Preschoolers still need you!
As toddlers get ready for preschool they are showing more independence, but it is just as important as ever to spend time engaging with your child and modeling prosocial behavior. You are his first and most important teacher.
Try to support your child’s curiosity and encourage him to explore, but continue to stay close so he knows he can count on you. Connect with him whenever you can by talking, reading, singing, or playing together.
Time spent interacting with you is how he will learn to cooperate and play with others. These are very important skills to be successful in relationships, school, and life.
We know how busy things can get. Making time for planned activities and structured play time with your child can be difficult.
Keep in mind that both structured and unstructured play are very important for learning and development. Activities don’t have to take a lot of planning to have a big impact! Playtime is learning time.
For example, music and singing are great for preschoolers. You could try simply turning on some music and having a dance party.
Let your child pick a book from the shelf and find a place to cozy up and read together.
It doesn’t take much. Even after a long day, try to take just a few minutes to ask your child questions about their day. Give them time to respond. Your listening and focus will let your child know you care.
Q & A
Q: My daughter has been acting out a lot lately, throwing tantrums if she doesn’t get her way. No matter how patient I am, she just won’t listen to me. I feel like I’ve tried everything! Should I be concerned about her behavior? What do you suggest?
A: Learning to listen and follow directions is a process that can take time. Young children are learning to self-regulate, control and understand their emotions. Your daughter may just be testing you to figure out how you feel about her actions.
If you feel like you have tried everything and are concerned about your child’s behavior or development, make an appointment to talk to your pediatrician.