Everyone who has a child knows that parenting is not easy. There is no rulebook. An especially tough time for all parents is when their child starts preschool. Whether it is your first child or your fifth, this is a transitional period and the experience can vary from child to child. To try and ease this transition, we’ve compiled a list of 10 tips for parents from preschool teachers.
1. Create a Routine
Getting your child used to a routine at home will benefit them when it is time to start preschool. They will be more comfortable with and prepared for the structure of a daily schedule.
2. Assign Chores
Giving your child a sense of responsibility, even if it is the smallest of tasks, will help them feel confident and capable. This can encourage them to want to help with other tasks and make them feel like they can accomplish positive things.
3. Limit Rewards
Limit yourself from rewarding your child for basic tasks such as helping clean up or finishing their dinner. This instills the idea that they should be rewarded any time they do something that is asked of them. They need to understand that some tasks are required just because they are, whether they like doing them or not.
4. Acknowledge Positive Behaviors
It is important to let children know when they have done something right. Ensure that you acknowledge the situation. Verbal praise is a great way to help your child recognizes that you are happy with their behavior.
5. Give a Warning Before Transitioning Activities
Rather than telling a child immediately when it is time to switch activities, give them a warning. Let them know they have 5 more minutes or 1 more turn with whatever activity they are doing, giving them time to ease out of it. However, be sure to enforce the warning you’ve given.
6. Promote Independence
Don’t try to fix or redo a task that your child has done. Whether it be dressing themselves or tidying their room. If they see you redoing or changing what they’ve done, it can discourage them from being independent.
7. Get Your Child Involved in Fixing their own Mistakes
If your child makes a mistake or does something wrong, you need to involve them in the process of fixing it. This helps them learn how to take responsibility for their actions and helps them understand what is right and what is wrong.
8. Socialize Your Child
Spend time with your child and ensure they have playtime with other children. Socializing helps children develop and learn, and will get them used to be around others all day at preschool.
9. Encourage Proactive Playtime
Ditch the electronics and get your child to play outside, read a book, or color a picture. These types of activities are more beneficially both educationally and health wise.
10. Downplay Saying Goodbye
Make sure your child does not see you upset or anxious when you have to leave them. They can pick up on this. If they struggle with saying goodbye to you, give them something they can use to as a comfort throughout the day, such as a photo of yourself.
These 10 tips for parents from preschool teachers are not meant to ensure a perfect transition. What they are meant to do is help you prepare your child for a new environment and new responsibilities. Every child is different, but these tips should help ease this change in their lives and in yours.