If your child is about to start preschool, you may have some anxiety about taking them on their first day and leaving them. You may worry that they will not adjust well to being left behind at the school, especially if you have mostly kept them home up until that day. If so, use the following tips for dropping your child off at preschool for the first time.
Hide Your True Feelings as Much as Possible
Whether this is your first child or your last, seeing your child reach another stage in their life will probably be emotional for you. You may have a lot of feelings welling up inside of you, from pride that they are growing up to sadness that they are growing up so fast.
No matter what you are feeling, however, you should try to hide your true emotions from your child. They will take their cues from you, and if you are upset or crying, they may see going to preschool as a bad thing. If this happens, their anxiety will soar, causing them to have serious separation issues once you have to leave them at the school.
As much as possible, put on a smile, and talk about how wonderful and fun preschool is going to be. Emphasize the games they will play, the things they will learn, and the friends they will make. If you feel the need to cry, go into the bathroom, or try to hold back the tears for the ride after dropping them off.
Avoid Staying Right Next to Your Child
Once you arrive at the preschool with your child, you may be tempted to stay right next to them to make sure they are doing okay. However, this could relay a bit of distrust and could make your child anxious. Instead, when you first arrive, encourage your child to go exploring in the classroom while you hang back in the corner or talk to their teacher. Then, when you are ready to leave, say a firm goodbye, give them a hug, and walk out the door. Do not leave without saying anything, however, as this could greatly upset your child. If necessary, take cues from the preschool teacher to see how to handle leaving.
Staying calm and using the above tips when dropping your child off for the first time can help them start the transition from being home all of the time to being at preschool during the day. If you have any further questions about how to help both you and your baby adjust, speak with your child's preschool teacher or another preschool professional for guidance.