Tips for Helping Young Children Adjust to School
1. Be enthusiastic about the upcoming change. If you are excited and confident, your child will be too.
2. Prepare yourself. Take note of how your child reacts to separation. If possible, visit the new setting with your child. Introduce your child to the new teacher or early childhood professional in advance.
3. Arrange a playdate with another child from the program, preferably one-on-one, so that your child will see a familiar face when they walk in.
4. Start daily routines that will add to continuity. Let your child become involved with packing lunch or laying out clothes. Also, begin an earlier bedtime several weeks before.
5. Put aside extra time, particularly on the first day, for chatting and commuting together. But remember not to prolong the good-bye. If the child whines or clings, staying will only make it harder.
6. Always say good-bye to your child. Be firm, but friendly about separating. Never ridicule a child for crying. Instead, make supportive statements like, “it’s hard to say good-bye.”
7. At the end of the work day, put aside your concerns and focus on being a parent.