When parents decide to enroll their children in our Early Childhood program, we feel it is a privilege that they chose us to care for, nurture, protect, and teach their children. We take this role very seriously and we strive to meet the expectations set upon us to promote the intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual development of each of our students. An essential part of a successful experience for a child, at any age in school, is our partnership with the parents.
Parents come to me quite often seeking advice on parenting. I eagerly talk through issues, scenarios, and concerns with them. Sometimes it is easier to tell other parents what to do, how to handle, and how to react to their children--I am often at a loss most of the time with my own children. Being a parent is difficult!
Research suggests one of the most reoccurring obstacles of parenting in the 21st century is the desire for parents to be overprotective. I have noticed when parents protect their children from struggles, they are often underpreparing them for life’s challenges. Children need more preparation vs. protection. Their independence needs to be encouraged, along with praise for their effort and willingness to try on their own. When exposed appropriately, children quickly learn they can do things without the help of mom or dad. Ultimately, we want them to be critical thinkers and to build skills that promote resilience.
It’s okay for children to make mistakes; it is how they learn and develop individualism. One of our 20 Simple Lessons this semester focuses on learning from mistakes (we don’t always get things right the first time, and that’s okay). There are small steps you can take to begin the process of preparing your child for independence and life skills. Suggestions include:
let them start working on getting themselves dressed
let them start working on self-help skills in the bathroom and at meal time
let them walk into school instead of carrying them
let them carry their own backpack and unpack it in their classroom themselves
let them work out a problem with a friend; and let them try challenging tasks on their own.
These small adjustments in your approach to parenting can aid in your child’s preparation for life skills and cultivate the capable and confident preschooler.
All Saints’ Episcopal School is a leading college preparatory day school in Fort Worth, Texas. Grounded in the Episcopal school tradition, All Saints’ offers programming of national distinction in the academic, fine art, athletic and spiritual disciplines, which brings to life our philosophy of promoting each student’s individual genius within.