Sending your child to preschool is one of the first major milestones you’ll experience as a parent. It can be a bittersweet moment, as you realise that your baby is slowly becoming the amazing adult they have always been destined to be. Leaving them in another person’s care after bonding exclusively with them for years can also bring about a wide array of complex emotions, questions, and fears. How will your child respond when left alone in a brand-new environment for the first time? Will they get along with their teachers or peers, or will they have a hard time acclimatising?
It is important that you get your little one ready for success as they start their journey in a preschool Singapore parents trust. This article will discuss five common concerns parents have about sending their children to preschool, and what you can do to prevent or manage any of these problems if they occur.
Going to preschool will be your child’s first experience of regularly being away from you for an extended period. It is common for some children to begin crying, throwing a tantrum, or clinging to their parents on their first day. This may make you feel sad and worried about your child, but you need to be firm and make it clear to them that you will see them again after a few hours.
You can also make the transition easier on your child by giving them a familiar object that they’ll associate with home. For example, a family photograph or access to their favourite toy or blanket will make your child feel less scared about being away from you and more trusting of the fact that they’ll see you again later.
Bullying is another common concern parents have once their children enter preschool, and it’s in your best interest to look out for subtle changes in your child’s behaviour that may indicate that they’re being bullied. Most children don’t admit to any form of bullying, which makes it difficult for parents to address. Nevertheless, if you notice your child having an extreme reluctance to go to school, being suddenly withdrawn, or complaining of frequent headaches and stomachaches, take it as an opportunity to encourage your child to open up to you.
It would also be a good idea to teach your child phrases and behaviours that will protect them in situations where they’re being bullied. For example, children should learn how to say “No” or “That isn’t very nice, I am going to play with someone else.” If the bullying persists, teach your child to go to their teacher. While you may feel the need to step up and address the situation yourself, teaching your child how to be self-sufficient and how to stand up for themselves will help them grow into a more independent person.
Your Child Not Performing Well Academically
All parents want their children to excel in school, and while it is the easiest stage of formal schooling, preschool is oftentimes no different. However, all children are different and some may learn faster than others. It is essential that you don’t place too much emphasis on academic performance, especially during your child’s younger years. During preschool, your child’s learning priorities should pertain to communicating and socialising with their peers and developing crucial developmental and character strengths, such as empathy, kindness, and respect.
Don’t be too hard on your child if they cannot read, write, or do maths as quickly as you’d like them to. Most kids learn these skills when they are ready. Take the pressure off them and ensure that preschool is the time for them to learn other, but equally important skills.
Conversely, if your child masters their preschool material too quickly, they may become bored and start acting out. Acting out can encompass behaviours like no longer paying attention in class or annoying classmates. In these situations, it’s best that you speak with your child’s preschool teachers and come up with ways to help your child stay engaged while in class.
Although it may seem strange at first, boredom may be a great issue to take into consideration while surveying the program of your intended preschool. A great childcare program should include a comprehensive curriculum that is taught using a specially designed, integrated, and holistic approach to learning. As early as before your child enrols, talk to school staff about how you can deal with an issue that’s as complex but also as commonplace as boredom.
Your Child Being Too Shy or Too Bossy
Some children may respond to sudden changes in the environment by becoming too shy or too bossy with their classmates. You can prevent either scenario by talking to your child before their first day of school and explaining the importance of getting along with everyone in their class.
Teach them that while being assertive is a good thing, being overbearing to their classmates is not. In the same vein, while keeping quiet when someone is talking is considered good manners, being too withdrawn can be seen as impolite. You know your child best, so work with them to create a game plan that they can follow when they start attending preschool and interacting with other kids.
Key Takeaway: It’s Okay To Worry
It will always be difficult to wean your child away from you, but thankfully there are many resources available that can make the process easier. The concerns mentioned above will only become hindrances to your child’s success if you allow them to be. Take the steps now to prevent more serious problems and to set the precedent for a happy preschool experience, including choosing the right childcare program in Singapore. That way, you’ll be assured that the first day of class—and all the days that come after it—will be as happy and stress-free as possible.