Parenting the three- to five-year-old set is hard work! As your babies take their first toddling steps, and then break into a run, it’s a race to keep up with their physical, social and emotional development.
Preschool teachers have had years of experience helping young children reach their potential – here are their tips for making the most of these formative years:
1. Getting up and at ’em! Set a routine for getting out of the house in a timely manner, perhaps with a picture chart, and guide your child through it.
2. Keep napping as long as possible. Create a solid routine – perhaps reading a book and singing a favorite song before tuck-in. Your child will crave that restorative rest time, as will you.
3. Scissors for preschoolers? Yes! Get out the child-safety scissors, paper, tape, markers, etc. and let them create!
4. Pay attention to how you are speaking to your child in addition to what you are saying. Model the respect you hope to get from your child.
5. Backwards shirts and mismatched socks? No problem. As frustrating as it may be to watch him struggle putting his own socks on when you’re already late, remember the practice is important.
6. Help children to solve sharing dilemmas. Don’t swoop right in to solve squabbles. Ask them to be part of the problem-solving. You’ll be surprised what they might come up with for a solution!
7. Play, play, play! Make-believe play, dressing up, building with blocks and getting creative with art is how your preschooler learns best. With positive role models around – such as parents and preschool teachers – to ensure a safe and loving environment, your child will thrive.
Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and Child Care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child’s social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.