Parents can help their children prepare for kindergarten by teaching them personal skills.
Children grow and develop at a fast pace when young, and they can learn a new personal skill in the course of a week or two, according to LSU AgCenter family development professor Dr. Rebecca White.
To help children learn a personal skill, ask yourself if they have the potential to do the following without supervision:
– Wash their hands
– Use the bathroom
– Brush their teeth
– Blow their nose with tissue
– Button their shirt
– Zip up their pants
– Put on and take off a coat
– Tie and/or Velcro their shoes
Once you have answered these questions, focus on which skills the child may need to learn. White offers several ideas for parents to help their children learn personal care skills.
– Develop a morning and bedtime bathing and tooth-brushing routine. Children need routines like this in their lives because routines help them grow and develop.
– Let children dress themselves. They will develop a feeling of achievement and independence as they get better and better at this skill.
– Practice with them as they put on shoes. It may take lots of repeated tries, but they will eventually accomplish this personal-care skill.
– Help them explain in their own words how to tell other grownups when they are feeling hurt or sick.
“Parents make a big difference in helping their child be ready for kindergarten,” White says, adding, “Children will do better in school if parents take the time to focus on kindergarten readiness in the area of personal-care skills.”
Editor: Mark Claesgens
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture