Parents often wonder why their children are self-sufficient at school. At school the children will clean up toys, pass out snacks, and take care of their belongings. How can this be when at home, they refuse to pick up toys or insist that mom or dad help them with every task? A child will test limits with their parents because he or she trusts the parent will love them no matter what. I recently read wonderful strategies on promoting independence in the preschool child in Parents magazine. I thought I would share the strategies with you:

1. Expect more. At school we expect the children to hang up their coats, put Game Room games back in the proper “home”, or throw away their trash after snack (just to name a few “chores”). Children love feeling independent. Today I watched the 2 Day children throw their cup and napkin in the trash after snack time. Each child completed the simple task. Expect them to do more and most often they will.
2. Resist doing for your child what they can do for themselves. It is quicker and easier for you to do it. Whenever you are trying to get your children to dress, put jackets on, etc., ask them if they want help or can they do it themselves? Suggesting your child complete a task without assistance is like magic. Kids always want to do it for themselves! Watch how the children walk proudly into school. They want to do it themselves! Often they will wave my hand away when offered.
3. Don’t redo what they’ve done. Unless absolutely necessary, don’t fix what your child accomplishes. If she dresses in stripe and polka dots, compliment her. As teachers we don’t “fix” art projects the children have created. I love pictures with crooked smiles. The projects are self-directed and a unique creation of the child. The child feels a sense of accomplishment completing the art activity.
4. Let them solve simple problems. Pause before rushing to help your child assemble a toy or get a book from a shelf. We cheat a child the experience of success if we try to make everything perfect. In the Game Room, the children often use discriminating skills to complete assigned games. They are problem-solving.
5. Assign a chore. Assigning a regular, simple task will build your child’s confidence. The goal is to make your child feel like they are contributing to the family. The children at BUMNS are assigned weekly jobs. They love the feeling of independence as the mail person, line leader, snack person, flag holder; such simple tasks that make the children feel good about themselves.

It is fun watching the children at school grow and change as they become confident with our school routine. Each child has their own unique personality. Our job is to encourage, teach and give them the tools for a lifetime of success

Important Dates and Reminders:

• Thursday, Feb. 13th 2 & 4 Day Valentine’s Day Party
• Friday, Feb. 14th 3 & 5 Day Valentine’s Day Parties
• Monday, Feb.17th School will be in session
• Wednesday, Feb. 26th 5 Day trip to the Great Valley Nature Center
Consider donating gently used children’s clothing to T/E Cares. Bins for donations are located in the school hall and the school office