Parenting is hard enough as it is, without worrying about what other people think of you. Preschool teachers are in your corner and want to be part of your A-team. We're usually naturally positive people, and want to help you do your best as a parent.
We've seen lots of parents go through what you're going through right now -- who knows, maybe we can help?
Here is my list of the top eight things I'd like you to know as your child enters preschool for the first time.
1. You're doing a good job.
Parenting is hard. It's a fact. Please don't beat yourself up. You're doing a great job.
Parenting is one of the hardest journeys any of us can embark on in life. All children are different, and you never know what to expect. Just don't expect your child to behave like you would; we all have unique personalities, interests and abilities.
That's not the hardest bit about parenting, though. It's that it's constantly changing!
Just when you think you've mastered the latest developmental phase, everything changes. There is no status quo when you're raising a child. This is hard, but extremely rewarding -- even if it doesn't necessarily feel that way at the time.
After all, we couldn't appreciate the good moments if there weren't hard moments.
Parenting is hard. But there is no right or wrong. As early childhood educators, we can see that you are doing your best and only have your child's interests at heart.
The hard moments will pass.
2. You'll adjust to your child starting preschool.
The beginning of preschool can be one of the most difficult times for parents. It's often the first time you're without your child for an extended period of time. This can stir all sorts of emotions, particularly if it coincides with you returning to work. It can be an exhausting time -- emotionally and physically.
The best thing you can do is to focus on the positives with your child. This is an exciting time, but they will detect your anxiety, so try your best not to show it in front of them and remain positive.
3. We wish you wouldn't judge and compare.
Just like you, your child has strengths and weaknesses. You don't like it when you are compared to someone else, so please don't do the same to your child.
Children are incredibly observant and will pick up on signs if you are disappointed by their achievements.
We know you want your child to achieve and strive, but I promise you, they will be OK.
The most important life skill we can teach our children is resilience.
As your kids explore new skills, you will observe differences between each of your children and other children. You must expect this and embrace it. Children learn at different paces and have different skills and talents that should be nurtured and cherished.
4. You are the most important role model for your child.
You are your child's first educator. This is a role we respect as preschool teachers, and we are here to support you. Sending your child to preschool does not reduce or diminish the importance of the role you play.
Your child will have many teachers throughout his or her life, but you will always be the first and most important.
Your child picks up so many life cues from you. Even though they are little, they are watching!
Demonstrate a love of learning, thirst for knowledge, inquisitive nature and resilience. This will go a long way toward equipping your child with the same qualities.
5. You know your child better than anyone.
A preschool teacher cannot replace you. You will always know your child better than we can.
However, we love it when you share your knowledge about your child with us. We want the best for your child, too, and we need to work as a team with you so we can apply our experience to providing your child with the best learning and social environment possible.
6. Your child behaves differently at preschool.
Children often behave very differently at home from the way they do in small or large group environments. Don't presume that your child won't do something at preschool just because he or she won't at home.
Preschool is an opportunity to explore new things and be exposed to new life experiences. We protect the children, of course, but we also need to allow them to be challenged and grow.
7. Your feedback, input and constructive criticism are highly valued.
Please give us your input, solicited or not; if you think something could be improved upon, tell us. We want to know what you're thinking and feeling -- and what your child is thinking and feeling.
We're all on this learning journey called life together, and we want to improve and do the best we can for your child.
8. We're people, too.
Parenting is hard, but so is teaching. Please help us help your child. Talk to us, engage with us and support us.
We're human. We make mistakes. But please don't gossip with other parents; speak to us instead.
We put our hearts and lives into this job -- with more hours, tears and sleepless nights than you could know. It's much more than a job to us; we haven't become preschool teachers to chase fame and fortune.
We love your child, too.
This article originally appeared on www.TicTacTeach.com.