As summer winds down, we are thinking about school again. For parents with young children, this means looking into preschools for your children. Sending your child to preschool for the first time is a big step in both your and your child’s life, and it is important to make sure both of you are prepared to take that step. There are many ways to see if your child is ready for preschool, and in this week’s edition of our ’10 Ways to’ parenting tips series, we look at ways to prepare your child for preschool.
- Sit back and look at how much your child has grown in the past 3 years. Ask yourself if you are fully supporting them to be more responsible, allowing them make choices and have more control over what they want and how they do things.
- Ensure your child is toilet trained, and able to manage in the toilet unaided.
- Ensure your child can use a spoon to feed themselves, that they can recognise their belongings, get out their lunch and tidy away by themself.
- Support your child to learn the rules of friendship, taking turns, sharing, asking for what they want and being inclusive of all children.
- Play school with them at home. Help them act out any fears around school, and through role play help them understand what will be expected of them in preschool.
- Explore with them how they need to behave in preschool and what will happen if they misbehave.
- Talk with them about the other children who will be there, and how they will be very friendly with some though may not really like some children. Encourage them to have time for everyone and to aim to be friendly with all the children.
- Visit the preschool in advance. Understand the policies and procedures in advance as a parent, and help your child know what their day will look like in preschool. There are great differences between many preschools.
- Keep preschool fresh in your child’s mind in the weeks leading up to them starting. Help them be confident by preparing them well and encouraging them to practice at home by asking questions and resolving small disputes in a positive manner
- Don’t put any pressure on your child. It is not university, so relax about whether they know their colours and numbers. They will learn if they are happy and feel supported to do so.
This ’10 Ways to’ article is by One Family’s Director of Children & Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly, as part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips. You can read the full series here.
Next you might like to read: 10 Ways to manage Homework With Primary School Children
LIVE Facebook Q&A with Geraldine on this topic Tuesday 1 September from 11am-12pm in our NEW One Family Parenting Group which is a closed Facebook group (meaning that only members can read posts) that anyone can join. Post your questions and share your experiences.
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