Labor Day is over, its the first week of preschool and my two year old is wild. We visited the school three times, put his name on his cubby and his teacher even came to the house to say hello. Bedtime is a struggle, he’s constantly calling me into his room and wakes up at the crack of dawn. The minute we walk into the toddler room, he won’t let go of my leg. Please help…I am ready to pull my hair out. This is one milestone I thought would be easier.
I’ve gotten this email or phone call so many times over the past thirty-five years. While I know it will get better, trying to convince mommy and daddy is another thing! So if this is you, here are a few tips to help ease your little one into the preschool routine.
- If your toddler takes his lunch to school, ask him to help you pack his lunchbox the night before.
- If he gives you a difficult time getting dressed in the morning. set out his clothes the night before with two choices only. For example, “do you want to wear the red shirt or the blue shirt?”
- Starting tonight, put your toddler to bed a half hour early.
- If he won’t stay in bed, offer to lay next to him for a few minutes. Set a kitchen timer for five minutes and when it rings, it’s time for sleep. No more getting out of bed. This may take a few night’s to conquer.
- In the morning, get yourself ready first and then wake your toddler. Nothing like a nice, hot cup of coffee in the quiet of the morning. And give yourself enough time just for you.
- If your toddler doesn’t want to eat breakfast, don’t push it. Pick your battles as he will eat when he’s hungry. And most preschools serve a snack mid-morning.
- During the ride to school, don’t talk about what will happen in his classroom that day. He’s already nervous and this is just a set-up for more tears or leg griping.
- When you get to school, ask the teacher to engage him in an activity or center. She’s the pro and should know how to redirect with ease.
- A quick kiss and hug good-by and out the door. Don’t hang around as it’s a signal to your little one that it may not be safe to stay without mommy. And never sneak out.
- If you’re nervous, call the school mid-morning for your peace of mind and go on with your day.
Setting up a consistent routine will make getting out the door each morning a piece of cake!