Ministry of Education, Guyana

Parenting Tips

pt-20130924-2Having a child go off to Nursery school is always marked by joy that your baby is growing up and going on to bigger and better things; and marred by sadness that your baby is growing up and going on to bigger and better things! The best way to ease the transition to school is by doing some “homework” of your own to make yourself and your little scholar ready for the first day of “BIG school”.

In this section, we will look at four (4) important areas where you can help yourself and your child be best prepared for nursery school and a lifetime of success. These areas are:

Emotional self-awareness involves identifying and understanding one’s emotions – including “big feelings” that can sometimes overwhelm us. As Fred Rogers reminds us: “When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.” Two-year-olds can learn the names of core emotions: happy, sad, scared, and excited. Naming emotions empowers toddlers and helps them understand what’s going on inside their mind and body.
Grit involves sticking with something until you succeed. It’s another word for perseverance and resilience, and it gives us the strength to try, try, try again. Grit supports a “growth mindset” – a belief that our intelligence and skills can grow with effort. Kids with a growth mindset thrive on challenges and view failure as part of the learning process. For a five year old, grit might look like working on increasingly complex block structures, crafts, or puzzles; learning their letters and numbers, and remembering to use their words when they feel frustrated.
From taking their first steps to learning how to read, children gain self-confidence as they master new skills. This gives them the courage to continue to explore and expand their abilities. Seven-year-olds can set goals and make a plan for mastering new academic and physical skills – from math facts to soccer kicks. As you encourage their interests and independence, you may also need to help them talk through their frustrations and fears. They may be discouraged when a new skill doesn’t come easily to them or when a classmate or sibling seems "better than me" at a task.
Stress causes wear and tear on a person, inside and out. When you take time for self-care, you are better able to care for your child. Even a few minutes of “you time” can help you recharge so that you can parent at your best. Remember, you are doing a great job by doing the best you can. Keep these tips in mind when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
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