5 Big Steps Parents Can Take To Help Their Little Ones Gain More Independence For Preschool

Education & Development Blog

From social skills to language skills and all kinds of problem-solving techniques, your little one is in for some big learning when they enter a preschool program, but they could face challenges if they haven't acquired enough independence. Although it's your paternal instinct to take care of and control everything in their developing lives, independence is what's going to help them succeed and excel, once they're on their own in the classroom. Here are five important steps you can take to encourage more independence, in the most caring and supportive way:

1. Raise The Bar With Your Expectations

Expecting more from your child means they're going to have to work harder and longer at even the little things in life. While this will benefit them in many ways, particularly in preparing for preschool programs, it's going to be more costly to you in terms of time and effort and that can be difficult to manage when you're running a busy household and balancing an ongoing career. Use a catch-phrase, such as "This is the big girl/boy way to do it." and use it regularly, so your child quickly understands they're reaching higher for the new level of expectation. Multitask while you're child is aiming higher, as that allows you to tend to other things, while they're learning independence, even at new activities. You don't have to become a drill sergeant or suddenly expect your child to do everything on their own, simply let them know they have a new way of addressing their responsibilities, right along with you. When you raise the bar, your child will, too.

2. Stop Hovering, You Helicopter Mom Or Dad

While there's really nothing wrong with being a helicopter parent, if you're too intense about it or hover long after your little one has figured things out for themselves, you're actually doing them a disservice. At some point, they need to be energized by the simple fact that they're doing things on their own. They also need to figure out how to positively change the course of an activity, all on their own - most especially when things aren't going their way. As hard as it is to just stand by and watch your child, whether they're succeeding or not, they need that space to learn, evolve and experiment, or else they're always going to be looking for you to rescue them.

Entering any preschool program, your child won't have the luxury of constant individual attention, meaning they will have no choice but to sink or swim. Since you want them to swim, start giving them room to self-resolve issues now, while they still have you as a safety-net. Before long, they'll understand that if they want some problems solved, they have to put on their thinking caps, use patience and take matters into their own little hands. If it seems hard for you to cease the hovering, just wait until you feel the total exhilaration of watching your child accomplish something all on their own; it's such a breath-taking moment for parents, you'll automatically start giving them more room to act independently in many instances.

3. Assign A Simple Job To Your Child

You don't realize how much your child depends on you for everything, until you ask them to do something on their own. They might look at you as if you're perfectly out of your mind or they might even cry about the new task, but being a responsible, working member of a team in your house is going to go a long way toward helping your child succeed in a busy classroom. Give them a simple job they must tend to daily, showering them with affection and praise when they accomplish it.

4. Put Up A Whiteboard With The Family's Schedule On It

Your little one needs to adapt to a schedule at preschool and you can help them by putting up a schedule they can understand and follow at home. For example, if breakfast is served at a certain time, mark it on the whiteboard, followed by the regular personal hygiene routine, getting dressed, packing up for work and school and heading out the door, no later than the time indicated. If everyone sticks to it, mentioning the scheduled activities outline and pointing to the board, your child fully understands what's going on and quickly adjusts to the expectations placed on them. When they show up for preschool, they already know the basic premise on which the curriculum operates and it will be much easier for them to follow.

5. Start Teaching Your Child To Deal With Disappointment

It's never easy to watch your child cry or complain because they're disappointed about something, but if you don't get a little use to it, they never will. Even delaying solving some dilemma for your child by 30 seconds or so gives them a taste of life's inevitable disappointment and that means they're developing real coping skills. While it's your natural inclination to pick up something dropped or refill something spilled as quickly as possible, exposing your little one to the let-down and having them wait just a little longer for resolution can help them grow in leaps and bounds and this is most definitely a skill they will need to apply in the preschool environment.

Start helping your little one to gain more independence for preschool now and you'll be giving them a big advantage toward a successful education. Even though it's hard to let go, that's the only way to let them grow. For more information, contact a business such as Advantage Learning Center.


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Understanding How To Brighten My Future

I have always been an overwhelmingly positive person, but a few years ago I realized that there were some things I needed to straighten out in my life. For starters, it seemed like I was really having a hard time advancing in my career, and I was also struggling with money. I realized that if I wanted to make things right, I needed to start by focusing on my education. I began going through and working hard to further my horizons, and it was really interesting to see how much of a difference a little learning made. This blog is all about understanding how to brighten your future with education.