Staying connected with your preschooler

Oct 15, 2012 at 4:36 a.m. ET

As your preschooler heads off to school for the very first time, it's easy to fear that your close connection might get lost.

mom on playground

There's no need to worry, though. With a few simple strategies you can stay connected with your preschooler, whether she's off to nursery school or simply becoming more independent at home.

Enjoy playtime

Really have fun! Let yourself feel like a kid again. Be silly. Get on the floor and play. Connect with your preschooler by having fun together. Use silly voices, play games, do puzzles. Allow your child to direct the play and choose the activities occasionally, too.

Create traditions

Whether you sing the same song every night before bed or perform the same dance routine while you're cooking breakfast, creating a tradition helps you stay connected. Your child is going through a number of developmental changes, so having something predictable and fun to look forward to every night, every morning or every day at school pickup helps to create that strong bond. Plus, having routines in place will help keep your busy kiddo on a set schedule.

Be present

When you're spending time with your preschooler, really be there. It's tempting to keep one eye on your phone. Plus, it's difficult to stay in the moment when you have dinner to cook, a grocery list to make, laundry to fold and a miles-long to-do list. However, when you're spending time with your kiddo, really be present. Kids can tell when you're only half paying attention, so make sure they feel they have your undivided attention. If you need to tackle chores or check your email, involve your kids or wait until nap time.


One of the best ways to stay connected to your preschooler is by staying physically connected. A hug and a kiss in the morning work wonders. When you pick your kid up from preschool, hold hands while walking to the car. If you have a dedicated quiet time, use that time to snuggle on the couch or in bed with a book. Physical closeness is one part of connectedness that is vitally important to maintain between you and your preschooler.

Read more about preschoolers

6 Great toys for preschool boys
Fun preschool activities that bring TV and books to life
Educational alternatives to annoying toys

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