I can’t wait to go to school

Is your tod­dler ready to at­tend preschool? Spot the signs with these tips from DR RICHARD C. WOOLF­SON.

Young Parents (Singapore) - - AGE BY STAGE 2 YEARS -

Choos­ing when to send your tod­dler to preschool can be one of your tough­est de­ci­sions as a par­ent. Leave it too late, and he can be­come bored; start him too early, and he might end up stressed out.

Here are six signs that he’s all set for the learn­ing jour­ney:

The sign

He has lost in­ter­est in the toys and ac­tiv­i­ties at home.

What it means

Your two-year-old is cu­ri­ous and in­quir­ing, and it can be a strug­gle for you to pro­vide that stim­u­la­tion ev­ery day. His ap­par­ent drop in en­thu­si­asm in­di­cates he is ready for the wide range of new ex­pe­ri­ences avail­able in preschool.

The sign

He is so­cially independent.

What it means

Preschool pro­vides him with the op­por­tu­nity to make new friends and de­velop so­cial skills. It can be so­cially chal­leng­ing as well, espe­cially as some kids may not be wel­com­ing. If he can mix and play with oth­ers with­out your help, he is prob­a­bly ready.

The sign

He is self-suf­fi­cient.

What it means

In preschool, chil­dren are ex­pected to be

A two-year-old who deals well with mo­ments of dis­ap­point­ment and dis­tress is likely to en­joy preschool.

rea­son­ably independent. For ex­am­ple, he must be pot­ty­trained (more or less), and able to feed him­self and tell an adult if some­thing trou­bles him. He should also be able to play well with a toy for some time with­out ask­ing adults for help or an­other toy.

The sign

He has good con­cen­tra­tion.

What it means

Preschool in­volves a great deal of learn­ing, and learn­ing re­quires con­cen­tra­tion. By pay­ing at­ten­tion, your kid in­creases his knowl­edge and un­der­stand­ing of the world around him. So if he can sit at the table and play with a game or puz­zle with­out wan­der­ing off to an­other ac­tiv­ity, preschool could be ideal for him.

The sign

He sep­a­rates well from you.

What it means

Go­ing to preschool in­volves sep­a­rat­ing from Mum and Dad ev­ery day. Some chil­dren man­age this emo­tional hur­dle bet­ter than oth­ers. Many kids shed tears at part­ing, though most set­tle down within six weeks af­ter start­ing preschool.

A two-year-old who al­ready copes with tem­po­rary sep­a­ra­tion from his par­ents will quickly ad­just to the preschool rou­tine.

The sign

He is emo­tion­ally re­silient.

What it means

Even in a preschool that pro­vides lots of in­di­vid­ual at­ten­tion for ev­ery child, there will be mo­ments of dis­ap­point­ment and dis­tress.

For ex­am­ple, when he can’t have the snack he wanted, or when an­other preschooler takes a toy from him with­out ask­ing.

Does your young one get up­set over such in­ci­dents or does he tend to take these in his stride? A kid who deals well with­out burst­ing into tears is likely to en­joy preschool.

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