Parents have a very short window of time to prepare their children for school, and there are several traits you’ll want to nurture during that time in order to ensure that your kids have the skills they need to succeed. Here are just a few traits that you’ll want to encourage your child to develop before he sets off for school.
- Respect for authority. It is imperative that you teach your child respect for authority figures before you send him off to school, unless you want him to face disciplinary issues once he gets there. You don’t want him disrupting class, talking back to the teacher, or refusing to do what he’s told. And you definitely don’t want to get a phone call saying that he’s been fighting with or hitting other kids. So do your part at home by teaching him how to behave through a consistent system of rewards and/or punishment. He’ll make the transition to school a lot more easily and do much better in the long run if he takes authority figures seriously.
- Focus. Not every child can be made to focus, but most can. As a parent there are several things you can do to give your child the best chance to succeed in school, and helping him to focus is a good start. For one thing, you can feed him a healthy and balanced diet that is largely devoid of sugar or other stimulants that make kids go crazy. And you can make sure that he gets to bed on time so as to enjoy a full night of rest. However, you also need to get him outside and running around frequently to let him burn off some steam. Kids don’t like being cooped up in a classroom all day.
- Interest. This is not necessarily a trait you can compel in your child, but if you take the time to answer his questions, you present him with questions of your own to make him think things through, and you introduce him to a variety of topics through books appropriate for his age, you’re sure to pique his interest in the world around him.
- Imagination. Encouraging your child to use his imagination is easy; all you have to do is engage in pretend play with him, an activity that most children naturally enjoy on their own. And believe it or not, this early leaning will help him a lot through the course of his life. Just think of how many employers are seeking professionals that not only have an excellent academic record, but that can also think outside the box.
- Friendly attitude. Getting through school is about more than academic skill. The ability to socialize, make friends, get along with students and teachers, and generally come across as a likable and sympathetic sole is going to be a major help when it comes to success in the school setting. And of course, students that are socially accepted tend to have a much easier time adapting to the environment. As a result, they may do better in their studies, supposing you push them to stay on top of work at home. As the saying goes, you attract more bees with honey, so teaching your child to share, to be compassionate, and to leap into social situations rather than hiding behind your skirt is a good way to help him fit in when he gets to school. Whether you send him to a public school, a private institution, or an alternate learning facility like Star Bright Montessori, having him socialize with other children before he gets to school will give him the confidence to be himself and the skills to succeed when he heads down the path of academia.