10 Tips for Helping Kids Start Kindergarten: #7 Ask For Help

An often overlooked concern for preparing children for preschool or kindergarten is reassuring kids that it is OK to ask for help. We would take it for granted that, at 3 or 4 or 5 years old, a child would be comfortable telling a teacher that he or she needs help, but that is not always the case. While at home, kids seem to call on mom or day easily, but at school some children are reluctant to say they don’t know how to do something, or where something is, or tell somebody that something unexpected is happening.
Little Girl in Classroom
Letting your child know that it is okay to ask for help can be as simple as saying, “Did you know that at school, since mommy or daddy aren’t there you can ask your teachers for help?” If your child seems hesitaant, you may have to pretend to be the teacher and have your child practice a few times. Or you can pretend and using a child-like voice ask a few silly and not so silly questions that your child gets to answer, “Could you tell me if there are any chocolate monsters in the hallway?” Or, “I can’t reach the light in the bathroom. Could somebody reach it for me?” Kids may be afraid they would be in trouble and reluctant to tell the teacher that they spilled the paint, or their snack, or had an accident.

It is also important that children know if they feel sick, they need to tell the teachers. Every time a child tells a teacher his or her tummy hurts the teacher may not call you at home or work. Sometimes, the tummy ache might be because of a concern in class, such as a friend is sitting beside somebody else but it helps the teachers to know if somebody doesn’t feel very good.

Again, this is not an academic issue, but it is a very basic part of kindergarten readiness. Are there other non-academic concerns that you can suggest?

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