Help! My child does not want to go to school

Preschool offers a myriad of opportunities for kids to interact with others and learn valuable life lessons. It also prepares them for kindergarten, primary school and beyond. As such, it’s incumbent that children get the necessary education as soon as possible.

However, not all children are excited to attend school. They might feel anxious entering a new environment filled with unfamiliar kids and teachers, and of course, might not want to part ways with their parents. Find out more about preschool in Singapore at

Here are a few ways to help your child get ready for school:

Ease your child’s fears

To prepare your child for school, spend time talking about it before the semester starts. Gradually introduce your child to activities that typically occur in a classroom week or even months before school. This way, your child will not have a difficult time acclimatising between home and school. For example, a child who’s used to colouring on paper with crayons will find it comforting to discover the paper and crayons in the preschool classroom.

To ease worries about unfamiliar territory, if possible, visit the preschool a few times with your child before school starts. This not only prepares them mentally for school but might also get them excited. These visits are also a chance for you to meet your child’s teacher and ask questions about common activities and routines. You can introduce some of these routines at home so that your child becomes familiar.

While in the classroom, allow your child to observe the environment and interact with the teachers and other kids. This helps them to familiarise themselves with the people and the classroom. While at it, take the opportunity to ask the teacher how first days are like — will the first week be dedicated to creating a smooth transition? What happens if the kids cry?

During this transition, it’s important not to emphasise too much on the change too as it could make your child’s anxiety worst. Be careful not to exhibit any signs too — children can pick up on parents’ nonverbal cues, so if you feel guilty or worried, your kids can probably sense that too. In other words, the more calm and assured you are, the more confident your child will be too.

Make a good first day

The first day is going to be difficult, but there are some ways to get through it. First, reintroduce the teacher to your child, and then allow them to bond and form a relationship. By endorsing the teacher, you are showing your child that he or she is safe in the teacher’s care. Say a loving goodbye and leave promptly. Do not sneak out. It might be tempted to sneak out so you don’t have to deal with the goodbye, but leaving without a word can make children feel abandoned. A long goodbye on the other hand might also make your child cling more and give the impression that a school is a bad place.

As a tip, some parents practice consistent farewells when dropping off their kids to school every day. This could be waving from outside the classroom window or making a funny goodbye face. Most preschools begin with a daily ritual, such as sharing sessions. Young kids tend to respond to this kind of predictability, and a routine can ease the transition from home to school.

Most importantly, make sure a school staff member is ready to welcome your child when you arrive. Some kids may gel in and adjust immediately, but others might need a private cuddle from a caregiver first.

Regularly communicate with your children and their teachers

Ask your children what they like and dislike about school and focus on them. For example, they may like colouring sessions or playing with their classmates. Constantly remind them of these things so they look forward to school more. If there’s anything they dislike, find out what the problem is and try to help. Be involved and show that you care and notice and try not to criticise. The first few years of a child’s education are crucial as they shape how he/she views school in the future.

Since teachers are the ones looking after your little ones most of the time in school, they may have observed certain activities your children are good at. You may reinforce these interests at home.

Teach your kids the importance of friendship

Having friends can be excellent motivation for kids to enjoy school. When everyone gets along well and have fun with each other, the school will definitely be a much more enjoyable environment. Encourage your children to meet new friends, teach them appropriate manners and tell them the importance of sharing. These are things that will put them on the path of establishing good relationships with others.


First Steps Preschool @ Admiralty
701 Woodlands Drive 40
Singapore 730701
6365 6535