Important Kindergarten-Ready Skills

Sending your sweet babies off to kindergarten is a big day for parents and children. Making sure your little cuties are ready to survive and thrive in school starts long before laying out their new outfits the night before. There are several skills beyond knowing letters and numbers that you can encourage in your children so that they are ready to do their best in school.

Encourage Questions

There are probably moments when you think if your child asks you one more question, you’re going to scream. That’s a natural parent reaction. It’s also natural for children to be curious about all things. Children are constantly trying to make sense of the world and allowing them to ask questions is a great way to encourage independent thinking. When children are very young, most questions you ask are close-ended. In other words, they have only one correct answer. As children get older, start asking them open-ended such as “What do you think the ending of the story is going to be?” or “Why do you think that man honked his horn?”

Encourage Empathy

Small children are naturally both self-centered and empathetic. Encourage them to be empathetic to the joys and the sorrows of the world around them. If you’re sad, explain why in simple terms. Children often mimic what they see adults do, so don’t be surprised if you find a little hand patting your back. Praising children for being kind and gentle will make them better able to get along with others in the long run. 

Encourage Self-Control

One of the most difficult traits to learn is self-control. There are plenty of high school students and even adults who do a poor job of it. Starting at about age 3, it’s important to teach your children the value of things like waiting their turn and controlling their emotions (in an age-appropriate way). 

It’s great if you can send your child off to kindergarten already knowing how to read and write. It’s more important, though, if he or she is curious, empathetic and has self-control.