August is here -- can you believe it's almost back-to-school time? For some of you this means a first: Your "baby's" first day in preschool. Get out your hankies, sniff! This is a big transition.
I had a lot of worries when I first sent my son to preschool. I think a lot of parents do. One thing that helped me was to write up a list of my concerns and just think each one through. So I've listed here some of the most common fears parents have for that first day of school. See if you can relate to any of these.
1. Your child is going to bawl when you leave. What if your child screams and clings to you like a barnacle and they have to pry him/her off of you with the Jaws of Life? What if he/she cries the ENTIRE time you're gone?
The crying and clinging do happen sometimes. But it gets better. Most kids snap out of it once they realize you're really gone (so don't drag out that goodbye process!). It's very rare for a child to cry all day, every day. If that really does happen, you may need to take a critical look and see if maybe the school isn't a good fit. But chances of that happening are really, really slim.
2. They're going to lose your child or let her get hurt. Some preschools have their own enclosed playground, but my son's preschool went to the public playground right across the street. Sometimes I worried they would forget him there. I'm ridiculous, I know. And what if your child is seriously injured because the staff isn't paying attention?
Relax, losing kids and allowing them to get seriously hurt is extremely rare. Your kid will get little boo-boos. You should expect the occasional scraped knee or Band-Aid. But if you're worried about bigger issues, it's a good idea to talk over your school's safety protocols just to assure yourself.
3. Your child will hate it there. For whatever reason -- what if your child hates their school? What if she cries every morning because she doesn't want to go?
This happens. But more common is that kids complain in the morning because they want to keep doing what they're doing RIGHT NOW (watching cartoons?) and just hate transitions. Once they're at preschool, they're fine. Maybe what's going on at home is just a little too fun and engaging (those cartoons) and morning time needs to be a little more focused.
4. Your kid will forget all about you and not want to leave preschool. Ha! I've seen this, too. The transition goes so well you hardly get a "goodbye" at drop off. Aww, poor mom!
This is a sign that preschool is really clicking for your child. Hooray! Someone is going to have an amazing year. Scratch that -- you both are.
What are your fears for your child's first time in preschool?
Image via kaylehew/Flickr