Preparing your Child Emotionally for Kindergarten Success
There is a rising concern over the number of young children who exhibit challenging behaviors in early childhood classrooms. When children display disruptive and challenging behaviors, it can take away from the educational experience of the whole classroom, as well as the individual child displaying the negative behaviors. Early childhood theories support a direct correlation between school success predictors and a child’s ability to demonstrate self-control. In order for children to gain positive behaviors, they must learn to connect experiences with present action. Teachers here at Rainbow Child Care Center support children by helping them develop skills, such as cognitive control, through teaching techniques that nurture self-regulation skills, providing children with the ability to regulate emotions, behaviors and manage feelings.
A child’s social and emotional ability is a critical developmental achievement for preschool aged children. Developing research suggests that a child’s temperament and preschool peer play might have a direct correlation to school readiness and academic success. You might ask yourself, so how can I ensure my child will be ready for kindergarten both academically and emotionally?
Ways to Support Social and Emotional Development at Home:
- Create household rules with your child and display them at his/her level. When your child breaks a rule refer your child back to the rule wall as a reminder. “Kate, rule number one says “keep yourself safe. Can you show me how to walk your feet?” You may have to remind your child several times of the household rule. It is important to remember that children need several patient reminders to help mold their sense of self. Just because your child “breaks” a rule does not mean he/she is “purposely” disobeying. Your child truly might not remember they are breaking a rule or going against your expectations.
- Keep yourself safe
- Keep your sister or brother safe
- Clean up your toys when you are finished
- Give your child warnings for transitions. Giving children time to finish a project and prepare for the next activity can help reduce power struggles. “Julia, we are going to clean up for lunch in 5 minutes.” Avoid using the word “okay” at the end of a request. By using the word “okay”? You are asking them permission. You will need to be prepared that they might say no to your request if you are asking them instead of “Julia, it’s time to clean up now okay?” You can say “Michael it’s time to clean up” avoid asking “Are you ready to take a bath?” and phrase it as “It’s time to take your bath now.” Keep your request short and to the point. Children have a hard time processing requests when there is too much information given.
- It is very important to be consistent in your responses to your child when they break a rule. Your child should know your expectation as well as what your response will be if they do not follow a rule. This helps children build trust as well as develop a strong sense of self.
- An empty threat diminishes your authority. Children learn very quickly not to listen to empty threats. Do not make a threat unless you plan to follow through. If you want to say “We are going to leave if you don’t behave” be prepared to actually leave and follow through. “You will not have a birthday party if you don’t listen” will be less effective if your child knows they will still have a party.
- It is important to tell your child what you want, not what you don’t want. You will find your child is able to listen and understand better when you tell them what you want from them.
- “Walk your feet” vs. “Stop running”
- “Sit down when you are eating” vs. “Stop walking around with food”
- “Please use your inside voice” vs. “Stop yelling inside”