6 Ways to help your child settle in Pre-school

When your toddler joins pre-school – do you want your child to be the most popular child in the pre-school classroom? Of course you do! Then you need to help your child settle in Pre-school. Here are 6 ways to help your child settle in preschool.

When a child goes to Pre-school – it is the first time he is away from his parents. It is the first time he is alone in an unfamiliar environment. And it is the first time his parents are likely to receive an unbiased opinion about their child from a neutral stranger.

So the parents of a new pre-schooler are always anxiously awaiting a good review from their child’s preschool teacher. They want to hear their child’s teacher say that their child is doing wonderfully well in the new environment.

Unfortunately however, for a lot of parents this anxious wait ends in disappointment and they only hear complaints from their child’s preschool teacher.

This need not be so if parents can understand what children need and help them navigate the initial bumps to settle into pre-school. This can also do wonders for your child’s self-esteem and confidence

Complaints that teachers commonly have about children

A lot of parents are told that their children are “hyperactive” or “difficult”

Teachers who teach in pre-school often have complaints like this

“He just doesn’t sit in class”

“She doesn’t listen”

“He doesn’t follow instructions”

“She disturbs all the other children who are trying to work”

Complaints such as these about children who parents thought were nothing short of angelic before they started school – can make parents feel dejected – disappointed and possibly even devastated.

Shocked and embarrassed parents, who are trying to cope with the knowledge that they have a disruptive child – often behave in an adverse manner – and this usually ensures that the child’s behavior becomes even worse.

Why are good children “difficult” in school

It is important to remember that when children are “difficult” – it is often the result of “well-intentioned” “excessively loving” parenting.


5 ways “excessively loving parenting” can lead to “difficult” behaviour

Watch out if you are doing these 5 things! Your parenting may be the reason your child is becoming “difficult”.

 1. You may be overdoing the PRAISE

Do you constantly clap, say “very good” or “wow” when your child does something he is supposed to do?

If you constantly praise your child for everything he does – you can get him addicted to praise. Constant praise can lead to your child doing things only to elicit praise from you.

When a child first learns to do something – he needs to be praised in order to understand what he should do and what pleases you and is acceptable.

Once the learning phase is over however, children must transition to doing things because these actions give them pleasure or make them feel competent.

Before children begin school – they must get used to intermittent praise from external sources. They must learn that gratification in the form of praise from adults – is often delayed. They must in fact learn how to praise themselves.

If they are able to learn this – they will not be disappointed in the classroom when the teacher leaves them to do a task while she does something else.

Watch Can You Praise Your Child Too Much? and Praise Addiction – real and dangerous for your child

2. Watch out! You may be giving your child too much ATTENTION

One of the most important things a child needs to learn that will help her succeed in school and fit into the class room is – to be able to continue an activity by herself when she is not the center of attention.

When we teach children that we are always prepared to drop everything and give them attention as soon as they ask – we set them up to expect the same from everyone else.

While it is not right to constantly tell your child you are too busy for him. It is also very wrong to never let him know that you are busy.

Watch the video Can you give your child too much attention?

3. Watch out! Your child may have no idea what it means to be QUIET

The excitement of having a baby in the house can really set adults off. Being around a child can make them feel compelled to constantly be boisterously entertaining. And this can result in the child being unaware of how to spend quiet time.

A child who is constantly the center of attention at home feels compelled to entertain the adults around him and can take to running around and making noise all the time.

A child used to doing this at home is likely to carry this behaviour into the classroom. And racing around the classroom when he is supposed to be sitting and working – can make him extremely unpopular.

4. Watch out! You may not be teaching your child to KEEP TRYING until he succeeds

To enjoy school and succeed at school – children need to have the confidence to try something even when it is difficult. They need to have the will to persist at it even when they don’t succeed. And they need the resilience to withstand criticism and not get crushed by it.

As loving parents anxious to protect our children from the trauma of failure – we often tend to jump in to help our children as soon as we find them face to face with a challenging task. By doing this – we abort the process of learning and discourage them from tackling anything difficult.

5. Watch out! You may not be showing your REAL SELF to your child

Showing all your real feelings to your child may scare him, but completely disguising your emotions is also not right.

Children need to see their parents angry, upset and scared. They need to know that others also have the same feelings and that these feelings have names and are natural.


5 ways you can make your child popular in Pre-school

1. Stop constantly praising your child

Teach your child to work by himself. Teach him to encourage himself by giving himself a pat on the back and tell himself “I really did well”

Children never develop the ability to do this if you always rush in to praise everything they do all the time.

2. Stop dropping what you are doing whenever your child demands attention

While it is not right to constantly tell your child you are too busy for him. It is also very wrong to never let him know that you are busy.

“Please wait – I will listen to you when I have finished talking to Aunty”

“Can you just give me a little while to finish this email? I will then come and see your lovely painting”

“Let me finish my workout. After that I will make you your sandwich”

These are all expectations that are acceptable for parents to have from a child.

3. Teach your child to take turns

Teach your child that everyone has a right to come first sometimes – but everyone must also take a turn at coming last.

4. Teach your child that it is important to be quiet sometimes

It is important to teach children the value of quiet companionable silence – when two people can be around each other doing their own thing – without talking to or entertaining each other.

Working at different things while sitting together at the dining table can teach your child a lot.

Also visiting a place of worship regularly – where decorous behaviour and silence or hushed whispers are expected for a short while – can teach your child a lot.

5. Teach your child to keep trying

“Try it – you will get it if you keep trying” – is a sentence we need to repeat to our children whenever we find them struggling.

6. Introduce your child to real emotions

Always listen to your child’s fears and anxieties when he expresses them. Listen with sympathy and acknowledge his feelings. Never deny them or pretend that they do not exist.

It is scary for a child to go out into the wide world and clarifying his emotions can make him more secure.

A secure child can cope better on all fronts and overcome the challenges that preschool poses – with ease.
Coping at preschool is the first real challenge you and your child face together. Overcoming the challenge successfully can be a tremendous boost for life and it is important to ensure success.

Adjusting to preschool is the first challenge in life

Adjusting to preschool is the first challenge in life

Make sure you do these 6 things to make the preschool a beautiful experience for your child

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