How Can Parenting Skills Help A Child Transition From Home To School?

Techniques To Help You and Your Child/Children Grow Together

Both my husband and I were fortunate to participate twice in Strong Start, a study conducted by UCLA graduate students in psychology and education, spanning 10 weeks of learning to be active parents. We thought it was worthwhile as a refresher course when my younger child was a kindergartener and was also invited to the study. I would like to share with you the techniques that we learned to becoming an active parent.

Individual time

The first technique in the study was to make sure that we gave our child individual time of 15 minutes. This probably applies to a child with a sibling because it is important to give a child this amount of undivided attention. You could read to the child or play games. However, watching television is not an acceptable activity because you need to engage with your child. Watching television is passive, and if you and your child watch television intensely like we do, your only action is your individual involvement with television and not one another.

Active Reading

When you read to your child, you need to interact with your child. Instead of merely reading a story to your child, you need to ask questions about the characters and ask the child what he or she thinks will happen next.

Plus, when your child can start reading, have him or her read to you as well. This way, you also learn whether a child has reading issues. A friend of mine didn't find out until 4th grade that her son had a reading problem.


Active Praising

Instead of saying that a child did a "nice" job, it is important to be particular about your praise so that the child knows why he or she is being praised. Here are examples of better praises:
* I notice that you are good at finding the right pieces to complete the puzzle.
* I notice that you did a good job outlining your animals and coloring them in.
* I see that you are very helpful and can fix a cup of coffee for your Dad.

Role Modeling

Take The Time To Explain

We have been role models to our children. They see us being very polite to each other. We also praise each other. It is so important to be good role models so that they learn to be just like you. It is funny how praising is contagious. Even when my son was 5, he would often say "Mom, you are beautiful." Later on, at parent-teacher conferences we have been praised for raising polite and caring children. Our reply has always been that we try to be good role models and address them as little human beings.

We take the time to discipline them but also let them know why we are disciplining them. For example, we don't stop at saying "Stop teasing your sister." Instead, we tell a child that when you tease someone with words or physical action, the other person will not like it. How would you feel if you are being teased?" We spend a lot of time explaining to our children, thus teaching them good behavior.

Role Play A Difficult Situation

One of the problems with having more than one child is that there will always be fighting. For example, if one child wants to play with the toy that another child is playing and goes and grabs the toy, then this will turn into a fight. In this situation, you can take the toy away and give it back to the first child. But it is also important to teach the children the proper way to obtain the toy to play. For example, the second child should ask the first child if he can play with the toy. In the case where the first child has already been playing with it, then the second child can act out a situation for the future where he asks the first one to play with the toy for the next 15 minutes. If the first child says no, then instead of fighting, the child can talk to the parent.

Another example: A child will not dress quickly for school. What do you do? You can tell the child how important it is to dress quickly in the morning to go to school. You then show the child what to do. Have the clothes ready, and given your child an idea of time such as 10 minutes. Work on this routine when the child returns from school. As they say, practice makes perfect.

Talk To Your Children About Their Feelings.

It is important to talk to your children about their feelings, particularly when they are angry or upset. Ask the child to tell you why he or she is feeling upset. Have the child use words rather than screaming or kicking or fuming with clenched teeth and fists.

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Comments 4 comments

litsabd profile image

litsabd 3 years ago

Parenting is sometimes difficult. I have 3 boys and it can be really tough trying to role play a difficult situation, when everyone feels I do favors for the other! However, as an ancient Greek saying reminds "Parenting is taught be example", so we have to pull up our sleeves and with patience and nurture try to raise happy and healthy children in the mind and body. Thank you for your wonderful piece of advice.


formosangirl profile image

formosangirl 3 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Litsabd, thanks for your comment. We spend so much time with our children that we never hire a babysitter. We constantly receive compliments regarding our children's contributions to other students and school staff, their creativity, and their academic excellence. To raise good children, the parent must be active and constantly involved. There are no short cuts.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

Great ideas for helping little ones with school readiness. It has been my experience in the school system that those parents who talk with their children daily in interactive ways are able to help their children learn language skills that are a prelude to school success.


formosangirl profile image

formosangirl 3 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Denise.w.anderson, thanks for your comment. You are absolutely correct. There are role playing any time you explain something to your child. It is showing compassion and this child is more likely to do the same with teachers and other children instead of giving a curt answer. I noticed that my children are tremendously communicative, but then we have two lawyering parents. We are a chatty bunch.

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