Adjusting to Preschool

From reading my previous post about my three-year old daughter’s first emotional day of preschool, you know that it hasn’t been easy for us.  It has been a long four weeks, but today, I just dropped her off, she waved goodbuy and went to play with her friends.

It was a long road for both of us, but I am so proud of her.  I am thankful that I had an opportunity to take it slow and to allow her to get comfortable with this new part of her life.  I wanted to share her journey because I know that not everyone has an opportunity to witness how our little ones get adjusted to a new environment.

The first week was the hardest for both of us.  Tatiana couldn’t understand why I was taking her to preschool and why she had to be there.  She wasn’t having any fun, she wasn’t playing with anyone.  I stayed there the whole three hours, and she was holding on to me the whole three hours.  On the last day of week one, she started expressing some interest in puzzles, but she was still refusing to participate in any class activities.

The second week, I decide to stay for the first hour and a half, until she  had to go outside to see her sister.  I wanted her to start getting used to the idea  that mommy leaves but she always comes back. During that week she started to get to know the classroom, her teachers, some kids.   On the last day of week two, she even participated in the circle time. She was getting familiar with the routine and I could see that she was starting to get more comfortable around other kids.

On week three, I decided to stay for the first 20-30 minutes and then read her a book and leave.  The book was the key.  We read the same book everyday before I had to leave.  It was a great book called Lama Lama Misses Mama.  The story was about a little Lama’s first day of school and all the emotions and feeling Lama was going through during its first day of school. It talks about how sad and uncomfortable one can feel when it just starting a new preschool.  The book recognizes the feelings and labels them and it seemed to help my daughter.  At the end of the story, Tatiana would go to the window and wave to me.  After I left, she would crying for a little bit, but then she go and play.

This week, week four, we came in the classroom and Tatiana just went to her teacher, and started to play.  I was waiting to read her the story, but our book wasn’t there, so I just said:  “Do you want to go and wave to me?”  She said: “Yes”.  That was it.  She waved to me, took her new friend’s hand and went to play.  It was amazing!

I am glad that I took a time to make her feel comfortable, I am glad that I was able witness the transformation week by week.   Surprisingly, it was easy for me to let her go today, I think it is because I was  there every step of the way.  Today, I saw that she wanted to be there, she had fun there, she had friends there and that made me feel good.

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