Tips To Prepare your Child for Pre-School
It’s the start of a new year and while the rest of the single folks are worrying about their weight gain from all the binge festive eating, parents with young children are fretting over a bigger problem – How do they get their little ones to survive their first pre-school experience.
It can be a harrowing for both parents and child. I remember vaguely my first day of school. There were lots of high pitch squealing and temper throwing. My mom didn’t have the benefit of the Internet and this article to guide her through the ordeal.
These are my 3 tips to prepare your child for pre-school.
Tip 1: Don’t Kancheong
Kancheong is our colloquial term for being overtly anxious. It’s understandable for parents to overreact to first time situations especially when it is concerning their little ones. Children are able to pick up on these vibes and mirror your sentiments. One way to lessen the anxiety is to start your preparation later. Some parents I spoke to started their preparation a year in advanced and they kept talking about it like it’s some form of trial by fire for their kid. It’s no wonder the child responds to their first day of school with such horror. Pre-School teacher Cara has this advice for parents: “Talk about going to school as you would going to a new mall or a holiday workshop. You don’t want to overwhelm the kid with this strange, new, expedition called school. Every experience is new and just as fun to the kid if parents can frame it right. So if you play it cool, your children might react more positively to this new experience.”
Tip 2: Immerse In The Environment
Though this tip may come a little too late for parents who are already enrolling their children into pre-school this week, it can still be beneficial for parents whose kids are approaching pre-schooling age. The sudden separation from parents and getting thrown into a new environment is one of the main cause of distress to children attending pre-school for the first time. Some parents I form up playgroups for their children to mingle away from direct parental supervision. This helps children to build social skills around other children which will come in very handy on their first day of school. If there’s a pre-school near your place, ask for permission if you could bring your child down to take a look at the place every once in a while to acclimatize your child to the school.
Tip 3: Form a Schedule
If there’s one thing we know about school is that it’s structured, some may even say it’s regimental. There is always a fixed time and process flow for everything. Time to eat, time to sleep, move in twos, time for play, etc. If the child is not used to such routine at home, this sudden change of environment can be jarring to his senses and cause him to feel uncertain. Laura Chong, mother of a 7 year old girl and a 4 year old boy, says that forming a routine has helped her second child adapt to pre-school life better than her elder child.
If you’re still feeling frantic and need some more advice, feel free to drop me a text and I would be happy to share more useful tips or put you in touch with someone with similar experience to guide you.
Written by Eugene Tay, founder of Brain & Butter and Monsters Under the Bed.
When Eugene was a young boy, he wanted to be an astronaut. When that didn't take off, he decided that he was going to be like Indiana Jones and explore the world as an archaeologist. Eventually, he figured out how he can do both. That's when he became a writer.