Read the previous post on this topic.
It seems like a lifetime ago when I first started this series of blog posts about making preschool a more positive experience for Gavin. Admittedly, when Gavin started to accept school and the daily morning tantrums disappeared, my enthusiasm to “negate the negative effects of preschool” seemed to fade to the back of my mind. Either I was handling things pretty well without having to try, or my son adapts well to new situations. To be honest, I think it is the latter.
On Friday, after a week of staying home from school, Gavin said, “Mummy, can I go to school today?”
He actually wanted to go to school! If I was ever worried about any negative effects of preschool, I guess I can rest easier now.
To be fair, though, I’m guessing Gavin was eager to go back to school because it’s been pretty boring for him at home. First, he was sick. Then Gareth. Then me. That meant that we were either stuck at home or at the doctor’s. When we were home, I would usually be tending to a very fussy and cranky Gareth who couldn’t bear to be put down for long. Plus, being sick and kept up late by a fussy baby, I was also cranky and tired – hardly in the mood to entertain Gavin. No wonder he was dying to get back to school!
Anyway, to complete the series on this blog posts, here are some more tips on “how to negate the negative effects of preschool”:
12. Watch for peer rejection and bullying
A good way to do this is to keep in touch with the teachers. Always make it a point to talk to your child’s class teacher at least once a week and make sure your child isn’t suffering from peer rejection or behaving as the bully. I’ve generally been told that teachers respond better to parents who show and interest in how their children are doing at school.
I’ve learned from experience that even if your child is very articulate, it is still difficult to get an accurate picture of what is going on at school from a preschooler. Sometimes, talking to the teacher is the only way you’ll find out what’s been going on. Having the details helps you to talk to your child specifically about issues at school.
13. Choose TV programs that promote social skill development
There are lots of programs on this, but I still think that “monkey see, monkey do” is the best. Bronson and Merryman wrote in Nurture Shock that some programs that were intended to teach lessons on social skills ended up conveying a negative message to young children because too much time is spent setting up the story and the problem and too little time on the “lesson”. For instance, a half hour program might spend the first 20 minutes setting up the problem and only 5 minutes on the resolution. Most young children don’t have the attention span to follow through and make a connection to the lesson at the end of the story.
The same goes with books. So if you do choose a TV program or a book to illustrate a lesson, make sure you’ve screened it for appropriateness. This goes even for books and programs that are recommended for children.
14. Realise that sharing is difficult
Gavin used to be pretty good with this when he was younger. I think most only children are because they’re used to playing with adults who always give them back their toys. They know they can expect to get their toy back if they ask for it. They haven’t yet had to experience fighting over a toy with another child who refuses to budge. Now that Gavin is older and had more experience, the sharing is getting a little more difficult, although, I’m glad to say that he still gives way fairly readily – barring no other complicating factor, such as being tired, hungry, etc.
15. Don’t take it personally
I think this goes for anything and everything to do with children. Sometimes, it doesn’t really matter what you do – everything you do is wrong. At the end of the day, you just have to take it in stride and remember that it’s just a bad day for your child and it may not be anything at all to do with you.