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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How to Help Your Toddler Adjust to Preschool or Head Start

Children sitting together in preschool

As a parent there are a variety of ways to help your toddler adjust to preschool. You cannot be with him /her 24 hours a day, but you can prepare him/her. You have nurtured him/her and now it is time for your toddler to go out into the world. You never know how your toddler will like preschool. Some children love it while others dislike it and cry when they have to go. Also, toddlers are starting school now at a very young age. Some start as early as 3 years old.

1. Talk to your preschooler before he/she goes to school. Show your toddler that you are confident about them going to school. Maybe take them by the school so they can see it. Explain to them that you still love them, but they are going to be with other children their own age. Listen to your toddler. If a child is crying not wanting to go to school, find out why and assure him/her everything will work out. Show your child that you are confident. If you appear fearful, your toddler will pick up on that and be more afraid.

2. Some toddlers have anxiety from being away from you. Possibly get your toddler used to staying with grandmother/grandfather or a trusted person once or twice a week. This might be good for the parents that do not work. Be sure to let the school and the teacher know if your child has allergies. Make sure they have copies in writing. If there is a conflict with him/her with the new teacher discuss it. Maybe even go and sit in the classroom during school.. Remember every teacher may not have your child’s best interest at heart , even in a Christian school. Several of the schools love to have parent’s volunteer in the classroom.

3. Be sure that your toddler gets enough sleep the night before going to school. This is crucial. He/she needs to be rested to endure the new endeavors that might be before him/her. Possibly you have been allowing your toddler to stay up late at night. If so, this needs to stop. All toddlers all different in regards to the amount of sleep they might need. If your toddler is going to sleep at 9:00 p.m. at night and is still sleepy in the morning, you might want to consider having him/her go to sleep at 8:30 p.m. or even earlier. When a child sleeps that is the time the body restores it’s self .

4. Be sure to give your toddler breakfast before going to school. This is the most important meal of the day. He/she needs that nourishment. Be sure to hug your toddler before leaving for school.

5. Be prepared for the different problems that might show up with your preschooler such as not wanting to go to school, not liking the teacher, or not being able to deal with another child picking on him/her. Address these issues. Talk to your toddler, Listen to your toddler . If another child is picking on your child, that too needs to be addressed. Talk to the teacher and see what can be done. Hopefully that will take care of the matter. If not, go to your principal, and continue higher up the chain of command. It can be devastating for a child that is bullied that early in life. Hopefully, you will not have this problem.

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