As the new school year approaches there are a few things to think about if you have a preschool aged child either continuing their preschool journey or starting their journey for the first time.
* Consider the time of day and the meals your child has before you take them back to school shopping.
1. In the morning after a healthy breakfast or after a nap and a healthy snack, young children have energy!
2. Back to school shopping takes energy. There is a lot of external stimuli children have to filter out every time they go to a public place and that takes a lot of energy. So why not go when your children are fresh from sleep and energized with food?
3. If the morning time doesn’t work try taking your preschooler to the store after their nap and a healthy protein rich snack. Young children need their naps to ensure their bodies are getting the much- needed recovery sleep young people require as they grow. And again a healthy low sugar and rich protein snack will give their bodies the fuel they need to focus when you take them shopping.
4. Melt-downs in the store usually occur because young children get hungry and tired before us adults do. They are still learning how to navigate our world and sometimes the store is very overstimulating. When they are tired and hungry they are less apt to be able to stay calm. listen to advice, negotiate, compromize, or communicate how they feel. If you can possibly plan your outings for when you know your child is energized, your trip will more likely be a success rather than an emotional rollercoaster. 🙂
* Your child’s feelings. Your child’s first preschool experience can be a bit overwhelming from the start. There is back to school shopping, discussions of school and any other information they have gathered from older siblings experiences, TV shows, stories you’ve read about it, and their own interpretations of something new.
- Be a bit more observant of your child’s emotions during this important time of year. Little things your child does out of the ordinary can add up and tell you that your child may be experiencing anxiety, fear of the unknown, excitement, eagerness, and a whole lot of happiness etc.
- Take a little more time to allow your preschooler to adjust to the changes in their daily routines that will be happening once they start the new school year. With summer coming to an end it may be a good thing to start making sure your child is in bed earlier than the summer hours.
- Start back to school discussions a few weeks prior to school starting. Check out back to school books at your local library or purchase some at your local bookstore. Ask for assistance if you are having trouble finding exactly what you want. Books are a wonderful way to naturally fall into discussions about school.
- Include your child in the back to school shopping. Children need to be a part of the whole process. After all, they are the ones embarking on this new adventure, so it makes sense that they get to be an active participant in getting ready.
- Take the time to really notice your child’s emotional state. Pay close attention to any small to large behavior changes, mood swings, or how they are interacting with their older or younger siblings and friends during this transitional time in their lives. Stress affects young children too. And young children do not yet have the coping skills to deal with emotions they do not yet fully understand. So be empathetic and sensitive to this new and somewhat nerve-racking experience in their lives. Be sure to give them some leeway since their emotions may be a little all over the place till they have actually started school and their fears of the unknown are calmed and replaced with joy and anticipation.
Preschool is just around the corner, so make sure you schedule a tour and come visit The Marigold School of Early Learning! I would love to discuss any learning goals you have for this new and exciting school year! 🙂
Heidi Scott, BA & MIT