Early Childhood Parenting Tips for Preschoolers
Deciding when your child will begin their schooling experience is an important part of early childhood parenting. However, most children will begin their school experience between 3 and 5 years old. There are many benefits to going to school during these early childhood years. Among them are:
- Better academic preparation for elementary school
- Lower likelihood of a child having to repeat a grade
- Development of social skills and the ability to manage emotions
- Increased chances of finishing high school, college, and earning higher wages later in life
Along with these developmental milestones, children begin to learn how to be more independent and advocate for themselves. As parents, your role also begins to change. As children become more independent, parental support shifts to accommodate the child’s needs.
For some parents, this time can be challenging, especially when trying to figure out how to provide appropriate support for a child’s early childhood educational needs.
In this article, we share 5 tips for supporting your child during the early childhood years (3-5 years old).
Nurture Your Child’s Love For Stories
Children love stories. Not only do stories allow a child’s imagination to flourish but, they also provide the best way to introduce literacy development. Therefore, nurturing your child’s love for stories is an important part of supporting your child during the early childhood years. Here are a few ways you can do this:
- Put books all over your house. Every room should have books in it.
- Model the importance of literacy development by reading with your child.
- Continue to read to your child – even if it is the same story over and over again (that is normal).
- Take your child to the public library or local bookstore for story time.
Children need to learn how to engage with others. This is hard for some children, and there may be mistakes made as your child navigates his/her social development. Try these ideas to support socialization:
- Get to know other families and set up play dates.
- Invite other families to your house.
- Model how to share and the value of friendships.
- Avoid talking bad about someone or gossiping around your child.
As children become more independent, the ability to make good choices becomes even more important. During the early childhood parenting years, children should begin getting some simple choices to make. To support this development, provide a limited number of choices for simple items. For example:
- What to wear.
- When to play or rest.
- What to eat for a snack.
Establish Good Citizenship
Related to, but not the same as socialization is learning to become a good citizen. This begins at home. Being a good citizen includes contributing positively to society. At home, this translates to how a child contributes to the functioning of the house.
The early childhood parenting years are excellent for introducing simple chores a child can help with around the house. This is an excellent way to introduce service and citizenship at home. Some examples of simple chores include:
- Cleaning off the table/setting the table at meal time.
- Separating clothes for washing.
- Putting toys away.
Be Clear, Consistent, and Logical When Disciplining
Children are going to make mistakes. Part of learning is messing up. However, when behavior needs to be addressed and discipline enforced, using clear and consistent language helps the child know exactly what is expected and what the consequences are for such behavior.
Children can begin to understand how personal responsibility is part of growing up, and that when choices to misbehave are made, there are consequences. The best consequences are logical and timely. A child at this age will struggle to connect a consequence given hours later to a behavior earlier in the day. Here are some tips for logical consequences:
- Loss of privileges.
- Time and space to think about what he/she did and what is more appropriate.
- Repairing what was “broken.” This could mean a physical item that broke or a relationship that is now damaged.
- Guidance on how to apologize: “I am sorry I did __. It was wrong. I will try to not do that again.”
HTES – Encouraging Childhood Development Every Step of the Way
The early childhood years are special and important to your child’s educational growth. These years establish the foundation for your child’s future educational success. Finding a school that values your partnership and addresses the developmental needs of children from 3-5 years old is an important step in supporting your child.
Holy Trinity Episcopal School, located in the Lake Houston area of Houston, Texas, provides an outstanding early childhood educational experience for children beginning at 3 years old.
Children are known, loved, and appreciated for the genius that lives in all of them. We value the partnerships we form with families and provide a comprehensive education that includes:
- Literacy development
- Math logic
- Social and Emotional growth
- Spanish, Art, Music, and our unique “Genius Lab” STEM learning center
Looking for a great Early Childhood or Elementary School for your child? Call Holy Trinity Episcopal School today for more information at 281-459-4323.