Tag Archive | "easing your toddler’s anxiety"

Managing Anxiety In Children Who Are Starting Preschool


Starting preschool is a difficult time for your toddler. New faces, a strange environment plus the thought of being away from you will truly make him nervous. While you cannot erase his first-day jitters completely, you can help ease some of his anxiety so he can welcome this big change more openly.

Recognize Your Toddler’s Fear

Being in a new environment scares toddlers. Ignoring your toddler’s anxiety or telling him everything is okay will only backfire. Get your toddler talking about his fears. Listen to what he has to say, no matter how irrational they may seem. Ask him why he feels that way. Let your little one know being scared is normal and that you understand how it feels. Remember, fears will not go away when you disregard them.

Talk About It

A few days before preschool starts, talk to your toddler. Keep your conversation casual, say, over dinner, while playing or giving him a bath. Keep your voice jolly so he knows it is something he should be happy about. Use simple sentences to explain what he can expect like who will be there, what will happen during class and the likes. The more he knows, the better he will feel.

Expose and Explore

Read books about school. Watch videos about a little boy who is preparing for his first day of class. A week before classes start, tour the school. Visit his soon-to-be room. Introduce your little one to his teacher. Play at the playground. Doing this helps him familiarize himself with the surrounding, easing some of his anxiety.

Practice

During your playtime, why not role play what happens in school? The two of you can take turns pretending to be the teacher and student. Dress the part. Use his stuffed toys as his classmates. Give him certain scenarios (e.g. introducing one ’s self, shared activities, etc.) and see how he handles them.

Increase Social Interaction

If your toddler is anxious being with other children his age, he will truly have a hard time  getting along with his classmates. Train him by organizing play dates with other children in the neighborhood. Ask your friend’s kids to join you for a picnic or a trip to the park. Enroll him in a workshop. Visit the playground more often. Even if they will not be in your toddler’s class, the exposure will help your toddler deal with unfamiliar faces once he starts school. In addition, this is an excellent way to teach your toddler important social skills such as sharing, taking turns, listening, cooperation and respect.

Teach Your Toddler How To Be Independent

Maybe the reason why your toddler is so anxious about starting preschool is because he does not know how to do things on his own. Teach him how to dress on his own, use a bathroom and to raise his hand if he has to go to the restroom. Let him eat and drink by himself.

Do Not Show Your Anxiety

Keep your emotions in check. While you may also be feeling scared for your toddler, letting him know will also increase his anxiety. If you are excited for his first day of school, your anticipation will rub off on him.

Finally, when the first day of class begins, take time to get him ready. Prepare a healthy and yummy breakfast. Walk him to his classroom. Give him a hug. Tell him mommy will be back in no time and most importantly, to enjoy.

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