How To Prepare Your Child For Kindergarten

Dr. Michelle Deering

knock knock_Dog_joke

She Shared A Kindergarten Knock-Knock Video

A mom (“Susan”) recently showed me a short video of her child telling a “knock knock” joke at a pre-K graduation ceremony. From what I could see, this mom’s child was prepared for kindergarten.

I watched the video of her little one standing up in front of an audience and commanding the stage. At the punchline, the audience bent over is a roar of laughter.

Susan’s little tyke stood there all smiles and then took a deep bow.

Her child exuded confidence and energy.

Still, Susan earnestly asked to consult with me on how best to prepare her child for kindergarten.

Preparing For Kindergarten

When you think of kindergarten, it’s not uncommon to think about what environmental and educational experience your child will encounter. A mom’s worry—and, sometimes, for good reason—is that her child won’t get the kind of attention, care, and guidance needed. After all, the better off a child’s educational foundation, the better off their future. So you want to make sure you prepare your child for kindergarten.

What I shared with Susan was that it is important for her (and other moms) to keep it REAL with her child. A mom can get her child prepared for kindergarten by helping her:

  1. Recognize her context
  2. Express emotions appropriately
  3. Attend to instruction/direction
  4. Listen to adults

Prepare to: Recognize Context

Recognizing context involves a child knowing when they are at home (with just their immediate or extended family), out in public, with peers, or with “older people.” Depending on what your particular ethnicity/culture or race, those contexts have different meanings for you as a mom.

Additionally, your knowledge about what those contexts may mean for your particular child as a future adult will inform what meaning and importance you convey now as you raise her. So, you will need to instruct her in being aware of her social contextual situations and “behaving accordingly.”

Prepare to: Express Emotions

We all have emotions. Emotions are neither good, bad, right, or wrong. They just are. The wrongness or rightness, “goodness” or “bad(ness)” of them is determined by the actions we take in light of having them.

Actions can either be reactions or responses. Reactions are reflexes that happen without much thought. Responses require a time of reflection and thought prior to doing something. From around age 2 to 5, a mom needs to help her daughter find ways to express emotions appropriately within different contexts.

Prepare to: Attend To Instruction

What happens when you don’t follow instructions? Stuff either doesn’t happen or stuff takes longer than it would have had you followed the instructions.

You and I have been there—not following instructions. And those outcomes—consequences—happened regardless of whether or not a person was actually giving us those instructions.

An ability to follow instruction indicates information not just about your daughter’s mental ability but also about her personality and temperament. It’s important for moms of a young child to notice and address this aspect of her daughter’s development.

Prepare to: Listen To Adults

No matter how you slice it, listening to adults can be hard for a child. As your daughter grows and develops, she is going to simply not listen to you at some point.

In those moments, how you respond to her will inform her thoughts, feelings (a.k.a. reactions) to and behavior towards other adults in her life.

Attending to these four areas before your daughter gets to kindergarten will help her get a good start. She will be able to stand confidently in any environment and face any situation with a smile. No joke.

 

If you need help with the specifics of how to prepare your child for kindergarten, then click HERE for information on how I can help. I’m here for you 🙂

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