Parenting: Transitioning into Preschool

September 6, 2010

Mrs. Kathy Wisniewski has been a schoolteacher for 16 years. Eleven of those years have been spent teaching the adorable 4 year olds at St. Mary's. Once you meet her, you know she was born to be a preschool teacher! I wish I could bottle her love and enthusiasm. "Miss Kathy", as the kids call her, offered some sage advice for all parents who are struggling to help their child adjust to preschool.

    1. Don't prolong your good-bye. The most difficult time of preschool for a child is the first five minutes. If they sense you're hesitant it makes them feel that there may be some cause for concern. So, put on a brave front, give a warm hug and kiss and try to leave within the first five minutes.

    2. Tuck a family photo in your child's pocket. They can take a peak at it if they're feeling sad or lonely.

    3. Buy your child a watch and show them what time it will be when they see you again. With each passing day, they'll learn that they'll see you after school.

    4. Try reading the book "The Kissing Hand". Chester the raccoon is worried about leaving mommy and going to preschool. Mommy kisses Chester's palm and tells him when he places his hand on his cheek, he'll feel his mommy's love. The kids seem to love this!

    5. Finally, be a little patient. If there are any tears, they usually subside after the first few weeks. By the end of the day, most kids don't want to leave their new toys and friends.

If your child is having a tough time, and you're struggling - you are not alone! Remember, trust your instincts. If you feel good about the school and teacher, chances are your child will thrive in the new environment. This is a great opportunity for your child to meet new friends and become independent. Finally your 3 or 4 year old will have his own things to comment on during dinner. I was amazed at how much my middle child talked after starting preschool. It was a fun side of her I had not seen before. Enjoy your new talkative little friend.

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