Is your child starting preschool?

During transitions, children often need a little extra time, attention and support from their parents. School transitions also signal a new stage of family life for everyone.

Children may feel...

  • Sadness at the loss of the old school, friends, neighborhood (and if a preschooler or kindergartner, separation from parents)
  • Anxiety about the unknown
  • Fear of not making friends, being accepted.
  • Apprehension about their ability to do the work or master the logistics involved (getting lost, getting lunch, learning the rules, finding the bathrooms, etc.).

Parents may feel...

  • Sadness about their child growing up and moving on to the next stage
  • Anxiety about whether the new school and/or teacher are the best for their child.
  • Uncertainty about what their own role should be in the new setting and how the new school views parent involvement.
Awareness that their child's growing up is linked to a new stage of life for parents too and that family life will change.

Making a smooth transition…

  • If the school has scheduled an open house, orientation, welcome day or other opportunities for parents and/or children to get acquainted, make a special effort to attend.
  • Take the time to talk. Ask your child what he would like to know about the new school. Write down the questions and find out the answers.
  • Take the time to visit the school. You may want to call ahead to get an appointment or get permission for you and your child to take a self-tour of the building. Talk about what will happen during a typical day. Go through the schedule with your child.