Preschool is an exciting time for both the child and parent's life. It is their first step towards a formalized education. For some families, it may also be the first time the child is away from their parents. This can also be a frustrating time for some families. Private preschools can also require an application and interview process.
They may also have more applicants than they have slots, leaving parents to scramble to find an opening. Preschool is typically defined as the two-year period before the child enters kindergarten, but the definition can vary by location or school. Regardless, many schools, especially private institutions, will require the child has reached certain milestones to be considered for entrance. Here are three things to make sure your child is capable of before you send them off.
Is your child potty-trained? In the past, the average age for toddlers to be trained was by the age of 18 months. Several decades later, it is 36 months or more. Regardless of the reasons this may be, many preschool programs will not accept a child if they aren't potty-trained.
Pressuring a child who isn't ready can delay the process even more, so if you are getting nervous about the starting date looming closer, you may grow frustrated, which will cause a catch-22. In many ways, training your child is as much about training yourself as it is them. Consider following the three-day training method if your previous attempts haven't worked and the deadline is nearing.
Many children attend daycare, so they are already accustomed to being dropped of and cared for by someone else and interacting with other children. But for the child who has stayed at home with a parent, suddenly being separated may cause anxiety for you both. Prepare your child and you by finding socialization opportunities that will increase confidence,
For example, many libraries hold Storytime in the children's department. Explain to your child you are going to the library and since he is a big boy now, he will sit and listen to the story while you go to the grownup section and pick out a book for you. This may take a few attempts, but they will eventually adjust to not always having you around. Be sure to give them plenty of positive reinforcement.
Most preschools aren't hotbeds of harsh rules, but they most likely do have set guidelines and expectations that children are expected to follow and conform to. If your parenting style thus far has been laid-back and permissive, it's time to begin implementing expectations and following through with seeing to it they meet them. A child who doesn't fall in line with the other children and fails to listen to and comply with directions from the teacher will have a harder time with assimilating into the routine.