Is Your Child Ready for Preschool?

Preschool PlaygroundWill this be the school year when your child begins attending preschool? That can be a tough decision for many parents. Some feel that preschool is very important in helping a child with social skills and to learn how school “works”. How can you tell if your child is ready for preschool? Here are some signs that indicate that he or she is ready to give preschool a try.

Your Child is in Good Health.
Preschool can be an exciting and fun growth experience for every child. Unfortunately, being around a lot of other children can expose your child to the colds and flu bugs that are “going around”. If your child has a typical, healthy, immune system, that may be fine.

However, if your child has a compromised immune system, it might not be a bad idea to wait a year before having him or her start preschool. Ask your child’s doctor for an opinion before signing your child up for preschool.

Your Child Can Cope With Being Away From You.
Has your child ever been watched for a few hours by a family member, or a babysitter, while you are not there? How well did he or she cope? It’s normal for children to fuss at the moment that mom or dad leaves. Most children will perk up in a little while when they find themselves interested in a toy or activity that is available.

If your child has extreme difficulty with coping with your absence (even if it is just for a short time) you may want to reconsider starting preschool this year. If your child cries inconsolably the entire time you are gone, it may be a good idea to wait before starting preschool.

Your Child is Ready to Interact With Other Kids.
Does your child have siblings or cousins that he or she spends time with? Do you set up play dates for your child? If so, then your child might be very ready for the social interaction that happens at preschool. It can be helpful to give your child plenty of opportunities to “learn” how to be with other kids between now and when preschool begins.

Your Child is Potty Trained.
Check with the preschool to see if your child must be successfully potty trained before he or she will be accepted for their preschool program. Not every program will require it. Some prefer that your child has been introduced to the concept of potty training before they start preschool.

Image by Brian Hart on Flickr.