Helpful Tips for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers
If you’re a parent of a preschooler, your life is never dull. Your kid’s energy just doesn’t seem to run out, and let’s face it, sometimes or most of the time, it’s hard to keep up. However, it’s a beautiful phase that will never return, so might as well take it all in, savor the moment, and just do what you can to be the best parent you can be.
If you need some concrete tips, the following tips can be just what you need.
Encourage your child to be independent
The best way to prepare them for school is to encourage their independence. When your child goes to preschool, your child should be able to do simple things single-handedly such as washing their hands and wiping their face.
The key is to stop doing for them what they can do for themselves. Preschoolers can actually do more than most parents think. All you have to do is find ways to encourage them. Instead of expecting so little from your kids, try to expect a little bit more. They can really turn out really capable if you give them a chance to exercise their independence and sense of diligence.
Set a routine
There should be a routine for different activities like mealtime, play, snack, sleep, and so on. That’s not only beneficial for your child but helpful for you as well, especially if you have work or chores to attend to. A sense of predictability can help you manage your household more effectively.
Don’t give in to their tantrums.
There’s a right balance between being too soft and too strict. By now, you may already have your own ways of handling your child’s tantrums and meltdowns, but the key is to first figure out what they need.
Children sometimes don’t respond like how adults do. Instead of talking or asking for what they need or want, they yell or cry instead. That is partly because ‘you’ may have indirectly trained them to behave like that by easily giving in to their tantrums. By giving them what they want just because of the meltdown, you’re training them to understand that they need to pull a tantrum to successfully get what they need.
Help your child unlearn this by giving them what they want ‘only’ if they ask for it in a proper, calmer, more mature way. It may take time to pull this off but eventually, with will and consistency, this hopefully won’t be a problem anymore.
Don’t be a “no” person all the time.
As mentioned, it’s all about striking the balance. Not giving in is different from saying no all the time. Saying no all the time might cause a rebellious attitude and might make children feel unloved or undesirable. Say no gently as much as possible and explain why you’re saying no. And if what they’re asking for is reasonable, give in to their requests as well.
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Promote a sense of cooperation
How do you get your child to be more cooperative? The key is ‘praise’. Children repeat behaviors that catch attention. If you catch them being good, they’re most likely to repeat the same positive behavior and that will easily bring them to a more cooperative stance each time.
This is a no-brainer, but it’s really always great for children to constantly engage in imaginative play. Kids these days are engrossed in too much screen time or too many structured activities. It’s really better to just allow for spontaneous, independent play. It isn’t your job to entertain your child during all their waking hours. In fact, boredom helps children develop their creativity, psychological well-being, and self-esteem. However, just make sure that you have the items that your kid can freely play with such as play dough, big card boxes, paint and paper, dress-up clothes, and so on.
Discipline shouldn’t be confused with strictness. Children can end up being stubborn if you’re too strict with them. Make sure to win their trust in such a way that they get to communicate in a non-threatening atmosphere. The following are some discipline strategies that preschool centers apply.
Rely on distractions
If your child is squabbling with his sibling for a toy, distract him by inviting him to paint, draw a picture, or read a story instead.
Prepare for good-bye meltdowns
If your child has separation anxiety, give him a tangible thing that will remind him of you. It could be a handkerchief, your picture, or a cut-out paper heart. Whatever it is, it will help ease the anxiety and possible tantrums.
Involve your child in righting his wrongs
If there are colorings on the wall, don’t clean the mess yourself; instead, have him help wash it off. If he spills water on the floor, have him help clean it as well. This will teach them a sense of responsibility that will help them fare better as they grow into adults.
Do not delay discipline
If you need to reprimand your kid, do so as soon as you see him misbehaving. Some parents wait till they get home, but most likely, by the time you reach home, the child would have already forgotten the incident.
Especially now that your child is about to attend or is already attending preschool, these preschool parenting tips can be of great help. All we can do as parents are support our children, become great examples and give them the best learning opportunities at this crucial stage of their childhood years.
If you’re still looking for a preschool center for your child, check out Space. In just a few clicks, you’ll be redirected to a long list of preschool options near you. You can view the centers’ descriptions, certifications, pictures, inclusions, and more. You can also send an inquiry, book a tour, and directly enroll through the site. You’re free to shortlist the centers that catch your attention to make your selection process even easier. When it’s all about your child, being meticulous can go a long way. And remember, when it comes to parenting, it’s not about being the best. It’s simply about doing your best with what you have and where you are.