Going to school is a great milestone to achieve but it reached real quick. Right?
So she is ready for her first day at preschool and you both are filled with lots of mixed emotions. You must have some expectations but unfortunately, things don’t always happen according to our plan.
The Internet is filled with information about what to expect on the first day at school but I think it’s quite obvious that you will have to encounter lots of tears, tantrums, and resistance.
Let me tell you one thing, it’s not only the first day that is important but the first week, the first month or even the first few months, you may see lots of ups and downs.
Here are the common things you can expect in the first month of starting preschool.
(All of the things below are based on my own personal experienced. She started her preschool last month. And I have gone through all of these.)
What to expect at the first month of preschool:
1- Lots of tears:
Even if your baby was 200% ready and excited for her school, when the time will come, things will take a U-turn.
Not only for the first day, but you will also encounter tons of tears for the first few days or maybe for a week. And that’s quite normal.
Kids at this age only feel comfortable with people with whom they are familiar. so when they see strange faces, they will obviously cry.
The icing on the cake, is if one child will stop crying, another child will come with tears, they will make a group of crying.
Don’t worry, preschool teachers are really experienced with this situation and they know how to handle it.
2- Mom anxiety/guilt
The next thing that was very un-obvious, is “Mom Guilt”. You might not feel it before actually dropping your kid at school.
“What am I doing with my child?”,
“She is too little to go to school, maybe I should send her next year.”,
“She never lived without me, how can she even adjust there when I am not with her.”
Every mother will feel this, and all you have to do is be patient and know that you are doing right.
Even when you send her to school next year, won’t she cry then? She will. The situation will be exactly the same.
What if you don’t send her to school altogether? A big no! You have to send her there. That’s how it is.
Don’t worry things will take some time but everything is going to be fine in no time.
The next thing, that is quite common in the first month of preschool, is Illness. Your kid was spending most of her time at home. It might be the first time she is exposed to so many germs.
Simple colds and flu are very common within the first few days. That is totally fine. If that happens, keep your child at home, talk to her doctor and keep her hydrated. When she is okay, you can send her to school again.
A number of reasons might be causing this:
- Less exposure to germs before starting school
- Tiredness due to change of routine
- Stress or anxiety due to separation
Make sure to talk to her doctor, even if you know that this is a common flu.
4- Potty training regression
This is such an ugly fact. It often goes unexpectedly.
If your child was fully potty trained, you may encounter lots of potty accidents in the first week of school.
You must expect this. Not only at school, but she may miss it at home also.
This must be due to the change in her routine and surroundings.
Remember, you are not supposed to lose your patience at this time. She must be struggling and needs your support. Be gentle with her.
Getting back to the basics of potty training is a great idea.
Reward her when she goes to the toilet. Tell her teacher to ask her more often, if she needs to go. You can also ask her teacher to give her a reward if she goes to the toilet.
5- Sleepyheads or tiredness
You may have tried to adjust her routine even before the start of school, but it can happen. When the child spends time in school, she might get tired and there is nothing wrong with it.
Expect more tiredness and hunger. She might want to sleep for longer. She will be wanting more food. It is good to give her more healthy snacks that are packed with vitamins and minerals such as fruits and veggies.
6- Bullying or shaming (rare)
It is very rare in preschool but it can happen. Not every child at preschool has a great nature. Some kids might be more inclined towards teasing other kids.
The best thing you can do is to talk to the teacher about your child’s nature.
If your kid complains about anyone, it’s good to have a talk with the teacher so she could figure out what to do next.
The second thing you can do is to prepare your child. Tell her that the kid who is teasing her, wants her to leave and not become a doctor (or whatever the cute professional goal your child must be having). Teach her to ignore them and if they hurt, again and again, she can complain to her teacher.
It’s a harsh reality of society. At some point in life, she will face negative people around her, so let her learn and make sure your kid handles things positively.
Do not encourage your child to take revenge or anything like that.
7- Lying (rare)
Another rare but possible fact is that your kid, who was as truthful as an angel, might start lying to you.
Not big lies, but smaller ones. Like “I don’t want to go to school, the teacher scolds me.”
If that happens, the first thing you should do is to be gentle with your child. Do not start yelling right away. It might make her more scared and not to share even the truths with you.
Ask her again, (gently), “Is that true? I will meet your teacher and ask her.” Make eye contact with the child.
Usually, kids can’t lie when parents are making eye contact with them.
Make sure that the child knows that you trust them. Discourage lying in other ways like telling stories and letting them know that you will take action.
You must be totally scared of the first month of preschool, but that is not the goal actually. I’m writing this to make you aware of what you can expect so you can handle things wisely and know that “Ohh! This happens with everyone, it should be fine then.”
We have had enough bad things, but the good news is, there are many great things that are coming your way in the very first month of preschool.
Your child will start to learn to do things all by herself. The little tasks, for which she would ask you for help. She must be starting to do them all by herself. Isn’t that great?
9- Response and confidence
One of the most immediate effects that will show up right after starting preschool is that your child might show a great improvement in the way she responds to others.
Even if your child is an introvert, who takes a lot of time to make friends. You can see a rise in her confidence level while talking to others.
Kids will have a lot of opportunities to learn to share at school. When at home, kids have a tough time doing this when someone comes over. But after starting preschool, you will notice that she is much more comfortable with other kids around her, especially when she will have to share her stuff.
Transitioning to preschool can be challenging for both parents and kids. There is a great mix of positive and negative emotions. Remember, this is just a phase that will last for a few weeks only. Things are going to be fine in no time. Good Luck! and read more