Will my shy 2-year-old be able to handle preschool?

Will my shy 2-year-old be able to handle preschool?

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With your help and a little time, chances are she will. If your child is more reserved and introverted than her peers, that's okay. Children who are slow to warm up just need more time to adjust to new situations like preschool. Keeping your 2-year-old out of preschool probably isn't the answer, but you should be prepared to support her until she feels comfortable in an unfamiliar setting. Getting her used to a small, safe playgroup first could smooth the transition to preschool. She'll get to mix with other kids while knowing you're still around. So if you haven't already, find a playgroup in your community with a few children the same age as your child. If she keeps to herself at first, don't worry — she's probably taking in the experience slowly. As long as she's playing she's fine. Once in a while, you can gently encourage her to interact with other children, but let her set the pace. Most 2-year-olds don't socialize much anyway and instead spend most of their time engaged in parallel play — meaning they play near each other but are largely immersed in their own toys and games.

Keep in mind, too, that your shy child will definitely need more support than a more outgoing child on her first few days in a new program. Try to visit the school together as often as you can before your child's first day so she feels more at ease in her new surroundings. Ask the teachers if any of her classmates live near you and arrange a few playdates before school starts. That way, your child will know a couple of kids among the sea of strangers on her first day.

Plan to stay awhile on that first day, too. (Check beforehand to see if that's okay. Some teachers discourage lingering). Greet her teacher together, and help your child find her cubby and put her things away. You may also want to introduce her to a few children. If she seems uninterested in playing with them, help her start a project or activity. When it's time for you to leave, remember to say good-bye. Slipping out when you think she won't notice can backfire — she may be upset that she didn't get to hug or kiss you before you left, and you could end up undermining her trust in you. Also, let her know when she can expect to be picked up (for example, after naptime or after outdoor playtime). Leave when you say you're going; prolonged departures can be extra difficult for you and your child. If she becomes very upset, enlist the help of her teacher, who can distract her with an activity.

It may take your child some time before she adjusts to preschool, but soon she'll settle in to the routine and form a strong bond with her teacher and her new friends. She may never be the life of the party, though, and that's fine — you, her peers, and her teachers can value her quiet, thoughtful approach to life, which will help her feel it's okay to be herself.

Watch the video: Speech Therapy Techniques: Speech Therapy with a Non-verbal Child (January 2023).

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