My little girl is soon to embark on her first day of preschool. This life step is a big one for many parents to watch their children take, seeing them turn from a wee baby to – in what feels like a blink of the eye -sed capable and independent little humans. This process is filled with some complicated emotions, and perhaps even more for me, returning to work as a preschool teacher at the same preschool where Little Z will be.
There are a lot of hesitations bubbling in my brain about what it will mean to try to fill two roles at once, mother and teacher, and how to keep these roles separately as needed to offer my little one the most beneficial and “normal” preschool experience. It will be a challenge, trying to define and navigate these separate yet intertwined roles. I have to admit, though, that there are also a lot of benefits to being an Early Childhood Educator as this year’s back to school season means my own child’s first day of preschool.
One of the benefits to being “in the know” about starting preschool is that I have a decent grasp on what lays ahead and how to prepare a child for starting a group learning experience with their peers. In order to prepare myself, my child, and hopefully some other parents trying to navigate raising young children, for the first day of preschool, I have written up a list of ways to prepare for the quickly approaching school year.
How To Get Ready For The First Day Of Preschool
Spend Time With Peers
Learning social skills, increasing communication, and understanding our own and others’ emotions is essential to successfully being a part of a group. This is one of the biggest goals of preschool – helping children learn to function positively and effectively as part of a social group – as this will play a large part in the child’s current and future experience of school. If you can be in a large group of peers and succeed at effectively communicating your thoughts, desires, and needs, and experience positive relationships with your classmates and teachers, the academic portion will be much easier to focus on.
Offering your child a chance to interact with their peers, and helping them learn appropriate ways of being together, will be a valuable experience for getting ready for preschool. StrongStart centres and other group classes or programs are a fantastic place to have your child interact with others, and for parents to pick up some helpful tips and tools to use in teaching your child positive ways of being.
Take Time Away
Giving your soon-to-be preschooler a chance to practice their independence from you (and you from them) will be very helpful in getting both of you ready to go your different ways once the first day of preschool arrives. Send them to visit with relatives, arrange child swap situations where you take turns having your child with a friend one day and then take their child another day, or take the opportunity to place them in child care outside of your home as much as feels comfortable for you. There can be a vast difference in the familiarity of being away from mom or dad at the preschool age, and if your child has never had an opportunity to work out who they are and how they are without you, it will likely be difficult for both of you when you drop them off for the first day of preschool.
As a bonus, taking time for yourself to relax or get things done on your own helps you be a more capable and patient parent, too. So take that time for yourself, and don’t feel bad for doing it. You’re a great parent.
Encourage Self-Help Skills
Let your child try to do as much as they can themselves. Help them learn to try first, as trying themselves is how they will learn new skills, and provide them with the necessary words to communicate when they need help with something. There are frustrations that are sure to arise, but this offers yet another opportunity to teach about emotions and how to positively handle those frustrations.
Some specific self-help skills to encourage are dressing and undressing, putting on coats, zipping up jackets, putting on and taking off socks, shoes, and boots, putting away and finding items needed to bring to school, opening and closing their snack bags, opening food containers and packages, pouring water, drinking from a cup, and asking for help or information, and using the toilet (including wiping).
Stock Up On Medicines
Your child is going to get sick. You are probably going to get sick, too, as your little ones bring all those lovely germs they acquired at preschool back home to share with the family. While the major spike in sicknesses is seen after summer break and winter break, when students return from visiting new places and social circles where they are exposed to new germs, the sicknesses happen all year round. Especially at this young preschool age where hygiene practices (so many fingers up the nose and down the pants!) are still being learned and the immune system is still so new. We can try our best to teach proper hand-washing and other methods to keep from spreading germs, but those little humans will still catch some of what’s out there.
The last thing you want to be doing when illness strikes and you’re up to your ears in bodily fluids and discomfort is head into the store to pick up something to ease those ailments. You’ll thank me later when someone comes down with something and you have everything on hand to easily and quickly deal with the problem.
Now, I don’t want to sound like a pill pusher. I personally prefer to avoid taking medications as much as possible, knowing that each benefit has it’s risk, and many of the popular meds you find on the pharmacy shelves contain ingredients I would rather not expose myself or my little one to if I can help it. That’s why I’m thankful that there are medicines out there that use more natural methods of combating illness.
If you’ve been following my blog, you probably already know that I’ve been acting as an ambassador for Boiron, a brand I’ve been a very happy customer of for years. Being the #1 brand of pharmacist-recommended homeopathic medicines, Boiron has a plethora of ways to relieve different symptoms you and your family may face, from colic and teething, to allergies, muscle aches, and insect bites. You can even pop your symptoms into their neat homeopathic medicine finder to choose the best homeopathic medicines to soothe what ails you.
When it comes to stocking up for the back-to-school sicknesses, Boiron has a line of homeopathic cough, cold, and flu medicines to give your whole family relief. Perfect for all of us mamas sending our little ones back to school (or to their first day of preschool) and back to germs.
Homeopathic Cough, Cold & Flu Medicines For Back-To-School
The first medicine to grab is Coryzalia, which is your sneezing, runny rose, nasal congestion relief for children one year old and up. It’s free of sugars, dye, and preservatives. The chewable tablets can be taken easily without water by anyone five years old and up. The younger version (for children 1 month -11 years) come in sterile and readily-drinkable unit doses (the same as Camilia, if you’re familiar with that life-saving teething medicine I mentioned here). With a two-year-old, I have many opportunities to use the little tubes, and I’m thrilled to have been introduced to Coryzalia to deal with her runny nose.
Next on your back-to-germs shopping list is Stodal. This cough syrup is made up of 9 homeopathic ingredients to relieve both dry and wet coughs. Children 1 to 11 years old can take a particular dosage, and adults can also benefit from a different dosage of the same syrup. It is non-drowsy, has no destromethorphan, diphenhydramine, or guaifenesin (potentially harmful ingredients in other cough medications). You can choose either the honey or sugar-free formula, and the bottle comes with a premeasured cup to make it easy to offer the right dose for your little one. We’ve been using this since last fall, and will continue to keep it stocked in our medicine cabinet as we head off to preschool.
Oscillococcinum was my first introduction to Boiron products. It helps to reduce the duration of flu-like symptoms, such as heachaches, body aches, fever and chills. I found it when I was pregnant and extremely cautious of what I was putting in my body, and was pleasantly surprised by the small tube of dissolvable crystals. They taste delicious! Since this formula is safe for adults and children 2 years and up, I’ve been able to use it with my daughter a couple times already, and was happy to see her perk up afterwards each time. This is definitely another item to stock up on before that first day of preschool.
Before I send you off to get ready for that first day of preschool, I need to let you know about one more awesome thing. On August 23rd at 5pm PST/8 EST I’m going to be at the Back To School With Boiron Twitter Party, and I’d love to see you there, too. Come on by to chat with myself and all the other lovely people who are interested in more natural means of relieving ailments about keeping kids healthy, and have a chance at more than $200 worth of prizes just for participating. RSVP using the widget below. (If you don’t know what a Twitter party is, or how to participate, find out here.)
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found my tips helpful in getting ready for your child’s first day of preschool, and that everyone settles easily into their new routines. Happy, healthy learning!
Disclosure: This post has been proudly sponsored by Boiron Canada. However, all of the above opinions, experiences, and any typos are my own. As always, I only share what I find helpful and useful, and what I can personally stand behind. For my full disclosure statement, see here.