Preschool is both an exciting and daunting time for kids and parents. On the one hand, it marks a new milestone as your child steps into formal schooling. It offers a fantastic opportunity to make new friends, learn new skills, and build good habits.
But on the flip side, this new environment comes with challenges unique to their age group. Some children might feel anxious because of being away from home and their parents, while others might have difficulty talking to their classmates.
If your child is having trouble adjusting to preschool, you don’t need to worry, they are not alone. This article lists the most common problems that kids in preschool and kindergarten face and provides tips on how you, as a parent, can help them through these struggles.
7 Common Problems in Kindergarten and Preschool
Experiencing Separation Anxiety
It’s common for kids in preschool and kindergarten to feel nervous when they first enter school. After all, it’s their first time spending extended time away from home. They’re still at the stage of learning to be away from you. They might feel uncomfortable being away from you, their parents, especially when they’re left in an unfamiliar place like school.
Fear isn’t an easy feeling for your child to manage on their own. Luckily, there are plenty of strategies that you can use to help them cope with their feelings of distress.
How to help your child: Start by acknowledging and empathizing with their feelings. Saying “I understand how you feel, and it’s alright to feel that way” can help your child process these unpleasant emotions.
Then, reassure your child that you will come back after school and that they’ll be safe while you are away. You can also employ various techniques for fuss-free drop-offs to preschool.
Adjusting to the New Environment
For most kids starting out school, preschool doesn’t feel like home. For them, their home is a safe place. A new and unknown environment like preschool is the opposite. Having new routines, meeting new people, and being in a new environment can be overwhelming for a child. Thus, it’s natural for them to feel uneasy during their first few days in school.
How to help your child: If your child is having trouble adjusting to preschool, it’s important to be patient with them. You can best support your child by giving them time and space to adapt to the new setting. It also helps to reassure them constantly and encourage them to communicate their fears and worries with you, and help them realize that school is a safe space. We also recommend reinforcing that you will always come back to get them if they are particularly struggling with drop off.
Making Friends with Their Peers
Each child socializes in a different way from one another. Some might approach new people cheerily, while others tend to hesitate and hide instead. As a parent, it’s your job to know and understand how your child interacts with their peers—do they step back and avoid socialization or face it head-on?
How to help your child: Developing your child’s social skills begins at home. It’s best to model positive, respectful, and caring interactions within the family, so your child can follow suit. Playing with other children around the neighborhood can also help them make friends and be better at building relationships before starting school.
Communicating Their Thoughts and Feelings
Communication is also one of the most common problems in kindergarten and preschool alike. While most children can convey their thoughts clearly in their native language, the same cannot be said with a second language. And occasionally, some toddlers might experience language delays, making speech a daunting task.
How to help them: Encourage your child to communicate their thoughts by talking to them frequently. Having these conversations allow your child to express themselves more confidently. Other strategies you can do include reading books and playing listening games to make them feel more comfortable vocalizing what they feel.
Most importantly, be patient with them as they learn to speak and praise their efforts whenever possible.
Working in Groups
Preschool often incorporates various group activities to encourage children to work with one another. Teamwork and cooperation are essential social skills to develop at a young age. But if your child has trouble joining these activities, they might miss out on a fun learning experience. It can also lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
How to help them: Self-regulation skills play a crucial role in fostering team spirit. After all, one must learn when and how to give and take to create harmonious relationships with one another. You can do specific strategies to help your child interact with others and function in a group.
Feeling Bored in Class
Kids are known to have short attention spans and random bursts of energy. On average, preschool children can only focus on a specific task for up to 12 minutes.
And let’s face it: some classes in school can get dull, especially if it’s not interesting enough for your child. Because of this, they might act out and disrupt the class to satiate their boredom.
How to help them: Luckily, preschool is the perfect training ground to work on your child’s focus. Consider reaching out to their teacher to brainstorm ideas on keeping your child engaged while in school.
For example, they can provide supplemental activities if your child is a quick learner or give breaks to help them transition from one activity to the next.
Find Effective Ways to Deal with Kindergarten Problems
Preschool and kindergarten are significant milestones in your child’s life, but it is not without bumps along the way. Kids in preschool might face several challenges while adjusting to this new place. But with your support, your child can overcome these hurdles and have a fun and engaging school experience.
Discover more tips on helping your child through the most common problems in kindergarten and preschool when you check out the Rayito de Sol blog today!