I would bid Sophie goodbye and make sure she acknowledge. She has to understand that I am leaving her for a while and will be back for her later. ~ Winnie Soh
Layla usually gets too distracted to say goodbye to daddy and mummy. ~Lydia
Original article from Skoolopedia. Republished with permission.
Your baby’s going into preschool!
You’re nervous, you’re excited, you’re worried and anxious – and all that is probably nothing compared to what Junior is feeling. Your little one’s taking his first step into the big world, and The Moment to say goodbye looms. There’s no getting around that, but here are some ways you can make it easier for yourself and your child.
1. Put your happy face on
Despite your own whirlwind of emotions, be sure to stay cheerful, upbeat and positive so your own anxieties doesn’t get transferred to your child. Sending Junior into preschool with a worried face may cement his pre-conceived notions that preschool is a scary place before he’s even started.
“Sending your child to preschool is a big step, often signifying to parents that their child is growing up. If they feel that you are sad or worried, they may believe that they should feel sad or worried as well and that going to school is a bad thing. So send out good vibes.” Paulette Janus, childhood expert and licensed clinical social worker (quote from care.com)
2. Don’t rush
Make sure you get yourself and your child up early on school days so there won’t be any rushing required, and get there 10-15 minutes before class starts. This will give you time to get your child settled in, interact with his teacher and say goodbye properly.
3. Don’t hover
Different preschools have different rules regarding parental presence during class; some schools allow a parent to accompany their child for the first few days of school, whilst others insist that all parents leave the minute class starts.
If your preschool allows you to be present, try to be as unobtrusive as possible. Sit in the corner of the classroom rather than at your child’s side, and encourage him to go to his teacher instead of you, should he have any questions or needs. Regardless of how long your preschool allows you to stay, you shouldn’t stick around longer than a week as that would make your child dependent on your presence, and the eventual transition into independence more difficult.
4. Say goodbye properly
This is usually the hardest part; how does a mother say goodbye and leave her child when he starts crying and begging her not to go? So heart-wrenching is this moment that many parents are tempted to skip the goodbyes and sneak out to avoid the tears and drama. This isn’t a good idea, though, as children whose parents suddenly disappear may become more unsettled and afraid, and may also start fearing that their parents won’t come back for them.
So how does one bid a proper farewell? First, be sure not to sound worried, anxious or fearful no matter how you may feel. Keep your tone and facial expression upbeat as you say goodbye, and remind your child that you’re coming back for him later. Preparing a goodbye routine also helps settle jittery nerves; reading a short book, singing a song or even just having a special handshake every time you leave could be very comforting to your child.
Once you’ve said goodbye, don’t hang around! Even if the screaming and waterworks break out, resist the urge to stay just a little longer and make your exit promptly. Know that such behaviour is normal, and trust the teachers to know what to do.
“It’s okay to keep leaving the child if he keeps crying. A complete and successful transition into school can take months.’ Katrina Green, certified early childhood special education teacher. (quote from parents.com)
5. Use a security blanket
To help your little one get over homesickness, consider letting him bring a small object to school as a sort of security blanket. This can be anything from a favorite stuffed animal or doll, family photo, book or toy that reminds him of home.
(Be sure to label it, though, as little objects and toys often get misplaced at preschool.)