Yes, Gy has successfully completed her first month at playschool and I must say that it has been a bit rough this past month. Now that the tears are in the past, I can look forward to a better routine as far as school is concerned:)
In this past month I picked up a few pointers on how to deal with the tears and the tantrums of the preschool stage. Here they are in 'Do's and Don'ts' format.
- Decide clearly when you want to enrol the child. If the child stays in a nuclear family with both parents working, it probably makes sense to enrol the child early as a school setting is more healthy for the interactive learning process. If the nuclear family has one parent working, then you can start the child at school a bit later.
- Once decided, stick to the resolve. It can be really tempting to stop sending the child to school at the sight of a tear-streaked face. Try not to interrupt the process as this is a natural part of the separation anxiety.However,if the tears persist beyond three weeks with no sign of abating, then it may mean that the child is not ready for school. You could try again a bit later. But discuss with the teacher first.Maybe the tears only last as long as you are around. Many kids settle down by the time the parent has left.
- Do ask the child about school everyday. It really helps the transition process and makes the child realise that school can be a fun place away from the comfort of home.
- Do praise the child when she/he goes to school without crying. That reward pumps the self esteem and makes the child ready to go back to school the next day.
- Never threaten the child with school as punishment. That will only reinforce the idea that being bad means going to school, and is a very negative situation to get into.
- Never downplay the importance of school. Only positive ideas will foster the child's eagerness to attend school.
- Never take the teacher's name in vain. Using the teacher's name to make the child do something, will only make the child resent him/her.
Most important, parents MUST let go. All said and done, it is difficult to admit that someone other than you or your spouse can take care of your child the way you do. But, believe me, you just might be surprised how well a child listens and learns when it is from a third person:)
Happy school time , everyone!