The first day of preschool at Noah’s Ark Nursery has arrived and it’s time for your child to begin an educational journey that will last nearly two decades. How can you make this monumental first day a great one?
The Crying Game:
First, be prepared for tears. It’s a scenario played out at pre-schools everywhere. A child, screaming, holding on to mom or dad’s legs for dear life, refusing to even look at the new classroom, much less walk into it alone. Relax. It’s normal. Kids this age thrive on familiarity so when they are placed into a new situation, it’s common when they panic a little bit.
Saying goodbye to mom or dad, particularly if it’s the first time out of the house alone, can be difficult for many pre-schoolers. For some, it is old hat ----- they have been in daycare for years or just have an incredibly easy going, go-with-the-flow personality. The key is that you are ready for your child to go to the pre-school. If you have any doubt or concerns, your child is going to pick on it immediately. So on the big day, keep a bright smile on your face and stay positive.
For some children crying does not start until they see the other kids doing it. It’s almost like peer pressure --- you can almost see the thoughts forming in your little one’s head.
In any case, a crying child is nothing new to a preschool teacher. Chances are they have a process in place to deal with this very situation. Follow it. In most cases they will encourage you to leave. It will probably be the hardest thing you’ll have to do, but it really does work. Nine out of ten times, the child stops crying within five minutes of the parent leaving. You will return to the classroom a few hours later to find your child, happy and content with a pile of artwork they can’t wait to show you. If the preschool teacher can’t get the child to calm down, they will get in touch. Trust in their experience and know they have your child’s beat interest at heart.
We are all in this together:
If your child has been in the classroom before, draw on that visit. Point out things they may remember, whether it was an orientation or a trip to meet the counselor.
The great thing about the first day of preschool is that there are a whole bunch of people in the room that are going through exactly the same thing as you. If you work together as a team, it becomes much easier and much more fun.
The Leaving is the Hardest Part:
There are some definite no-no’s when it comes to saying goodbye that could actually make separating more difficult. Rule number one ------ Do not remove your child from the classroom. It makes it much harder to bring him back in. Your child’s teacher will likely be right by your side offering help and assistance. It might be tempting, but don’t sneak away if your child becomes distracted by another activity. Your child needs to learn that school is a place he/she goes to without mom or dad and saying goodbye is a part of the process.
Don’t ask if it is okay to leave and don’t make promises such as you will get him/her an ice-cream when you come to pick him/her up. This can reinforce the behavior that they can keep getting what they want.
If your child does well on the first day, be prepared, you aren’t out of woods just yet. Some children waltz right into preschool as happy as can be and everyone is content. But then, out of nowhere, a few weeks later, your child may start crying when you leave. This too is very common. Basically the novelty of the school has worn off and your child realizes that he/she isn’t with you. Keep bringing them back to school and dropping them off as per the teacher’s/counselor’s instructions, this too shall pass.
Starting nursery is a major change in a toddler’s life ----- therefore we do our utmost to smooth a child’s transition from home to noah’s ark nursery. Our teachers and other members of the staff are always available to advice and work with parents as well with children to ensure a successful transition. When children start at Noah’s Ark Nursery, we ask the parents to fill “About Me” sheet. This includes your child’s likes and dislikes and information about your child that might be helpful to the nursery during the early days of settlement.