When it comes to preparing a child for school, much of the focus is put on academic preparedness. While a vital component, kindergarten is just as much about social development as it is academic. Taking some time to work with your child in this area can be critical to their overall success at school.
Let Your Child Take The Lead
As their time in kindergarten gets closer, give your child more and more opportunities to take the lead. Once in school, your child will likely be asked to do a number of activities independently and they may even be asked to lead at times. If a child has been somewhat sheltered and never allowed to lead at home, this experience might be overwhelming.
To help develop this tool, when playing a game at home, allow your child to explain the instructions to the entire family. You can also give your child more responsibilities that they can independently complete, such as putting up the socks from laundry. These tasks teach children how to lead and engage on their own.
Enroll Them In Group Activities
It's also a great idea to enroll your child in some form of a group activity. Soccer, gymnastics, dance or even music lessons are all great options to consider. Group activities offer several benefits, but in terms of kindergarten preparedness, they teach children how to work and engage with others.
For a child who has not attended preschool, this interaction can prove vital as many of these programs will have a school-like structure, in that there is an instructor and the students are expected to work together with one another.
Talk About Consequences
It's also important that you talk about consequences to your child. A large part of being able to engage appropriately, socially, has to do with understanding that every action will set the stage for a reaction. For instance, children need to learn that hitting a child may lead to a disciplinary action and the other child may even retaliate and hit them back.
The same is true even if they say something hurtful to another child. When a child has an understanding that the things they say and do are important, they can better serve as somewhat of their own meter to more appropriately interact with those around them.
As a parent, you only want what is best for your child. Your efforts in this area will strengthen your child's ability to navigate without you by their side not just in kindergarten, but through the rest of their time in school.