents for help and understanding when they need to adjust to a new preschool schedule. Follow these tips to help your child thrive at their new school and adjust well to the daily schedule.
Create Fun New Traditions
When your child starts a new school and has to adjust to a new schedule, ease their worries about the new schedule by starting fun daily traditions. If they have new things to look forward to each day, they may be less likely to focus on what they don't like about the new schedule. Some new traditions can be as simple as setting a new snack time or taking your child on a short walk before or after school. If there is a playground near the school, you may start a new daily habit of taking your child for ten minutes to play on the new playground after school.
Never Dismiss a Child's Feelings
Ignore the impulse to point out how small a problem your child has. When young children throw a fit over what seems really small to an adult, keep in mind that preschool-aged children don't have enough experience with life to understand how insignificant or temporary some of their problems may be. For example, if a child is crying because a friend took their toy, they may not understand that they will get it back.
Ask Age-Appropriate Questions
If your child is emotional over the new preschool situation, validate their emotions and gently ask open-ended, age-appropriate questions to get them to open up. Some simple open-ended questions you may ask a child this age may include the following:
- Why are you sad about that?
- Who made you mad?
- What can I do?
- When did you get sad?
Once you get to the core reasons why they are feeling bad, you can probably easily help them feel better. For example, if a child is nervous about missing you while they're at school, you might work out a way where you can talk to them in the middle of the day or help them otherwise feel connected to you during the school day.
Finally, show your small child plenty of love and affection as they adjust to the new preschool schedule. They need unconditional love and lots of patience. Within a matter of days, most young children adjust well to their new preschool schedule, and it will feel like the new normal before you know it.
For more information, contact a preschool near you.