When it comes to success after graduating from school, do you think it is more advantageous for your child to be smart or to be polite? While I have oversimplified the question, new research is showing that social skills have a greater influence on income than academic achievement. (Institute for Social Research) And, the early years of a child’s life, before s/he starts school are tremendously important for learning social skills, not just for kindergarten readiness.
Some early social skills for children are sharing and taking turns. Another aspect is good manners and the kitchen is the perfect place to practice some of these, especially because manners are often associated with food and eating. Please and thank you are popular words at family meal times. Two of the first ten signs that parents teach wee little ones are commonly the ones for please (hand circles on body just below chin) and thank you (fingers tap chin and then point to the giver). Modelling, that is using these words ourselves sets an example. Another effective strategy is to let children know we appreciate when they say please and thank you. Snack time at kindergarten is often a highlight of the day for kids, so practicing table manners at home will help your child at school.
As with all the other blogs for this month, I’m posting about ways that parents and caregivers can promote kindergarten readiness at home at the same time as they are doing chores and other activities. There’s no need to add extra time to already busy days. Just an extra ingredient. Does this make readiness for kindergarten easier for you?