learning to wait

Kindergarten Readiness – Hurry Up and Wait

 At the beginning of the month, I was fortunate enough to attend a presentation by the child expert and parenting author, Michele Borba. She reminded the  parents, caregivers and teachers present that education is more than academics. We need to make sure that we provide experiences for social, emotional and physical development as well as intellectual. Michele mentioned some very specific research on ‘waiting’. Now, at kindergarten we do a lot of waiting: waiting to play with popular toys, waiting for a turn to use the restroom, waiting for the gym, the library, equipment at the playground, waiting to see moms and dads at the end of the day, and more. One little girl remarked to me one day that all she’d done that morning at school was wait. Michele shared that children who waited patiently at a young age carry that skill with them and follow-up research at high school graduation  showed that they had higher test scores, were more socially competent and more able to cope with life’s demands and frustrations. This waiting skill is called “Strategic Allocation of Attention”.
     Since most of my experience has been at kindergarten, I can not vouch for later grades, but I do know that life can be hard for munchkins that have a difficult time waiting. I appreciated the few suggestions that Michele provided for helping children learn to wait. This week, I’ll pass them along to you, as well as some activities I’ve found that promote learning and using waiting strategies. Until tomorrow, then, if you can wait….