First-Day Jitters: Getting Kids Excited to Start Preschool

Your First Day Questions Answered

Q. My child really wants to take his blanket to preschool. Is that okay?

A. Yes. "Having a transitional object on hand can make being away from Mom and Dad a lot easier," says Tannen. If your child doesn't have a lovey, Tannen recommends helping him choose something that he can take to make him feel secure.

Q. Can my child suck on his pacifier at preschool?

A. Probably not. Your child will need to carry on conversations with his teachers and classmates. He can't do that with a pacifier in his mouth. However, you don't want to make his preschool start any more stressful than it already is. Get your child off the pacifier long before he starts school, or do it when he's adjusted to his new regimen. In the meantime, talk to the teacher about when it's okay for your child to have his pacifier (during rest time, for example) and when it's not (during circle time).

Q. How long can I stay if my child gets upset during drop-off?

A. "Most schools have a transition plan," says Tannen. "It's good to linger the first week to give your child a sense of security." The first day, a parent stays for a designated amount of time, and very gradually reduces that time as the first week progresses.

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