New parents feel a combination of excitement and fear once their child is approaching school age. Stressing over the first days of school can be handled by either parent. When this happens, the child will likely feel some of this anxiety.
When parents focus on the things that could go wrong instead of the growth opportunities that lie ahead, it can be a downward spiral which can lead to more stress and unsuccessful outcomes. Experts suggest that being proactive through asking to meet the teacher or school administrator ahead of time can help mitigate the concerns and therefore help prepare the child for what to expect at school.
Here are six things to teach kids before sending them to school:
Teaching children how to recognize their alphabet and numerals before school starts can be advantageous. Nursery rhymes survive generations for a reason – they are effective in teaching the essential cognitive skills to young children, such as body parts, colors, and names of animals they would frequently encounter in books.
Regardless of faith or religion, values are universal and should be taught to children as soon as they become perceptive of human actions. Teaching children to greet others, say truthful things, and apologize for mistakes can build a good foundation for their social skills.
When children grow up without another person their age, it can be challenging to teach them about togetherness and teamwork. Therefore, organizing play dates or spending summers with cousins can help them learn how to interact with other kids. We can look for signs that the child is quick to quarrel or have physical outbursts because teamwork is a good skill that develops compassion, regardless of age.
Kids are often curious about what adults are doing. Parenting experts suggest inviting them and explaining what we’re doing, rather than shoo-ing them away because we are afraid they might get hurt. Simple chores like picking up dirty laundry, cleaning up their toys, or easy favors for mom or dad can give them a sense of responsibility. Feeling success over little things is success nonetheless.
Before school starts, children are also expected to be independent eaters who don’t need to be fed by their parents. Personal hygiene and nutritious eating habits are indicators of good parenting, and thus every child should learn how to eat by themselves.
The confidence to ask questions, especially to strangers, is often seen as a personality trait, but parents can benefit from teaching their children how to voice their thoughts positively. Once school starts and they are with their classmates, they will have different viewpoints depending on their culture at home and upbringing. With only one adult teacher in the room, children must develop a thinking mind that is critical about what they hear from others but at the same time respectful in their manner of talking inside the classroom.
Trust is the bedrock
Children may be young and tiny, but they are thoughtful. As parents, we need to exercise our care and patience in teaching them what they need to know as they move forward in their journey. Our role as adults and parents is to nudge them in the right direction.