Prepping your toddler for their first day of school takes time. Have you done what you can to prepare your child? Here are important questions to ask.
Questions To Ask Before The First Day In Daycare
- Does your home environment have structure?
Like adults, children need time to adjust to changes. A home environment that is predictable and has a routine or structure with allows for easier transitioning from home to preschool. Toddlers would be able to see the similarities of the activities at home and school, which will help them get into the rhythm by the first week of orientation.
A home environment with structure would also mean that parents set limits. Saying ‘no’ teaches your toddler that things aren’t always open-ended, and there are going to be limits. They need to be emotionally prepared to handle not being chosen, or not getting the toys they want, or that they are not going to be able to play for the entire day at school. These are essential as rules are set in preschools too.
- Do you exposure your tot to different social settings?
Bring your toddler out to various community places where they can learn by observing and interacting with people of different race and background. Anxiety usually arises when they are faced with unfamiliar settings. This may result in behaviours where they exhibit distress or reluctance by clinging to parents.
- Do you provide ample prep time in the morning?
Take time in the morning to do preparations tasks together with your toddler before heading out to preschool. This sets the tone for the day. Make it a daily routine where your toddler can practice self-help skills where they dress themselves. Rushing and herding a sleepy child to rush to school and work would put a damper in anyone’s day.
- Do you include an arrival time routine?
Be punctual and arrive during morning assembly. Teachers are there to greet your child warmly and interact in an informal setting during health screening. This simple act of arrival galvanizes the concept of trust. When your toddler sees you and their teachers in a respectful and trusting relationship, it creates rapport and a sense of familiarity. Children who usually arrive late to school miss that special window of interaction richness that assembly routine can provide.
By Ms Prama Devi, Principal of Kinderland @ Ministry of Education
This was first published in The New Age Parents e-magazine