For many children, preschool is the first time that they will be separated from their families for a long period during the day. Some children are able to adapt more quickly, while others will hate to go. If your child is crying in the morning when they are heading off to kindergarten, their feelings and fears are things that need to be addressed. If your child dislikes being separated from you during the day, here are some ways to help them adjust to going to kindergarten.
Tell them to help make someone else's day well
If you and your spouse go to work during the day, let your child know that everyone has a duty to help make other people's lives better. No matter what service everyone performs, they contribute in some way to making a better or easier day for everyone else. Tell your child that there are other children that have a hard time adjusting as well and suggest that he/she should help by being brave and doing something nice for them. Letting your child know that they have a "job" to learn and should help their classmates may help them to stop fearing and start feeling more like a helper.
Start an after school ritual
Having a ritual to get in the car, talk about your days, and have an after school snack together gives your child something to look forward to. When your child has something to look forward to, the day tends to get a little easier. Rituals and schedules are especially important when your child is first learning to adjust to going to school for the entire day. Let your child know that going to school and the after school ritual go hand-in-hand.
Show them how much time they spend at home or with you
Most children in preschool are just learning the concept of time. Get out markers and construction paper and make a clock with your child. Select a different marker for the places where your child spends their time. For instance, choose a green marker for school, an orange marker for home, a red marker for daycare, a yellow for friends' houses, etc. Show your child just how much time they actually spend doing other things versus being at school. This will help them understand that the time at school is actually not as long as they may think and that there is plenty of time to enjoy family and friends outside of preschool learning.
Contact preschools like Rainbow Montessori directly for more advice!