Childhood Transitions in Preschool – How to Help a Child Adjust

Preschool has many advantages. It can be an excellent place for youngsters to connect with peers and learn important lessons in life, such as sharing, taking turns, and obeying rules. It can also academically prepare them for kindergarten and beyond. 

But going to preschool, for both the parent and the child, does come with mixed emotions. It can trigger both anxiety and excitement to enter a new preschool setting filled with unfamiliar teachers and children for a child. 

Parents may have mixed feelings about whether their child is pre-school-ready. That is why, as parents, you need to help your child adjust as well.  Here are some tips you need to know!

Childhood Transitions in Preschool - How to Help a Child Adjust
Image Source: FamilyEducation

Talk with Them about Their Fears

Spend more time talking about preschool with your child before it begins. Gradually, expose your child to events that frequently occur in a classroom in the months and weeks before school. 

For example, a child who is used to scribbling at home with paper and pencils will find it comforting to discover pencils and writing in the preschool classroom. 

Before school starts, visit the nursery classroom with your child a few times. This may ease this unfamiliar territory’s concerns. Visiting is also an opportunity to meet your child’s educator and ask questions about routines and everyday activities. 

So that they become familiar, you can implement some of those routines and activities at home.

Navigate Your Emotions Too

You may wonder how the first tear-filled days are treated by the teacher or how the first week will be structured to make the transition seamless for your kid.

Although your child is taking this drastic step and offering help, too much focus on the transition could make any anxiety worse. Young children will pick up on the nonverbal signals of their parents. 

If parents feel bad or concerned about leaving their child at school, that’s possibly what the children would feel. The more calm and secure you are in your decision to send your child to preschool, the faster your child will settle in.

Be Upfront But Gentle

Before the first day, take a tour of the school and let your child meet the teacher. If they are old enough, you may allow them to come up with some questions about school, their hobbies, or even themselves that they would like to ask the teacher. 

Study preschool books together. For this very reason, there are several children’s books available. It helps kids find words for their problems, and also see that in the end, everything ends up being okay. 

This can be a valuable way to get your child to open up about any issues they may have in advance and provide a blueprint for things that turn out positive. 

Giving them details about what drop-offs are going to look like, what they can anticipate during class, including the things they can do if they feel anxious or have a concern, and what time they’re going to go home (or signals that it’s almost time to go home, like hanging up their apron and having their book bag ready).

Be Prompt

Leaving can be made more smooth by a regular and predictable farewell routine. Some parents wave or make a funny farewell face outside the classroom doors, while others have a special handshake before parting.

Transitional objects can also help comfort a child, such as a family picture, a special doll, or a favorite blanket. Also, bear in mind that, after their parents leave, most children do well. 

If your child is excited or hesitant to go to preschool, make sure that a school staff member is prepared to assist with the transition when you arrive

Childhood Transitions in Preschool - How to Help a Child Adjust
Image Source: Bright Horizons


Speak to your child’s teacher about his reluctance to go to school or his or her fear of losing you. The teacher will be ready to support you with the separation and offer extra encouragement if she understands how your child feels. 

Teachers have plenty of helpful ways to help little ones adapt to the goodbye, such as making your child ready for a particular activity, setting aside a favorite toy for him or her, or developing a routine to start the day at school.