Bringing your toddler to his or her first day of preschool can be an emotional experience for the both of you. There are bound to be tears (if not from your little one, then from you) as well as worries. Yet, entering preschool is an important step in your child's development. In order to ensure the day goes as smoothly as possible, try following these tips.
Get up early.
Especially if you're up late worrying the night before, you might be tempted to press the snooze button that morning. Resist the urge. In fact, set your alarm at least 30 minutes earlier than you normally would. This way, you won't be hurrying your child through his or her morning routine. The two of you can get dressed and eat breakfast as a leisurely pace, which should keep the stress levels in check.
Arrive a few minutes early.
If you arrive a few minutes before the other parents and kids, you'll be able to acquaint your child with the teacher and classroom without tripping over others or feeling so much like you're hogging the busy teacher's time. This will also give your child a chance to experience the actual setting of the classroom before having to then adjust to the gaggles of little children it becomes filled with. Slow and steady is the name of the game.
Send your child off with a comfort object.
You won't be able to be there with your child to dry any tears or offer words of support throughout the day -- but your child's favorite blanket or teddy bear can! Check with your child's teacher to be sure this is okay. Most will be open to the idea, since having a comfort object can make things so much easier on your child during the stressful first day. Keep in mind that once your child becomes more comfortable at preschool, you will want to wean him or her off of bringing that teddy bear, blanket, or other toy so that it does not become a distraction from learning. But you don't have to cross that bridge for a few weeks.
Stay positive when leaving your child.
Dropping off your child at preschool is hard -- but it's important to hold back the tears until you've left the building. If your child sees you crying when you're dropping him or her off, this will only make them more upset. On the other hand, if you present a happy, smiling face, your child will more easily accept preschool as a happy, exciting experience. Smile, tell your child how great of a time he or she is going to have, and then retreat into the hallway before letting your tears flow.
With the tips above, your child will have a smoother transition into the first day of preschool. In no time, he or she will be packing a backpack and heading out the door like a pro!