3 Common Preschool Issues — and How to Handle Them

Our mom and teacher advice will help you sidestep common PreK snafus so you and your child can both begin the year happy.



Discover parent- and teacher-tested solutions to three common preschool issues, such as tearful moments during drop-off and difficulty communicating. 

If your kid melts down at drop-off . . .

Mom says
Get help. “An assistant teacher took our son under her wing. A few weeks later, he loved school!” recalls Melissa Shotter of Seaford, NY.

A teacher says
Show up a few minutes earlier to beat the a.m. rush and have a staffer meet you at the main entrance. “Leaving your child somewhere besides the classroom helps him think that he is saying goodbye to you, rather than vice versa. Feeling in charge makes the separation easier,” says Faith Schoelermann, a pre-K teacher in Babylon, NY.

If your kid isn’t easy to understand . . .

Mom says
Let everyone know the signs or words your child uses that may not be obvious, especially if they’re related to going potty, suggests Michelle Slusarz of Seekonk, MA, mom of 4- and 2-year-old girls.

A teacher says
Work on key phrases at home. Even though teachers can decode gestures, kids need to use their words, notes Sarah Knill Brown, a preschool teacher in Hollywood, MD. For example, when your child points to a cracker, take a moment to teach her a phrase like “More, please.”

If your kid’s shy . . .

Mom says
Playdates with classmates can speed up the bonding process, so be a matchmaker right from the start, advises Michelle Hobbs of Salt Lake City, UT, mom of a 4-year-old boy. “I didn’t realize how much that would help Milo feel like part of the group.”

A teacher says
Be patient. Schoelermann reminds parents that socialization is actually the first skill kids pick up in preschool. “By mid-year, even the kids who were pretty withdrawn on day one are running in, looking for specific friends,” she assures.

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