Just as new session is about to start, new toddlers will be seen getting up early morning and leaving for school, some crying and some in a very happy mood to go to a new place. Leaving a child in a nursery or a pre-school is a traumatic experience for the child as well as for the parents. The parents are often in a dilemma if they are leaving their child in the right hands or not, or have they made a right decision for their child by choosing that particular school. It is mix bag of emotions, where both the child and the parents are in a predicament.
Making your child prepared for the school is a challenge in itself. This requires a lot of efforts from the parents and is more difficult even for the child to leave home and go to a new place, amidst the new people.
These are some ways how the parents can prepare the child for nursery school:
1. Introduce the child to the teacher:
Before even the school starts, make sure to introduce the child to the teacher and brief about how that teacher will take care of them for few hours of the day from now on.

2. Organise a trip to the school:
Take your child to the school and tell him how that place will be his/her next home from now on, where they can stay and play and learn new things. This exercise will also make the parents sure about the school, by check about the infrastructure of the school to greater details.

3. Organise a play meeting:
Take the names of the parents along with their mails or contact numbers, who have also admitted their child in the school that year and meet them up with the kids. This will help the child to know the children before even they meet them as strangers in the school. This will also help a parent to become oriented to the parents and make a circle of themselves, who can discuss any activities or issues of the school, and together approach the school.

4. Prepare your child:
Teach them how to eat on their own and pack their own stuffs. Start waking them up a few days before the actual school starts so that they get adjusted to the new timings. Start giving them some snacks in the timings that his/her new school gives lunch break at. Most importantly, teach them the basics through play, like a little rhyme, the letters, few numbers, recognising his/her own name, remembering mother's and father's phone number and names and if possible, the address. This will keep the child in a better position compared to a child who is totally new to the entire system of education. Also, visit the school website and show them pictures of what happens in the school and encourage them that school will be a life-changing experience for them.

5. Leave him or her alone:
Even before the school starts, teach your child that they have to stay away from you by leaving them with others, may be with their grandparents or uncles and aunts, to make them realize that you will come back and you will be there for them.

6. Make a list of dos and don'ts:
Tell them with activities what they should do and not do in a school setting. Like listen to the teacher and take care of their own belongings are thing that the parents need to brief their child about.

7. Ensure Safety:
Before sending the child to the school, ensure that the school is safe from all aspects, be it from the aspect of infrastructure, transportation, hygiene, etc and you are contended with their way of functioning.

8. Teach them "good & bad" touch:
Brief them about how a good and bad touch feels like and from whom it may come from. Teach them that they must be careful of strangers and how they should not travel or communicate with strangers who ask them personal questions.

9. Communicate:
Communicate with your child after the first day from school; about what did they do in school and what they have learnt. Ask them if they like the class and the activities, school and the friends.

10. Don't linger around the school:
Having you around the school will make adjustment to the new environment difficult for your child. Before you leave, make sure you hug your child, say how much you love him/her and just let them be in the hands of a trusted teacher. Keeping byes sweet and short is better always for your child, who has just started going to school.

Initial days are hard, for both you and your child. With time, it becomes a smooth routine. Just keep talking and asking your child. They need you more than anyone else when they are undergoing such an important phase in life, where they are experiencing change, detachment and adjustment, all at the same time. Don't worry if your child is clingy and teary in the first few days- it is completely normal! They will just do fine in a few days time, when they will simply start enjoying the entire concept of school and friends, and games and activities!



Courtesy: Ms. Unmana Dutta. Consultant - MA (Clinical Psychology)