A very loaded question without a clear answer…
When is the best time to send your child to preschool?
Well, there really isn’t a precise answer because families are unique and every child is different.
Everyone has an opinion on when it’s best to send children to preschool. Not to mention the slippery slope of opinions about infant care, breast versus bottle, organic versus affordable, attachment theory, and even birth order. I have found that parents feel very strongly about issues that affect their children. Every family, every culture, and every generation has a thought on what is best for their children. What’s great about this is that honestly, we’re all doing the very best job we know how. We can’t ask more than that from people. We love our kids and we want to do the very best for them and that for me is incredibly admirable.
Let’s assume we’ve all done our very best…
I’d like to pose the question in a different way: “When will I as a parent know it’s time to send my child to preschool?”
Now, I want you to know that you’re asking this question to a person who loves the developmental stage of children from ages 3 to 6 years. This phase of life is also called the adsorbent phase. I think it’s incredibly fascinating to have a career where I’m allowed to interact with these incredible young people. I can only speak from my experience and from my learning and research that when a child has been fully potty-trained they are ready for preschool.
Let me explain: A child who has grown out of diapers, into big girl or big boy pants, and is now going to the restroom on their own has accomplished a fantastic goal and a great milestone in their life. These children have a beginning sense of self-care. They understand when the urge or need to go to the restroom comes they are to stop what they’re doing and head to the bathroom to avoid an accident. Unpacking this concept is what reveals the genius of what this milestone really encapsulates. These are the first steps of self-care and self-control. The little connectors in our brain that are connected to our bodies have come full circle. They are instructing needs to a little person who is learning how to listen to their bodies, understand these needs, and become advocates for themselves.
On that note:
Having accidents or maybe needing to wear a pull up at night are not indicators that your child is not ready for preschool. Remember we’re not looking for perfection we’re looking for an understanding of the concept so that we can later build on those positive experiences by raising the bar in other areas of their life. When we’ve had success in one area we are more likely to think that we can achieve success in other areas of our life.
At Center Stage preschool we promote the thought that children have a Voice and a Choice
We also focus on identifying emotions and needs with words. Building on that concept, we can help develop a child’s self-esteem and confidence. I am by no means saying that this is the only indicator. I will say that through much time spent observing children and being in social situations with the parents present, it is a very good indicator that your child may be ready for preschool. Being able to be self-sufficient and communicate your needs are some of the bedrocks of personal goal-setting and achievements.
When a child has a positive experience with loving parents during a transitional time, that child is learning some of the fundamental keys to setting goals, reaching goals, and feeling successful and self-sufficient in their world.
Achievement looks different for all of us and there is no one absolute right answer that would cover every scenario. As I’ve said in many other blogs, open honest communication between the parents and the preschool staff create a safe, peaceful environment for your child!
Thank you so much for stopping by!