Miss K.’s Message
Learning about our Preschool is a process that takes time. It is easy for new parents to feel overwhelmed. Both you and your child may feel anxious about starting your Preschool experience. As an adult, please be sure to ask other parents or myself if you need support or are unclear about your role. The following are some specific measures that you can take to support your child and ease him/her into the Preschool environment.
♥ Recognize your own feelings.
Your child is sensitive to your emotional state and attitudes. If you are apprehensive about Preschool, or how your child will adjust, you may unwillingly convey this to your child. Always be sure to talk about Preschool as a positive and exciting thing.
♥ Recognize your child’s temperament.
You know your child better than anyone else. If your child is naturally shy and slow to warm up, then you know that you may need to take extra time in introducing him/her to a new environment and new people.
♥ Prepare your child in advance.
Your child will have less anxiety if he/she knows what to expect and is familiar with the program and with me. Take advantage of the week set aside for interviews. Try to visit several times and let your child explore the new surroundings.
♥ Reinforce a sense of trust with your child.
Separation anxiety in young children is often closely related to fears of abandonment. It is important that they know that you will return “after story-time”. It may also be helpful to let your child know where you will be and what you will be doing while he/she is at school.
Let me know how I can help. I will generally step back until you indicate that you are ready to leave. At that time, I will be ready to step in to reassure and comfort your child if necessary.
♥ Say Goodbye
You may want to warn your child that you will be leaving in 5 minutes or that after Circle Time you will be going. When it is time to go, say goodbye and go. Continued extensions to the separation seem only to add to the anxiety and make the separation more difficult. It’s not usually a good idea to “sneak out”. It only adds to their anxiety, increases fear of abandonment and breaks down the child’s sense of trust.
Remember that overcoming separation anxiety and the time needed to adjust to Preschool varies with each individual. We will work together and discuss how best to handle the situation should your child need extra support. I encourage and welcome you to stay with your child during the first few days of school until you both feel comfortable.