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Preparing Preschoolers for Preschool: Tips to Ease Anxious and Nervous Feelings

Sending your preschooler off to school may be a frightening notion for parents. It’s normal to have some anxiety or trepidation as this new chapter begins for both you and your preschooler. However, with the right planning, you can lessen those emotions and assist your preschooler in making a confident transition to their new routine. In this post, we’ll discuss preschool readiness strategies with a focus on calming anxious and apprehensive sensations.

Create a Routine

Establishing a schedule before your preschooler starts school is crucial because they thrive on routine. Set a regular wake-up time, mealtimes, and bedtime to get started. Your preschooler will feel less anxious if they know what to anticipate each day thanks to this routine. A few weeks prior to the first day, it’s a good idea to rehearse the school routine. This might involve getting ready, putting your bag in your car or on foot, and traveling to school. Your preschooler will feel more at ease and secure on the big day if they do these tasks beforehand.

Visit the Kindergarten

Both you and your preschooler may feel less worried after a visit to the preschool. To arrange a visit, get in touch with the preschool in advance. Visit the school, meet the teachers, and explore the classroom during your visit. Encourage your preschooler to voice any worries or questions they might have. This might let your preschooler feel in control of the situation and will aid in acclimating them to their new surroundings.

Read publications about beginning preschool

There are several books for preschoolers that concentrate on beginning preschool. These stories can offer your preschooler a sense of familiarity with the scenario and help them understand what to anticipate. Here are a few instances:

  • In “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn, a raccoon called Chester experiences anxiety before entering school. When he’s worried, his mother comforts him by giving him a particular kiss on his hand.
  • In the novel “Llama Llama Misses Mama” by Anna Dewdney, Llama Llama expresses his anxiety about starting school and his longing for his mother. In the narrative, Llama Llama attends his first day of school and discovers how to have fun and meet new people.
  • Natasha Wing’s “The Night Before Preschool” follows a group of preschoolers as they get ready for the first day of school. It covers everything, from making new acquaintances to packing a bag.

  • Separation exercises

    Anxiety over entering school is a typical problem for preschoolers. Practice separation exercises in advance to reduce this anxiety. Start by leaving your preschooler for brief intervals with a dependable nanny or family member. Increase the amount of time your preschooler spends away from you gradually until they feel at peace. Your preschooler will learn from this that even when you aren’t around, they are safe and secure because you will return.

    Support Independence

    Another strategy to help your preschooler feel less worried is to promote independence. Teach your preschooler how to take care of themselves by showing them how to dress themselves, use the restroom, and wash their hands. Your preschooler will feel capable and self-assured as a result when they begin school. Giving your preschooler the chance to choose and decide is another key factor. This might give them a sense of power and control, which can help them feel less anxious.

    Talk with the instructor

    To ensure that your preschooler feels at ease in their new setting, open communication with the instructor is essential. Spend time introducing yourself.

    Develop your socialization

    Preschoolers frequently experience anxiety when establishing new acquaintances. Prior socializing practice can lessen these emotions. Set up playdates for your preschooler with nearby preschoolers, or bring him or her to a neighborhood playgroup or community event. Your preschooler may use this to develop social skills and learn how to communicate with other preschoolers.

    Use Reward-Based Training

    Your preschooler might feel happy and successful by receiving praise. Even if your preschooler makes mistakes, compliment them for trying. This can boost their self-esteem and confidence, which will help them feel less anxious. You may also think about utilizing a reward system to encourage your preschooler. Simple rewards for a task well done may include a sticker chart or a tiny gift.

    Make a Solace Item.

    Making a comfort item for your preschooler might help them feel less stressed. Your preschooler may bring a favorite toy, blanket, or article of clothing to school. This object might provide you a feeling of comfort and familiarity in an unfamiliar setting.

    Be encouraging

    Finally, it’s critical to support your preschooler through this change. Recognize their emotions and worries, and reassure them that feeling apprehensive or tense is normal. Encourage your preschooler to express their emotions in conversation and to be heard without passing judgment. Giving your preschooler emotional support might make them feel more safe and in control.

    Encourage Independence

    Your preschooler may feel more secure and ready for preschool if you promote independence. Teach your preschooler the fundamentals of self-care, such as clothing oneself, using the restroom without assistance, and washing their hands. They may feel more capable and autonomous in their new surroundings as a result. Encourage your preschooler to make independent decisions as well, such as picking their own food or wardrobe for the day.

    Stay Upbeat

    How you feel about starting preschool might have a major influence on how your preschooler feels. Keep a positive outlook on this new chapter in their lives. Preschoolers’ nervousness may escalate if you discuss your own worries or fears with them. Instead, emphasize the advantages of preschool, like the new people they will meet and the enjoyable activities they will get to participate in.

    Stay Active

    Parental anxiety can be reduced by continuing to be active in your preschooler’s education. In order to remain up to date on your preschooler’s progress, attend orientation sessions and schedule regular meetings with the instructor. Additionally, think about becoming a member of the parent-teacher association or volunteering in the classroom. You may feel more invested in your preschooler’s education and develop friendships as a result of doing this.

    Keep your cool during drop-offs.

    Especially if your preschooler is worried or scared, the drop-off can be a difficult moment for you both. Try to keep goodbyes brief and upbeat at drop-offs by being composed and comforting. Make a unique handshake or hug farewell ritual that you and your preschooler may perform together. This can lessen any separation anxiety and lessen the stress of drop-offs.

    Discuss the day.

    Your preschooler can handle any anxiety or nervousness they may be experiencing by telling you about their day. You may make your preschooler feel more comfortable talking about their experiences by asking open-ended questions about their day, such as “What did you enjoy doing today?” or “Who did you play with at recess?” This will help them establish a feeling of rhythm and familiarity with their new surroundings.

