Parents’ Concerns About Their Preschooler
As a parent we often have so many concerns. Will my child get along with other kids their age? Is my child developing at the normal rate? Is my child independent enough? I’m sure you can add more to this list. As parents we have all been there.
We picked some top concerns of parents of preschoolers and have provided some solutions too.
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As kids grow, they become more independent and they start to discover who they are. While children are little you will find them playing more side by side. As they get older, they start to play with one another.
Preschool or play groups are a good way to practice playing with others as well as sharing, taking turns and listening to directions. Little ones need to learn how to handle situations. Often times anger and frustration take over and they will want to take a toy away, not want to share or even hit.
By age 4 your little one may already have a social life. They may have a variety of friends from church, preschool or the neighborhood. Playing with other kids is a great place to learn social skills. If there are no kids in your area check out children’s groups, preschools, parks and age-appropriate organizations.
In the beginning of preschool children will be encouraged to share and learn how to get along with other kids. A teacher will give the tools your little one needs to learn to play with others. During the course of the preschool year a child will learn how to share, cooperate and listen to the teacher and others. They will be able to ask for toys they may want to play with rather than just take them away.
No matter how much we work with our kids there may be times they may slip back to anger and frustration. It may even become physical. Acknowledge their feelings and reenforce the skills they have been taught. If need be, roll play with them.
As your child makes new friends remember they are bringing in the other child’s values and ideas along with some negative behaviors too. Your child may start to test boundaries by asking for things they have never asked for before. This is actually a positive sign that your child is learning to become independent and have their own thoughts.
This may be a time when you as a parent may need to reenforce your families’ values by talking to them. Explain to them every family is different and these are our rules.
Children can be so unpredictable. One minute they are laughing, playing and sharing toys, and the next minute they are crying, having a meltdown, and taking toys away. Most of what our kids go through is a normal part of growing up.
We often wonder if we are handling things the right way and if we can do more.
It’s important to remember that bad behavior is still a form of communication. Children may not be able to express the way they feel in words so their feelings come out in other ways.
For example, most kids don’t hit because they are trying to be mean. It’s usually a reaction to something that is going on. They just lack the verbal skills to handle the situation so the result is hitting.
Sometimes we are asking too much of our little ones. What do I mean? We expect our kids to act a certain way all the time. They may not have the tools needed and may become overwhelmed, especially if the child is tired. As adults, I’m sure you can think of an instance where your response was not the best because of being tired. Kids are no different.
Learn the stages of development. Even though every child is different there are still millstones that a parent can expect their child to reach. Keeping these milestones in mind can help parents realize that their child will get there. It’s just a matter of time.
The other thing we need to look at as a parent is what the reason is behind the behavior. If we ask a child why they hit they will usually have a reason. For instance, if a child hits another child and you ask them why they may say because the child knocked their blocks down. To the child that hit this seems like totally acceptable behavior. To an adult, it doesn’t. This is a teaching moment. It is our job to explain to the child why we don’t hit and what is a better way to handle the situation. Again, role-playing may be used.
If it is appropriate, let children resolve their problems on their own. Of course, stay close by to listen to the interaction. If mediation needs to take place try asking questions that make those involved work towards resolving the situation. Kids are constantly learning how to communicate and handle situations. It is up to us as adults to help teach them to use their words rather than use their hands.
Often times if your child is in a playgroup or preschool they will work on these behaviors and will learn to communicate with their friends throughout the year.
Siblings are not going anywhere. Siblings are continuously invading each other’s space and spend a lot of time together. Time together is a good time to work on relationships, work out issues, learn to share, and learn to give each other space. Space can be very important to an older child so make sure to allow for some.
At times kids test the limits. When your child does something wrong make sure to punish the behavior and not the child. Tell them what they did wrong and make sure to tell them what the right behavior is.
Note not all behaviors are normal. If you feel that your child has some behaviors you can’t help them with talking to your pediatrician. They will be able to answer your questions or get the help that is needed.
Probably one of the biggest concerns parents have is whether their child is ready for school. Whether you are homeschooling or have your child in preschool this may be a question you’re asking yourself. Know that you are not alone.
As a preschool teacher, I have talked with many parents who had the same concerns. I will tell you what I have told them. Over a year of preschool, your child will be introduced to a lot of different learning opportunities. They will learn their shapes, colors, numbers, letters, and more. They will learn how to play, share, take turns and sit and listen to a story and so much more. They will have many opportunities to practice the skills they are learning often through play. For example, if we are working on shapes, I would set out many opportunities that include shapes so the kids can learn about them and activities that corollate with the shapes. We continue to do this with all the different areas we are working on. Over the course of the school year, children have a chance to learn and grow in many different ways. More often than not the growth of a child exceeds our expectations.
If you have any questions talk to your child’s teacher. I’m sure they will have the answers you’re looking for.
Teacher/Student Interaction Concerns:
We often wonder if the teacher will be a good fit for our child. Will they be able to answer the concerns I have? How will the teacher interact with my child?
Talk to your child’s teacher and let her know what your concerns are. The teacher is more than happy to answer your questions. Over the course of the year, the teacher will get to know your child and give you ideas to help your child. She like you wants your child to grow and be successful.
As a teacher, I have always felt the parents and I are a team. We both want what is best for their child. I was able to give ideas to help in all areas of child development. I could also tailor activities to work on specific areas I knew my preschoolers needed to work on.
From a teacher’s standpoint, there is so much growth that can happen in a school year. I often can look back at where we started and I don’t see those kids anymore. They are now confident, eager to learn, talkative, and engaging kids.
So, to answer your concerns. Maybe in the beginning they will have problems sharing, listening, or waiting their turn. But over a course of a year, there is so much growth potential. You will be amazed by the difference in your child.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. I would be happy to help in any way I can.