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What Can I Do to Get My Child Ready for Preschool?

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

By Ms. Jocelyn Santiago

There comes a time that all parents dread – leaving their child with someone else.  Besides your own piece of mind, you also worry about what your child may think.  If you have decided to send your child to school, the best thing you can do to prepare is to make the child’s home and school environments consistent with one another.  Here are some tips to getting you and your child on track for his/her first day at school:

  1. Set a schedule.  Routine and consistency, even at home, is positive for children.

  2. “Help me to help myself.”  No matter how tempting it is to do things for your child, allow them to accomplish tasks that they can do on their own.  This includes everyday menial tasks (e.g., putting on shoes) and other activities (e.g. drawing).  Allowing children to be independent teaches them to focus on their own tasks and build confidence.

  3. Potty train.  Some schools require children to be potty trained, while others do not.  Regardless of school rules, children learn at their own pace, and may be ready for potty training once routine diaper checks turn out dry.

  4. Take your child outside.  Expose your child to the world outside his house by taking him/her to the park, library, mall, etc., where he/she can observe and interact with others.

  5. Communicate.  Encourage your child to express him/herself with words, beginning with simple words and feelings.  Even if he/she does not respond yet, continue communicating.

  6. Set boundaries.  Having rules (e.g., meal before dessert, set bed time, number of stories before bedtime, etc.) provides children with a frame of reference, within which they can act and explore.

  7. Use role models.  Have your child accompany siblings, cousins, neighbors, friends, etc. when they are dropped off at school.  Seeing others being dropped off at school may decrease anxiety and peak your child’s interest in going to school.

Before you know it, your child will be ready to go to school before you are ready to send him/her!

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