Some Dos And Don'ts In Determining Whether Your Child Is Ready For Preschool

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So, your child has reached the age that it may be time to start thinking about preschool. Specifically, you'll need to decide whether you want to enroll your child in preschool and, if so, whether or not he or she is ready. First of all, do realize that many preschools have strict deadlines and cutoffs for enrollment, so you'll want to be aware of these if you're even thinking about trying to enroll your child this year. And when it comes to determining whether your child is ready, there are some other facts to keep in mind.

DO Understand That It's Your Decision

A lot of times, parents feel pressured to enroll their children in preschool by other parents, grandparents, or other members of the family. However, it's important to realize that preschool is not a legal requirement of the country's public schooling system. While it's true that there are numerous potential benefits to enrolling your child in preschool, you are under no obligation to do so, and if you'd feel more comfortable foregoing preschool for your own child, that's 100% your decision to make.

DON'T Compare Your Child to Others

If you would like to enroll your child in preschool, try to avoid making comparisons to other children. For example, you might notice that a friend's child is around the same age as yours, yet is already able to read and recite the alphabet. This doesn't mean that your child isn't ready for preschool simply because he or she isn't at the same level as another child. The best way to determine whether your child is ready is to visit with the preschool yourself and speak with the staff!

DO Consider Your Preparedness

Believe it or not, sending a child away to preschool for the day is often more emotionally difficult on the parent than it is on the child. If you anticipate that you're going to be emotional about it, now is the time to start working on that, as your own emotions and actions will rub off on your child. 

DON'T Assume Your Child Must Be Potty Trained

Last but not least, don't assume that just because your child isn't totally potty trained, that he or she cannot attend preschool. There are many preschools that don't list this as a requirement, so if that's the only thing stopping you from enrolling your child, then it's time to look elsewhere.