Parents often worry whether their child is ready for Kindergarten in terms of intellectual readiness. They want to be sure that all or most of the bases have been covered. But don’t forget about the social readiness that’s very important, too. The following are 5 main areas of social readiness that should be kept uppermost in mind to assist their child to transition well to school.
Children at around the ages of 5 or 6 yrs old love to chat!! They have so much to say but first, manners need to be part of that conversation, too.
- Teach your child to speak slowly & clearly. Gently correct pronunciation & grammar errors. A slower pace helps the listener to understand better what your child is saying.
- Correct your child if he/she interrupts when you are speaking to someone else. Remind them that you will speak to them once the other person is finished. Your child’s teacher will be very appreciative that this bad habit gets nipped in the bud.
- During a play date, practice conversations talking with your child’s friends as a group. Encourage everyone to listen and take turns with each other. Explain how difficult it is to have everyone talking at once. Offer to do a fun craft or treat to reward their efforts.
THE MAGIC WORDS
Teach the Five Fabulous Phrases – “please”, “thank you”, “you’re welcome”, “I’m sorry”, “Excuse me”. Use these phrases often so your child sees how important they are. If they forget, remind them – “What do you say when Mrs. Harris gives you a cookie?”. These words become the foundation of strong, happy friendships.
For your child’s safety, advise them to always listen to their teacher, bus driver or those parents with whom you are carpooling. And remind them to always use polite language along with the Five Fab Phrases. When they’re sitting in a group in class, their whole body needs to be physically in the group so the teacher knows they are listening. Let them know that wandering off, looking outside the window or poking their neighbor isn’t being “part of the group”.
Although children between 5-7 yrs old are highly competitive, they have a very difficult time losing with grace. Model good behavior around winning & losing by playing simple games with your children like Go Fish, Old Maid. If your child all of a sudden starts changing the rules, remind him/her that it’s not okay to win by any means. Their friends won’t be happy either if that became a habit.
Teach your child to treat all property with due care…their own, their friend’s and the school, too.
- No feet on the seat
- No writing on tables or chairs at school
- No slamming drawers or doors
- No running or stomping in the hallway
- Don’t forget to remove muddy or wet footwear
Your child will be confident and happy knowing what behaviors are expected and respected at school. And their teacher will be delighted, too. The transition will be less stressful as a result of paying attention to the important aspects of developing excellent social skills for the coming year and their future.
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