To say that parenting a preschooler is difficult would be an understatement. However, it’s an inevitable reality all parents have to face. This phase of parenting is downright hard because children in preschool have the ability to test your patience until you’re filled to the brim. It’s during this stage that kids throw tantrums out of stubbornness as they try to exercise their newfound independence. It may be extra challenging to impose discipline on kids at this age, but if you want to make your parenting more effective, be sure to avoid the following parents’ mistakes to preschoolers.
Treating kids like they’re adults
One of the things parents often forget is the fact that their preschoolers are not and do not think like adults who know how to express themselves when they don’t get what they want. When you fail to fulfill a promise or don’t buy the toy they want, they will whine and throw tantrums instead of telling you how they feel. Young kids don’t have the communication skills like a grown up. Don’t treat them like adults and instead, meet them at their level and adjust your communication in a way that your kids can comprehend.
Taking play for granted
Many parents believe that their child should start school early for educational advancement and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. In fact, providing a child a good quality early childhood education can provide them long term benefits and set them on the path for future success. However, what we usually forget is the role of play in the overall development of young kids. Free play can help develop a child’s brain and foster their creativity and imagination. Give your preschooler adequate time for play and let them choose how they want to do it.
Focusing too much on the negative
It’s easy to see a child’s negative actions and behavior, to the point that we fail to notice the positive ones. If we want to encourage our kids to exhibit good behavior, it’s best to use positive reinforcement. Instead of honing in on the things they do wrong, make it a habit to let them know that you notice their positive actions, too. Praise them and compliment them every time they behaved appropriately. Give them a hug or a kiss or give them an occasional reward.
Inconsistency with routine
Consistency is key to effective child discipline. Teaching preschoolers the right behaviors should be done with consistency and the right frequency. If parents aren’t consistent, children tend to get confused, then throw more tantrums because they don’t understand what they should and should not do. So, whether it’s bedtime and mealtime routines, discipline or eating habits, be sure to remain consistent at least 90 percent of the time.
Giving in to their whining
This is another common mistake many parents make with their preschoolers. When their children begin to whine and throw tantrums, they tend to give in to their demands to make them stop. This is a total no-no! This will only encourage more whining in the future because kids will now come to understand that they get to have what they want when they whine. Then, they will continue to use the same strategy next time. The fix? Ignore your child’s yelling and screaming as long as they don’t exhibit aggressive behavior. It will send them the message that whatever they’re doing isn’t working.
Making them feel interrogated
Just like adults, young kids aren’t comfortable when they feel interrogated. Even if you want to get them talking, avoid asking direct questions to encourage a conversation. Instead, spend time with them and do something they love. The more comfortable they feel, the easier it becomes for them to open up and share their thoughts.
There’s no perfect recipe to effective parenting, but when you steer clear of these parenting mistakes, you’re off to a great start.
For more helpful tips and advice on parenting, or if you’re looking for the best preschool education for your little one, please feel free to visit Imagine Nation Learning Center.