5 Tips for What to Expect for Preschool Parents

It seems like only yesterday, my oldest was walking around our home telling us, "I want to go to school."

This was over 3 years ago, as she is now 6 years old and on her way to first grade.

But back then, she was happily just starting preschool for the very first time.

And even though she was oh so excited to attend, she still was nervous in her own way for various reasons.

But as a parent who has been there, done that and come out the other side now twice over, as even my youngest will now be in Kindergarten full-time this fall, making preschool a thing of the past for us here, I still felt I can offer some sage advice and wisdom here for those parents who are just about to embark on the preschool journey for the very, first time this fall with their little ones.

5 Tips for Parents for What to Expect in Preschool

1.  Meet the teacher before school starts if possible

Try to have your little one and yourself meet their new teacher prior to the first day of school if possible.

Both girls got to meet their teachers with my for the first time to get used these educators, who would play a big part of their daily routine for the upcoming school year and also the first time they truly had another adult they never personally knew beforehand take care of them for a few hours daily outside of myself, their father or another family member.

This in my eyes was a huge benefit for my girls to get comfortable with their new teachers, but also a way for this mom to get acquainted with those who were interacting with them for the time when I wasn't to be there with them.

So, it was a win-win in my eyes for all and if your school does a Meet the Teacher event, my suggestion is definitely attend as you won't be disappointed.

2.  Keep your emotions in check and don't linger

OK parents this one, I know, is easier said than done.

See I had told myself I wouldn't cry or get teary eyed sending my girls off for their first day, but trust me when I say that I definitely felt that all-so familiar lump in my throat form with both my girls respectively the first day they started preschool.

My first was actually a bit easier, because she was definitely more of an independent child at nature, but still she was on the shyer side and had my own set of mom worries.  My second was and still is more attached to me.  So, that first day she actually cried as much as she was headstrong on telling us she wanted to go months leading up to.

Both times, I had to hold back my emotions until they were out of eye and ear shot not lingering, because I didn't want to project my mom emotions onto them and wanted them to go in happily for the months to come, too.

Thankfully, I did and both girls happily attended preschool two years each being none the wiser to my first day jitters for them.

3.  Set up playdates with their school friends

It helps if your kids get to see some of the kids they interact with not just in school daily, but outside of preschool.

I tried my best to set up playdates for both girls outside of the preschool setting as much as my time and theirs allowed.

So, that they had some real connections with their preschool friends in and out of school, as well as how to continually socialize with others their own age, as well. 

Socialization at this younger and tender age is truly an essential in helping all kids develop their personalities, as well as being able to make friends outside the home as they are indeed growing up.

4.  Backpack and lunchbox readiness is a huge benefit for all

Many preschools allow children to bring backpacks to hold a folder and bring snack, too.

So, here I always had my girls help me pick out a backpack and matching lunchbox, as well.  So that the gear they brought daily was all theirs from the get go.

I also made sure to have the girls go food shopping with me to pick out the snack and drink they wanted to bring to school, so that they also had some input on what they would be eating and drinking during this time each day.

Plus the backpack was a great way to be able to have any correspondence sent home to me or sent in with them for their teacher, as well as the keeping homework organized, as well.


See preschool kids do get homework regularly to prepare them for kindergarten and elementary school.  The homework usually was just number, letter, shapes or color practice.  Nothing that I would say was too challenging, but again just to help teach them the basics and the fundamentals for school.

5.  Focus on your child always

Sit down before school will start to explain that preschool is a big and exciting new venture for them.  Their feelings and emotions are huge to take into consideration now and always.

No two children are alike in any given situation.  Believe me, when I tell you my girls can sometimes even still surprise me with their reactions.  So too when it came time to start preschool, they definitely treated the experience from a fresh new perspective.  As I shared in number #2 with their differing reactions on the the actual first of preschool for each of my girls.

So in this regard I would say first off, let them know that the teacher is there to help them and never feel afraid to ask them if they do indeed need help with anything.

This is huge, as the teacher is a new person in their young little lives and the go to person when mom or dad isn't there now as I already shared above.

Also, it helps to let them know you will return once the school time is over for the day.  I, for one, always made sure to let my girls know that I would always be there to pick them up afterwards when school was over for the day.  

Truth be told, one of the best parts of my day was when I would pick them up from preschool as their little faces would light up, as they would run up to me to embrace me even after only the few hours apart.

Another essential is to give your kid your undivided attention, when the school day is over and why I also tried my best to always give my girls ample amount of time with me after they did come home from preschool to tell me about their day, do homework or just spend some much needed time with me after spending that time away from me.  This is your time to listen, ask questions  and just bond with them more.

When all else fails, remember preschool is short lived at best and before you know it, you will blink to have your child in school full-time in elementary school and/or kindergarten. So try to take as much of this time for both of you to enjoy the ride, because again take if from this second time kindergarten mom this year, kindergarten is only a hop, skip and a jump away now for you and your little one.

Janine is the mom to two school aged daughters, as well as a published author appearing in Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee and The Mother of All Meltdowns. She also writes at Confessions of A Mommyaholic, as well as has been featured on The Huffington Post, Mamapedia and In the Powder Room.

Check out more About.com tips for transitioning from summer to preschool here.

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