Parent Information

 

Beginning Preschool – Gradual Entry

Starting preschool is a very exciting and huge step for children.  So much brand new information is introduced quickly.  Children need time to learn about the teacher, classroom routines, and what is expected of them in the school day.

In order to instill feelings of trust, the preschool allows for a gentle introduction to the preschool program, referred to as gradual entry.  This includes a shortened class (1 hour), parents may accompany their child.  It may also mean a smaller class size, allowing everyone to get to know each other a little faster.

Coping with Separation Anxiety - each child reacts differently

‘Your child has been looking forward to starting preschool for weeks.  The day finally arrives and instead of being enthusiastic as expected, they have glued themselves to your side and are unwilling to engage in any of the activities.  Or perhaps your child is the one that seems perfectly at ease, cheerfully kissing you goodbye on the first day, but on the second day they burst into tears as you’re leaving…’

It is normal for children to sometimes feel anxious or insecure when separated from their parents or other important caregivers. Usually, separation anxiety will fade as the child grows up and becomes more confident.   

Some children do not experience separation anxiety at all.  If your child does, these recommendations may help;
•   make “going to school” a positive experience; be excited about it and tell your child that it will be fun and all their new friends will be there.
•   tell your child ahead of time when it is going to happen. Describe simply what will happen there and reassure them that you will come back for them.
•   children need to know they can trust the teachers and that they will help him/her when necessary.  Talk about them in a positive way and be sure to introduce your child to them.
•   although it may seem easier to slip out when your child is busy to avoid a tearful goodbye, this does not build trust and may prove to be counter productive.  It is sometimes very frightening for a child to have their grown-up ‘disappear’.
•   build a positive good-bye ritual.

Remember to talk about it with the teacher, she has years of experience and can offer suggestions.  The solution is different for each child.