Parenting is a crazy gig. When the hell do you actually start getting some freedom?
Truth is, only you know the real answer. The common practice is putting kids in preschools around 2 ½ years of age, but it doesn’t have to be the exact same for your kid too. Readiness to go to school must be decided after looking upon where your little one is, in the developmental stages. Here are some skills that you must look for in your little kid before sending him to school.
Is your child independent?
A child needs to be ready emotionally, physically, socially and cognitively ready to participate in the school activities. Will he participate in small organized activities well? Is she able to take care of a few basic things about herself – like can she tell someone if she wants to go potty? Or can she follow instructions like washing hands before eating? Notice if your kid can handle such things well.
Has he/she been away from you?
Many kids freak out when you are not there. This is entirely normal. But if you are planning to put the little bugger in a play school, give him small opportunities to explore the world by himself. Leave him alone with grandma and take an extra-long bath to start with and leave him with someone at home while you go shopping. You can also try to get him enjoy new places as well.
More than your kid, separation issues can be a big problem for you. This exercise will also prepare you to cope up with the separation.
Can he/she play on his/her own?
If your kid gets engrossed in drawing or toys on her own, she is a good candidate to go to play school. But if your little one is the kind who loves to ask help for everything, you can follow some little tricks to get her play separately. Encourage him to make little clay creatures until you get the bed ready and build up the time and activities slowly. Just try to keep her moderately interested in something for short stretches and she’ll do fine in school without expecting much handholding.
Is your kid ready to make friends?
Some kids are more social than others. But most little ones are active explorers and have no interest in interacting with other kids. This is a skill you can teach him gradually – take him to a park and gently show him how you should take turns in sharing the swing. Say no to hitting or hair pulling and try to get them to discuss their favourite cartoon shows on TV or any other interest. It might be difficult at first, but kids are fast learners and he will learn to include others in his play soon.
Is your child keeping a regular schedule?
Schedules and routines are very important to kids. They thrive well if they have some sort of solid knowledge about what comes next. It helps them prepare, feel comfortable and in control. At least if not for most other things, try to get your kids hooked up into a bedtime routine and stick to it. This will help little kids get used to standardized days, reduce their stress and confusion let them relax.
Does your kid have the physicals stamina for school?
Whether the school is half a day or full day, physical stamina is an important factor you need to check. Play schools generally move from one activity to the other without a break in between. Can your kid handle this? Kids became cranky and throw a fit only when they are tired, hungry or sleepy. If your kid gets tired too soon, he might start throwing fits around in school.
Another important factor is to check your child’s napping pattern. Preschools generally don’t make kids sleep – they let them go home in time for tnap. Can your child sustain until afternoon without a nap or does he always need a small doze off mid-morning? If he needs frequent naps, he is still growing and needs rest – this is not the right time to send him to school.
To improve the stamina, make sure that the child gets a good night’s rest. Make sure the little tummy is full before sleeping and avoid any energizing or stimulating activities right before bed. Good food and sound sleep can help him go longer without getting cranky.
Why do you want to send your kid to preschool?
This is the most important question. What are your goals?
- Are you overwhelmed and over worked – do you need some time for yourself? In that case, try sending him over to granny’s or leave him with your sister for some time if your kid is not yet ready to go to school.
- Are you worried that he won’t be ready for kindergarten if he doesn’t go to preschool? This isn’t completely true. Kids got to kindergarten successfully and enjoy it even if they don’t attend preschool. So if your kid is not ready yet, just relax and enjoy the time with him.
- If you see that your kid is eager to learn new stuff and wants to explore the world, if he doesn’t have enough simulation at home with you, chances are he is in the perfect stage to expand his horizons. Steele your heart and pack him off to school!
Phew! Don’t forget to discuss with your kid’s caregivers before deciding what’s best for you and your kid!
If you are a pro-parent with grown up kids, let us know how you coped! Shower us with the wisdom!