The reason why schools interview the child during nursery admissions is to assess whether the child is on par at meeting her developmental milestones. The school basically checks if the child can understand and answer simple questions, identify and name shapes, colours, numbers and alphabets etc.
Sometimes, because the environment is new to your child, she may not answer these questions, even when she knows all of it well!. Don’t worry, most good schools will understand this and usually leave scope for such events.
1. Encourage communication: Some children are shy by nature. Keep encouraging them to have friends by having lots of playdates. Don’t lose your cool as that will make her nervous.
2. Don’t discourage questions: A child is naturally curious and that leads him to ask many questions. Encourage his questions and if you don’t know the answer to some, say we can look it up together.
3. Good manners: Basic etiquette can go a long way in creating a good first impression. Use sorry, thank you, please, excuse me with your child so she learns to use them too.
4. Do your research: If you know of parents whose children go to the same school, try to find out what kind of questions are asked usually. Getting your child prepared with the answers will be very helpful.
5. Comfort with peers: If you can get your child to know other kids who are also going for the interview at the same school, try and get them to be friends beforehand. Having familiar people around will make your child comfortable and confident.
6. Talk to your child: Talk to your child about why she is going to the school, why she must answer the questions ma’am asks etc. Tell her that she needs to behave well there and answer all the questions that are asked. Preparing your child beforehand will help her act as expected.
7. Be slow and steady: Get your child to prepare for the questions one by one. Overwhelming your child with too many things to learn will make it hard for him.
8. Give lots of praise: Appreciate your child for every little progress that she makes, so she feels encouraged and motivated.
9. Make it Fun: Build up her interview as something to look forward to. For example, if you answer all the questions well, you will be going to a big school, making lots of new friends, doing lots of fun activities!
10. Dress: ensure both parents and the child are dressed formally and simply. Avoid flashy outfits. Make sure your child is comfortable in whatever he is wearing. Uncomfortable clothing can lead to tantrums.
11. Handle tantrums: Ensure your child is well-fed and has had adequate sleep before the interview. Make him use the washroom before you get into the interview room. Some kids may not realise they need to use the washroom up until the last minute. But may feel some discomfort which can lead to tantrums.
12. Keep the stress at bay: Make the interview process a fun outing. Plan for lunch or visit to play area afterwards as a reward for her good behaviour. Don’t make it feel like a stressful event.
Even after ensuring every comfort for your child, mentally prepare yourself to handle her tantrums calmly if at all she throws one. Schools will not only watch the child but also how well the parents handle it. Definitely don’t feel ashamed of your little one’s behaviour.
*Note: Preschool admission interviews are not conducted in the Delhi regions. Except for Delhi, other school regions conduct interviews for parents as well as children, before the admission.
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