Worried about the #1st day of preschool? Here’s how to have it tear-free!
It’s the BIG DAY! It’s a major milestone in our child’s life. After all the preparations and practice runs, there should be no worries about facing the 1st day of #preschool. (You could read about our preparations in my previous post here: Preparing For Preschool The Easy Way.)
But we can’t help it, we are 1st time parents and everything is new, everything is major. Our child is not the only one about to embark on this journey, we are part of it.
Our most worrisome fear is the possibility of crying at school drop off. Whose tears? Could be both the child’s or the parents’ haha! Did we have a tear-free 1st day of preschool?
1ST DAY OF PRESCHOOL MORNING
1. Wake up with plenty of time to prepare for school.
Because we have been practicing going to bed and waking up for school, Joshua was up bright and early. We were all so excited!
He already knows his routine: Eat breakfast, take a bath, brush teeth, wear uniform, go to school. It was a breeze!
2. Prepare your camera for the send-off photo op with your preschooler.
We made sure that we had a picture-taking session with Joshua before leaving for school. It took awhile because all his titas were on hand and demanded a picture with the little preschooler hehe.
Everybody woke up early to send him off to school. It was a major milestone after all.
OFF TO SCHOOL
1. Leave for school early.
Although we only lived 3 minutes away from school, we still left early to give Joshua enough time to calm down before classes start. Plus we didn’t want to get caught in traffic since most parents would be bringing their kids to school.
2. Give a pep talk in the car.
On the way to school, I kept giving Joshua the pep talk about all the exciting stuff he would do in school. This was to reassure him that all would be well.
AT THE SCHOOL
1. Keep calm. Relax.
It was traffic! It seems that all the parents were there to drive their kids to school. I needed to keep calm and find a parking space. I didn’t want Joshua to feel any of my stress or he might go antsy.
We made it! I was really proud of Joshua because he greeted the guards at the gate and didn’t mind all the people gathered at the walkway. Yep, the parents were there alright!
2. Trust the teachers. They know what to do if your child starts to cry.
At the front door, there were kids crying, clinging to their mommies. The teachers immediately stepped in and weaved their magic to help stop the crying.
Joshua was different, he calmly went up to the door. He was met by the school coordinator, Teacher Mona, who greeted every child with a big smile.
3. Give a kiss and say your goodbyes quickly.
Since Joshua was used to going to his classroom after all our practices the previous week, he just turned around and started walking away.
I had to shout out, “Give Mama a kiss!” for him to turn back. Turns out Mommy had the separation anxiety haha!
4. Reassure your child that you would pick them up after school.
After a quick kiss, I reassured him that I would be there to pick him up after school. And off he went to his classroom without even looking back.
My little boy is now a preschooler!
1. Wait outside if classes are short and try to be productive.
Since classes were shortened during the 1st 2 days of school, most parents opted to wait it out outside the school.
I opted to wait for Joshua at my sister’s office which was above his school building and did some work on my laptop. How convenient!
I’m sure the other parents were also being productive by getting to know other parents and exchanging stories.
2. Set the alarm for school pick-up time.
I set the alarm on my phone to make sure I won’t miss the end of class. I promised I would be there when he came out so I had to make good on that promise.
THE END OF 1ST DAY
1. Make sure you’re on time for school pick-up.
Time’s up, time to go pick up Joshua! Being on time for school pick-up is the most important part of #1st day of school. There’s nothing worse to a child than being left by themselves, all classmates already gone home.
Since I promised I would be there to pick him up when school ended, I made sure I was there early.
2. Follow school protocol during pick-up time.
We had to wait for our child’s section to be called out by the guard before we could fall in line at the front door. As our turn at the door comes, the guard would call out our child’s name for them to come up. We had to sign a form before our child is handed over to us. This made picking up kids more orderly and secure.
Funny how my sister also went downstairs to see Joshua at pick-up time. When Joshua saw us through the window, he was all smiles and got up to go. Oops! Not yet his turn.
When Joshua was finally called out, it was heartwarming to see him so happy to see us. No tears! A kiss and a hug was a great end to the 1st day of school.
AFTER SCHOOL TREAT
1. Give them a treat for surviving the 1st day of school.
Having a treat after experiencing a major milestone is a great way to end the 1st day of school. It doesn’t have to be a big treat to make kids feel great so no need to go overboard. We brought Joshua to have his favorite french fries at McDonald’s. He was all smiles, showing off his “Great Work” star stamp on his hand to everyone he meets, even the store guard haha!
2. Give a pep talk to remind them that they would be going to school again for the rest of the year.
Whether or not your child had a great 1st day of school, talking to them about it, explaining and painting a picture of how things would be easier and more exciting would help them look forward to going to school again.
It doesn’t mean that since Joshua didn’t cry on his 1st day that he won’t do so the next time. Constantly reassuring your child about the fun things they would do in school is a great help to settle them emotionally and mentally.
The teacher was very smart in giving the kids a stamp on their hand. It validated them for all their hard work and made them excited to go back to school. Simple but effective!
Whew! We just survived a major milestone in our son’s life, 1st day of preschool tear-free! All the preparations were so worth it!
1. Preparation is key.
Take the time to prepare your kids for school for a stress-free 1st day. Read about my post on Preparing For Preschool The Easy Way.
2. Make your goodbyes short but sweet.
If you linger too long, your child would have a harder time going inside the classroom.
3. Don’t worry, the teachers know what to do if your child starts to cry.
Teachers have far more experience than you in keeping kids from crying in school. Trust that they know what to do.
4. Make sure you are there for pick-up time.
Kids will be reassured by your presence at pick-up time that they aren’t abandoned and that school isn’t so bad after all.
5. Give an after-school treat.
It doesn’t have to be a big gift or expensive reward. Kids will feel better after experiencing a major milestone if you give them a treat for overcoming it.
6. Give yourself a pat on the back.
You also just survived a major milestone! Now repeat all the preps daily and your kids would learn to love going to school. Congratulations! You’re now a preschool parent!
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“Designed for parents to enjoy with children, filled with hundreds of activities, this carefully designed and sequenced activity book offers preschoolers the fundamentals they need to prepare for a happy, productive time in school and for the rest of their lives.”