Parenting In Focus: Easy issues
Parenting In Focus: Simple things
By Cynthia Martin For the Sequim Gazette • April 13, 2022 1:30 am
As a parent, you are your child’s most important teacher. This is why it is very important that you spend one-on-one time with him every day. Take time to talk with him about all the things around him.
Help him learn to name things and show him how things work. He is trying to learn the names of all the things you mention. Help him. Teach him how to hold his crayon, how (and what) to cut with scissors, or how to put his toys away.
Do you have toys for him that make gentle sounds when they move? The sound draws your young child’s attention to the toy and even to his hands. He even needs you to help him learn how to put on his shirt and shoes.
He needs your help to learn which foods to eat and how to eat them. He does not automatically know these things.
You should also learn to listen to your child when he talks to you. Is he able to express himself clearly? Can he tell you about the events of the day in their proper order? Encourage his talking skills. He obviously needs to learn this skill. This is a skill you need to master as well.
Not every parent is good at listening to their child yet every child needs this from their parent.
Singing songs, reciting nursery rhymes, and reading stories are also valuable ways to spend time together. Reading to your child on a daily basis has been shown to be one of the top factors in determining whether or not he will succeed in school.
Getting ready for school doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money. While educational toys certainly have their place, mastery of them does not automatically ensure success. You need to look at what success holds for him.
Getting your child ready for school certainly begins in infancy. But as he truly gets closer to that special time, there are some things he should come to school being able to do.
These are the important but simple kinds of things you can teach him by spending time with him:
• hold a pencil or a crayon and be able to color
• understand that hitting and yelling aren’t okay
• know his colors and some simple shapes
• cover his mouth when he coughs
• take care of himself in the bathroom including zipping, tying and washing his hands
These are skills he can learn and needs to learn with you. These skills come with time spent together. They are learned from early days spent doing things your child enjoys. Time well spent with you will serve him better in the long run than lessons for school.
These are lessons based on valuable, loving time spent in the five years you have to give to him to help him really be ready for school.
Cynthia Martin is the founder of the First Teacher program and former executive director of Parenting Matters Foundation, which published newsletters for parents, caregivers and grandparents.