There has been nothing but excitement over the Christmas period.
Grandparents and friends are all smiling encouragement about how much fun it will be to go to preschool.
But now it is three weeks into the new school year and the wheels are coming off! Your child is tired and he says that he has ‘been there, done that preschool stuff ‘and now wants to stay home with you.
Worse still, you have returned to work and there is much adjustment happening in the home. You certainly don’t need a reluctant child!
There is no silver bullet but with some reflection, you can get this back on track.
Fatigue is a real kill joy!
Your child is really having to work hard at preschool.
There are new routines to adhere to, new friendships to make and groups to break into. As well there are more rigid expectations than at home with no one to cajole into getting one’s own way. It is tiring learning all those new social cues.
Accepting that there is going to be an adjustment time, and being reflective about how you, as parents, are managing this transition can lessen the problems which stress the whole family.
Most families will have already made some compromises in choosing a preschool: availability of places; location of centre on the way to work, but possibly not near home; a centre that provides your preferred manner of education eg Montessori; personnel or price. Hopefully these issues have been sorted out in your pre planning.
Your child is clingy and resistent when getting out of the car and you feel terrible. A meltdown for either your child or you is a horrible way to start the day.
If you are happy that nothing has happened at the pre-school to upset them, then let’s get things back on track.
Perhaps it is as straight forward as revisiting the morning and afternoon routines. This is a good first step!
Remember when your child was only a couple of months old and you stuck to that routine like a sergeant major so till they slept through the night. Mostly it worked (eventually!). Children need routines and love knowing what comes next. So check if you have a good morning routine so they know what is expected of them and they, and you, are not flustered. May sure they are not thrown into the car before preschool in an unsettled mood.
Here are some steps to make sure the day starts well and both you and the preschooler can be excited about the activities to come.
Routines to check
- Get everthing ready for the following day: clothes, bags, lunches and yourself!
- Make sure you stick to a routine of dressing, breakfast etc with hopefully no digital devices. Parents know what works for their family.
- Make sure there is plenty of time for play and rest.
Keep up the excitement about preschool in your conversations with your child and acknowledge how much they are learning and how many friends they are making This will reinforce why it is such a good idea to get going again.