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Preparing a Child for Pre-School

How Will My Child React to Going to Pre-School?

As each child is individual, so is each child’s response to going to pre-school. One child may meet the challenges of pre-school with enthusiasm, while another child may be clingy and cry when left. Many parents are surprised at the intensity of their child’s emotions. The parents of an enthusiastic pre-schooler may feel “replaced” by the teacher, while the parent of a wary pre-schooler may feel guilty or torn about leaving their child.


The response a child has when introduced to pre-school varies and should not be ignored. The professionals that work in pre-school programs are familiar, and understand, that pre-school may be the first separation a child has ever had from his or her parents. These educators are skilled with helping a child overcome anxieties.

It is important to remember that children take their cues from their caregivers. If they see you are upset, this will only intensify their fear. If they see you are happy about their newfound independence, this will help to build their self-confidence.

Prepare Your Child for Pre-School

The most important thing that a parent can do when preparing a child for pre-school is to talk with the child about the school a few weeks in advance. Many times pre-school children can visit their future classrooms and meet the teacher before their first day of school. This is important for a child as they will not be left with a strange face or in a strange place on their first day of school.

Many pre-school children are comforted when they are allowed to bring a small object from home. This object can be a favorite blanket, stuffed animal, or even a picture of his or her parents. Pre-school teachers are aware of the importance of these comfort objects and are more than willing to let a child hang on to it throughout the day.

Lastly, do not sneak away from your child without telling him or her good-bye. If a child is pre-occupied with a toy or activity and turns to find that their caregiver is gone, this will only make him or her more clingy the following day. Give children a proper good-bye and do not ever let them see if you are sad about leaving.

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