Your child will be starting preschool soon and the worry of how she will act is starting to weigh heavy on your mind. If your toddler is an only child, the stress of how well she will play with others can be overwhelming. Now is a good time to teach your child how to properly behave and play with other children. Lecturing a toddler won't work because their minds are not yet advanced enough to pay enough attention to the important lessons. Instead, play the games listed below to teach your toddler proper behavioral skills.
Get a few sheets of construction paper and draw a series of faces on them. You will want to draw a sad, scared, happy, angry and sick face on each. Place the faces in the basket and have your child pick one piece of paper at a time. If your child picks a piece of paper with a sad face, have her act out how a child would look if he or she were sad. When you ask your child simple questions like "why are you crying?" and "how can I help you?" Your child will act out why she is sad and start to understand, through play, how to help other children when they are experiencing the same emotions. You can alternate picking with your child so that your toddler has the opportunity to help you through a problem as well.
Playing a game of Cheer-Up, Buttercup with teach your toddler about empathy, which is one of the most important behavioral skills you can teach. If a child knows how to respect other children and treat them with kindness, it will cut down on the amount of behavioral notes sent home with your toddler.
I Spy is one of the best games that you can use to teach your child patience. A child with no patience is one of the most common problems that preschool teachers have and it's really normal. Many three-year-olds start to get antsy if they have to wait for something. Teaching your child the value of patience before they begin preschool will put your child ahead of the game, behavioral wise.
Pick various colors around your house. For example, if you have a small plant, you can say "I spy with my little eye, something that is green..." Your child will have to practice polite patience while she looks around the house for something that is green. This will also help to teach basic colors, which will be great for a new preschooler.
Always Tell The Truth
Honesty is key when it comes to every situation in life. Preschoolers are at that age when they feel as if the truth will get them in trouble or hurt feelings, especially when it comes to how they feel. Always Tell The Truth will give your child a safe and positive opportunity to talk about their feelings, whether good or bad. If your child can talk about her feelings openly with you, she will take that value with her when she enters a preschool like Rainbow Montessori.
Take your child to their favorite spot, whether it's a place in her room or the park. It's important to take them to wherever they feel the most comfortable and safest. Start the game by saying: "I was sad when..." and then complete the sentence. It can be that you were sad when your child didn't listen that day, or you were sad when she did not take a nap when she was supposed to. Whatever caused you to be sad that day, say it in a calm and inviting tone. Then, let your child have a turn. Because you went first, your child will learn from your example and know that it is alright to discuss emotions openly and honestly.
Having an only child can cause you to worry about their behavior when they are introduced to other children for the first time. Get ahead of the preschool game by teaching your child the basic behavioral skills they will need with the fun and effective games listed above. Your child won't even know she is learning.