Tag Archives: child

Are the Kids Ready for Preschool?

While the school year is coming to a close for the majority of parents, there are many more who are getting their little ones enrolled in preschool for the 2017-2018 school year. For those of you who are enrolling your first child in preschool, you are probably experiencing various levels of fear, anxiety and excitement all at once. I know, because I’m right there with you!

The school district where we live is one of the best respected school districts in the area. Since preschool isn’t a requirement, there are only 40 spots available, making it a first-come, first-serve program. So, enrollment was set to start at 5p.m. and people start lining up at 4 a.m.! Yes, you can mark my husband and I as one of the crazies out there. Our philosophy was, “if you can’t beat them, join them.” That was yesterday…today, I’m happy to say that our son has an official spot in the school’s pre-k program.

That being said, I’m now getting excited, nervous and anxious about school starting next year. These feelings have left me scrambling for more information about how I can make sure my son is ready for preschool. Here is what I’ve found:

  • Using the Restroom – By the time children enter preschool, they should be potty trained. However, this doesn’t mean they won’t ever have an accident. Before school starts, work with your child about using the bathroom. Make sure your child understands that (s)he needs to tell an adult when (s)he feels the urge to go. Also, this summer is a great time to start teaching your child how to manage his/her clothing when using the restroom. For instance, if your daughter wears a lot of girl dresses, skirts and/or leggings in addition to the normal pants, you might help her get used to undressing/dressing herself over the summer during potty breaks.
  • Making Introductions Easier – For many kids, preschool is the first chance they get to work on their social skills with other kids their age (on a day-to-day basis). This can make the first few days, weeks or months of school nerve-wracking for them. So, help ease this stressor by teaching your child how to introduce himself/herself to others. Start by talking about introductions at home and then when you’re out and about, help your child introduce himself/herself to others. Then, when school starts, making new friends will be easier.
  • Dining Etiquette – Eating at school can be a whole new experience for kids who haven’t ever been in a group setting like this before. Help ease their discomfort by working diligently at home with them over the summer. Teach them how to properly hold their utensils and if you will be packing lunches, teach them how to open and close containers without spilling the contents.

Responsibility and Independence in Young Children

Have you taken the time to look at young children lately? Perhaps you have noticed, like I have, how the majority of young children don’t display much responsibility and independence like they used to? I don’t necessarily think this is the children’s fault, but more the parents fault. And, before I offend anyone, I am guilty myself.

There is no doubt in my mind that my five year old son could do more on his own. The problem is that my husband and I both tend to do things for him…more than we should for his age. With that being said, below are a few ways that parents (including my husband and I) could help build a greater sense of responsibility and independence in their young children.

  • Preparing breakfast. Obviously, I am not going to let my five year old son fix eggs and bacon for the family on Saturday morning. But, he is old enough to fix himself a bowl of cereal or a piece of toast. All I need to do is fill a cup half way up with milk and leave in the fridge and he can pour it in a bowl with some cereal…or, set the toaster out by the loaf of bread for toast. Not only will allowing him to fix his own breakfast help him, but it will also help my husband and I as we won’t have to get up at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning to feed the little guy.
  • Getting dressed. This is another issue many parents choose to ignore, choosing to believe that their little ones need them to pick out their clothing and get them dressed until they go to kindergarten. However, most children are able to dress themselves by the time they are 3 ½, so why not let them? It makes them feel good about themselves and is one less thing we have to do.
  • Homework. This is for those who have children in school (above pre-K). I have several friends who teach elementary school and they are all constantly talking about how many parents do their kids’ homework for them. Now, am I saying that you shouldn’t help your child with homework? No. I am saying, though, that you shouldn’t do the work for them. Let your kids sit down, alone, and work on homework. When they are done, review the paper with them and then help them figure out the correct answers for the problems they weren’t able to do or answered incorrectly. Then, when they receive an A on their assignment, they will experience a real sense of accomplishment because they did it themselves!
  • Keeping track of personal items. This is the one that irritates me the most. Kids are constantly asking their parents where they left a toy, cell phone, pair of shoes, etc. And, what happens if something gets lost? Mom and dad go out and buy a replacement. This doesn’t teach kids anything but instead promotes irresponsibility. Therefore, when the kids are young let them lose their favorite toy and don’t buy another one if it gets lost. This is the only way kids will start being responsible for their things. And, if it’s taught when they are young, they won’t have a problem when they are older.