Working with children every day, I have seen firsthand the impact of a positive preschool experience on a child’s motivation to succeed in school. Children learn very quickly whether they are the “smart kid”, the “funny kid,” and unfortunately, if they are the “bad kid”. Shaking these labels can be difficult for a child- especially if the label has negatively affected their ideas about what they can and cannot do.
What causes a negative preschool experience?
Many factors can create a less than optimal pre-school experience. Most often, it’s a combination of large classroom size, high teacher/caregiver expectations, and a developmental delay. Children who struggle to tune into, or tune out, the sensory input in their world, communicate their wants and needs effectively, or perform fine motor pre-academic tasks can appear to be a “behavior problem”. Once a child has been identified as having “bad behavior” they are frequently disciplined and teachers/caregivers may become less likely to accommodate for their weaknesses. As a child, you become discouraged and avoidant of school and school work. As a parent, you grow anxious that your child doesn’t “play well with others,” “follow directions,” or isn’t “maturing”.
What should I do if I think this is happening to me and my child?
It’s important to first recognize that a little special attention goes a long way. Knowing your child’s strengths and accommodating for and facilitating their weaknesses is crucial in creating positive feelings about school and school work. Try to remember that developing positive feelings about school and learning should be the biggest aim of preschool- not staying quite during nap time or sitting still in circle time. While typical preschool environments are just fine for most children, some children just don’t fit in that “box”. And guess what… that’s okay! We shouldn’t always be trying to fit children “into a box”- we should be making a box that fits them! Abilities believes that we should meet children where they are on the path of development.
Something to consider…
If you feel that your child is struggling in their current preschool, or if your child has unique needs that require a little extra care and attention due to a specific diagnosis, consider our Therapy Learning and Immersion Program!
We will be launching a full-time Therapy Learning and Immersion Program for children between the ages of 3 and 5 in August, 2017. This program will be available to families 5 days a week from 9am to 3pm. Extended care until 5pm will also be available. Throughout the day, your child will enjoy structured speech and occupational therapy time, facilitated group play, and if needed, individualized therapy. Insurance benefits will apply making this an affordable option for child care while ensuring your child is getting the support he or she needs.
Let us set your child on the path to being excited and engaged in school and learning! Give us a call at 225.292.4138 today to learn more!