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5 tips to help your children succeed in preschool

Updated: Oct 28, 2022


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Preschool can be a challenging and scary transition for both children and their parents. Children can struggle with the big adjustment of being away from caregivers and outside the comfort of their home environment. But don’t worry, you can have a big impact on your child’s success at preschool.


Here are our five best tips to set your child up for success at preschool, and beyond.


Encourage them to cooperate with others


A huge component of preschool is learning to work in groups.

Interacting, sharing, listening and cooperating with their peers, which are taught and practiced in preschool, are essential tools in any child’s toolbox. Perhaps one of the most important traits to help children build relationships is empathy. Not only do empathetic children get along better with their peers, they are often rewarded by teachers and other parents. In order to encourage empathy and cooperation, you should model good behaviour.


For example, take extra care to exhibit saying “please” and “thank you” and listening well when conversing with anyone; your partner, helper and especially the child themself. Another key technique recommended by psychologists is to practice naming emotions. This can be incorporated in everyday life, when your child is upset or angry about something, or by identifying emotions of characters when reading.



Value the process of learning over grades


In the race to ensure your child is as successful as they can be in the long run, a lot of parents end up emphasizing results over effort. This can start as early as preschool, and therefore it’s important to focus on learning over grades. Young children naturally tend to be curious, and encouraging this behaviour can help develop their independent thinking skills. Instead of glossing over seemingly small questions, caregivers can engage their child, spending time talking about their ideas and interests.


These basic curiosities can be devalued through extrinsic motivators such as stickers, points and grades, so it is imperative to delve into the process of learning at home. “How did you do the activity”, “did you enjoy it”, and “how hard did you try”, are far more important than the question, “How well did you do?”.


This signals to your child that you value the process more than their performance on paper, and thus can help develop a love of learning.


Promote good study habits


Encouraging study habits that will last your child throughout their educational journey, and in their life, starts at preschool. Perhaps the most important is setting a routine.

Creating structure, as mimicked in their daily preschool routine, will help your child get in the habit of studying when expected. This creates a sense of comfort and routine for them. It also teaches the lesson that concentration and focus will be rewarded.

“For example, you can schedule play time after a certain amount of study time. You should also designate a study spot that is distraction free to help your child focus. While some students find music helpful, ideally something without lyrics promotes concentration and productivity. Ultimately, each child’s needs are different so be sure to involve your kid in creating the ideal study routine.” says Ms. Cecilia Ng, Center Director of Tutor Time International Nursery and Kindergarten.


Don’t compare them with others


Be it siblings, cousins or friends, comparing your child with others is only going to demotivate them and even increase stress and anxiety, while lowering their self-esteem. It can also lead to harbouring feelings of resentment, towards you and the child they are being compared to, and in sibling situations, can foster unhealthy relationships. Thus, it’s important for you to recognize that each child is different. While your friend’s kid is excelling in reading, your child might be interested in sports – both are valid pursuits.


By encouraging your child to explore their hobbies, you are communicating that they will find success in their own way. Also, the pace at which each child learns can vary widely, and by comparing them with others, you are not taking their needs into consideration. One way to avoid comparison is to set benchmarks using their own past work. This encourages your child to work harder and strive to improve, while avoiding the pitfalls of comparing with others.


Praise your children rather than punish them


It has been proven many times over that positive reinforcement is a lot more effective than punishment. To set up your child for success, constant encouragement and love will not only make them confident and secure, it will also burgeon their sense of self-worth, ultimately allowing them to take risks and explore their interests.


Punishment, verbal or physical, has a detrimental impact on your child’s well-being and doesn’t guarantee that they won’t repeat unwelcomed behaviours. Praise, on the other hand, can be used effectively to teach desired behaviours.


First, be sure to compliment their efforts as opposed to inborn traits that they can’t change, as it motivates them to try harder. Next, even unfinished work can deserve praise as long as you have seen that your child has tried. Finally, be genuine. Children can easily sense if you are not being honest, and constant praise might lose its meaning after a while. Specific praise for specific efforts is much more meaningful and has a greater impact on your child.


Conclusion


Preschool is just the first step in the educational adventure for both you and your child, and while success there doesn’t indicate their lifelong achievements, it does help in setting the stage for the future. But remember, it is a long journey, so be kind to both your child and yourself in the process.




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Akansha tds
Akansha tds
10 במרץ 2022

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