Updated: Aug 23, 2020
Let's be honest being in a new environment is hard to adjust for just about anybody. But imagine being a toddler in a new environment, new teacher and new other little people who look just like you and nothing looks familiar. As we all know, with time your little one will eventually get adjusted to this new environment but it takes time. After Tristan had his incident at his previous childcare facility I was quite hesitant to put him back in childcare. But when my mother's work schedule changed and Tristan started getting real busy, it was time to give preschool another chance. So I started the search of looking for childcare and finally narrowed down my search to one place after several weeks of looking. It was finally the day, it was the first day of preschool. As I pulled into the parking lot of the school I thought to myself am I really ready, is Tristan really ready?
But of course I got over that once I seen one of the daycare workers holding the door and greeting parents as they walked in. I liked that they added that touch because it's both terrifying sometimes for the child and parents on the first day. Now on to the hard part, we walked into the classroom and he already knew something was up because he started to wrap his arms around my leg. I proceeded to check him in and let him kind of just take a look around. As I left the classroom, the water works started and the water works continued for about the whole first week every time I dropped him off. So I came up with 5 ways to help your toddler adjust to preschool:
1.Talk to your little one beforehand
I found this to be extremely helpful when we started to narrow down the search for childcare because we were able to in my opinion prepare him. We asked him everyday "Are you ready for school? Because you will be going to big boy school soon" He would always give a energetic nod and a smile. Toddlers comprehend so much and their brains are like sponges so I believe speaking to your child helps them to better understand. I am firm believer in speaking things into existence for your child and if you want to learn more phrases to speak over your child, you can check out these inspirational phrases to speak over your child.
2. Get to know the Facility
Before he started his first day of preschool, I did a half day at work and I took him up to the preschool to sit in on the morning portion of the class. He was able to eat breakfast with the class, participate in an activity and meet his potential class mates. I feel like this helped when I dropped him off on his first day because even though he did cry, he eventually stopped crying in about 5 minutes and went to play on the mat with blocks (I know because I stayed and watched him until he settled down, of course if you do this make sure your little one can no longer see you).
3. Get to know the Preschool Teacher
Meet your child's teacher (s). Make sure they know your face and develop a partnership with them. If your child has had an incident at a previous center, let the teacher know because it is good to have an open line of communication with the teacher so they can know how to respond to the child. With getting to know the teacher you are able to work together to aid in the development of your child. When Tristan started daycare he was transitioning into potty training and communicating this to the teacher helped her determine what schedule he needed to be on in school. To ensure that we remained consistent with the training. Click here for more tips on getting to know your child's teacher.
4. Set a Routine
The best way to get your little one acquainted to their new environment is setting a routine that they can follow easily. Your little one will tend to find comfort in the routine and doing the same thing over and over will just become habit. When getting T adjusted to preschool it really took a consistent schedule to get him in the grove of things. Sometimes I just wish he knew the difference between a work day and weekend and sleep in on the weekends. Lol :) That's still a work in progress.
5. Send a toy or favorite blanket for nap time
Most experts recommend sending something with your child like a small toy (i.e: hot wheels, stuffed animal, etc.) or blanket. T likes robots so he has this action figure that he took to school just about everyday but he no longer needs it when we drop him off at school. I can say that we still have our days when he throws tantrums but for the most part he likes preschool. He actually sometimes runs out to the door once we are out of the car. It is quite amazing to see how our little ones adapt to new environments.
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