    Get Professional Assistance

    It might be time to seek professional assistance if your preschooler’s worry or uneasiness lasts for a long time or gets worse. Your preschooler can learn coping mechanisms for anxiety by working through their feelings with the aid of a preschool therapist or counselor. Additionally, the pediatrician of your preschooler might be able to suggest sources or make referrals to mental health specialists.

    There is no one-size-fits-all method of preparing a preschooler for preschool since every preschooler is unique. Use these suggestions as a springboard, then modify your strategy in light of your preschooler’s particular requirements and personality. You can support your preschooler in thriving in their new environment and laying a solid basis for their future academic achievement by being patient, empathetic, and prepared.


    Role-playing may give your preschooler practice in unfamiliar scenarios that they could face at preschool and make them feel more at ease. You can practice playing with new acquaintances or waving goodbye and entering the school, for instance. Your preschooler will feel more certain and ready for these circumstances when they arise in real life if you do this.

    Continually Live Healthily

    Your preschooler can feel mentally and emotionally prepared for preschool by leading a healthy lifestyle. Make sure your preschooler gets enough sleep, eats a balanced diet, and exercises frequently. They may feel more energised and concentrated as a result throughout the day. Avoid packing too many obligations or activities into your preschooler’s calendar since this might cause tension and worry.

    Employ visual aids

    For preschoolers who are worried or concerned about entering school, visual aids might be beneficial. Make a visual plan or chart that outlines the day’s events, including drop-off and pick-up times as well as circle and snack times. Your preschooler will feel better prepared and know what to anticipate if you do this.

    Promote Problem-Solving Techniques

    Your preschooler will feel more certain and capable in unfamiliar circumstances if you promote problem-solving techniques. At home, practice problem-solving techniques like coming up with creative answers to a dilemma or utilizing trial and error to solve a challenge. Encourage your preschooler to seek assistance when necessary and to collaborate with others to discover solutions to issues.

    Utilize relaxation methods.

    For preschoolers who suffer worry or anxiousness, relaxation exercises might be beneficial. Teach your young preschooler basic relaxation skills like deep breathing and counting to 10. Consider include stress-relieving exercises like yoga or meditation in your regular schedule as well. This might make your preschooler feel more at ease and balanced during the school day.

    Plan Transitions Ahead of Time

    Preschoolers may find transitions challenging, especially if they are feeling apprehensive or uneasy. The transition from one activity to another or from preschool to home should be planned for in advance. To assist your preschooler comprehend when a change is about to occur, use a timer or a visual aid, and give them plenty of notice and confidence.

    Talk about separation anxiety

    Many preschoolers feel separation anxiety, particularly when they first enter preschool. Taking steps to reduce separation anxiety will make your preschooler feel more at ease and secure in their new surroundings. Spend some time leaving your preschooler with dependable family members or caretakers for brief intervals before progressively extending the duration as they become accustomed to the separation. Establish a routine for saying goodbye that gives your preschooler a sense of closure and assurance.

    Enhance Your Social Skills

    A key component of getting your preschooler ready for preschool is helping them develop their social skills. Encourage your preschooler to connect with friends and practice social skills like sharing and taking turns. Encourage your preschooler to express their emotions in healthy ways as well, such as by talking about them or by speaking encouraging words to themselves.

    Read publications about beginning preschool.

    Your preschooler can benefit from reading books about starting preschool as a method to get them ready for their new surroundings. Books that deal with toddlers’ typical worries or feelings, including separation anxiety or meeting new friends, are a good place to start. Your preschooler can feel secure to ask questions and share their emotions as you read these books together.

    Encourage Independence

    Your preschooler will feel more capable and confident in their new situation if you encourage independence. Encourage your preschooler to practice self-help abilities like getting dressed or using the restroom without assistance. Allow your preschooler to make simple decisions as well, like picking out their outfit for the day or choosing a snack from a variety of options.

    Preschool visitation in advance

    You may make your preschooler feel more at ease and familiar with their new environment by taking them to the preschool in advance. You may either schedule a tour of the school or go to an open house. Additionally, think about arranging a playdate for your preschooler and another preschooler who will attend the same preschool. Your preschooler will be better able to connect with their new surroundings and develop new friends as a result.

    Establish a Special Item

    Making a unique item will ease your preschooler’s transition to preschool and give them confidence. Think about making a special item for your preschooler to wear or bring to preschool, such as a comfort object or a piece of jewelry. This might bring a sense of comfort and familiarity throughout an unfamiliar and sometimes stressful encounter.

    If Needed, Seek Professional Assistance

    It may be beneficial to seek professional assistance if your preschooler is exhibiting substantial worry or fear about entering preschool. Consult the pediatrician or a mental health specialist about your preschooler’s options for support, such as therapy or medication. Keep in mind that asking for assistance is a show of strength and can provide your preschooler crucial support during this crucial transition.

    Preparing a preschooler for preschool may be a difficult and complex undertaking, but with time, patience, and the correct resources, you can make your preschooler feel ready and confident for this significant milestone. Start with these suggestions, and don’t be hesitant to seek assistance or support as required. Your preschooler may flourish in their new surroundings and acquire vital skills that will benefit them throughout their lives with your help.

    It may be difficult and emotionally taxing for parents to get their preschoolers ready for the change to preschool. But if we have the right resources, patience, and understanding, we can give our preschoolers the self-assurance and readiness they need to reach this significant milestone. We can prepare our preschoolers for success in their new environment by putting an emphasis on developing social and emotional skills, managing anxiety and uneasiness, and offering chances for independence and discovery. Always keep the big picture in mind, enjoy tiny victories, and ask for help and direction when necessary. Your preschooler will flourish in their new surroundings and acquire vital skills that will benefit them throughout their lives with your love and support.