17 Tips for Parents From Preschool Teachers
Have you sometimes wondered if your darling child suffers from a sort of split personality disorder?
Whilst at school, they seem perfectly capable of receiving instructions, being reasoned with, and acting independently, however, as soon as that little foot lands just inside your front door, it all turns to... well, a bit of a horror show... Sound vaguely familiar?
It's perfectly normal. The good news is that with a little understanding and some sensible approaches, you can help your child to thrive both at home and at school. Here are 17 tips from preschool teachers on how best to achieve this.
1. Establish routines and stick to them as much as possible
A regular routine gives children a sense of security and helps them to know what to expect.
This can be especially helpful for children who find change difficult.
School time will be relatively regimented and so it may be helpful to establish a similar approach when they get home; it doesn't have to be anything dramatic but some form of routine would be beneficial.
2. Be positive and encouraging
Children respond best to encouragement and positive reinforcement.
Make sure you praise your child for their good behaviour and accomplishments and don't criticise them unnecessarily.
Also, this may be a little unnecessary to say but we going to anyway:
Try not to label your children with derogatory names such as "lazy" or "stupid", even if you're convinced they are out of earshot...
These types of labels can be very damaging (even in jest) and can have a lasting impact on your child's self-esteem.
3. Set limits and rules, and enforce them consistently
Children need boundaries in order to feel safe and secure.
Establishing rules and sticking to them is important because it helps to teach children important life skills such as responsibility and self-discipline.
This will help your child to develop a sense of right and wrong as well as a feeling of self-worth.
4. Don't fall into the Comparison Trap
Every child is unique and comparisons are often both unhelpful and damaging.
Celebrate your child's individuality and encourage them to be the best that they can be. Allow them to explore their interests, take risks and make their own mistakes.
Also, be careful not to fall foul of the parental equivalent - everyone is doing their best and it is pointless to torture yourself in comparison to other parents.
5. Don't be afraid to give them responsibilities
Children who are given age-appropriate chores to do around the house have a more developed sense of purpose and worth and are also more likely to see the value in adopting good personal habits such as being organised or tidying up after themselves.
Household tasks also teach children the importance of contributing to society and working together for a common goal.
6. Help them to develop good social skills
It is never too early to start helping your child to develop good social skills.
This can be done by encouraging them to take part in activities such as sports, music or drama, which will help to teach them how to interact with others, co-operate and take turns.
7. Try not to get angry or resort to yelling
It's natural for parents to feel frustrated at times but raising your voice will only make the situation worse.
Anger and yelling can be very damaging to a child's emotional development and can cause them to become insecure and anxious.
8. Respect their feelings
Even if you don't always understand them, it's important to respect your child's feelings.
If they're sad, let them cry; if they're angry, let them shout.
This will help them to develop a healthy sense of self-awareness and will encourage them to express their emotions.
9. Let them know that it is okay to feel sad or upset sometimes
This will help them not bottle up their emotions and will give them an outlet to express themselves.
10. Let your child know that you are always willing to listen
if they have anything on their mind, no matter how big or small it might be.
There is nothing worse than being distracted from a problem and not being able to think of the right way of putting it into words.
This could become a very damaging pattern so try to remind yourself constantly that it is important for your child's mental health to feel as though they have someone who will listen without judgment whatever time of day or night it may be!
11. Praise your child for behaving well but don't overdo it
Studies show that children will strive more for praise if they believe that it is being given with sincerity rather than just because everyone else is doing it.
12. Treat your child like an individual
Each child is unique and will require different parenting techniques; this means that each parent-child dynamic will be different too.
What works for one family may not work for another but it's important not to compare yourself with others, even if they seem to have a system that appears much more "perfect" than your own.
13. Let them know it's ok to make mistakes
Part of growing up is making mistakes and learning from them - encourage your child to take risks and don't be too quick to judge or punish them when things go wrong.
This will help them to develop a sense of self-confidence and resilience, knowing that any mistake they make can either be fixed or lived through and that they're equipped to deal with it (with Mum and Dad's help, if necessary).
14. It's okay for children to spend some time on their own now and then
It's important to spend time apart from your child so that they have the opportunity to play and learn from their own experiences.
This doesn't have to be anything overly dramatic, even if it feels like it at the time. Let them have a little bit of time on a regular basis to do their own thing.
If you are unable to supervise them when they are in their bedroom or in the playroom, let them know that it is fine for them to go in there and close the door if they want some time to themselves without you constantly being by their side.
15. Talk openly with your child about what is happening at school
They will appreciate the fact that you are interested and want to be involved in their education. It also allows you to pick up on any potential problems early on and deal with them before they become too big.
16. Make sure that you have a good relationship with your child's teacher.
Being able to discuss any issues or concerns openly will be of great help to both of you.
It also allows the teacher to feel confident in coming to you if they feel that your child is struggling in any way.
The relationship between a parent and teacher can become incredibly important - both sides have the child's best interests at heart and if you can find little ways to connect with the other person your child spends a large chunk of their day with, trust us - it'll make a huge difference.
17. Finally, remember that it is okay for parents to make mistakes, too
We are only human after all and nobody is perfect...
Just try your best to learn from any errors that you may make and don't dwell on them for too long.
We hope that these tips will be of some help to you as a parent!
Remember that every child is different so what works for one may not work for another - so be prepared to try a few different things before finding what works best for your family.
Thanks for reading - leave us a comment below if you feel like we've missed something!
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