My son is four and I'm looking at signing him up for some extra-curricular activities or classes but how do I get him excited about it?
Children who learn and grow in an enriched environment where caring and understanding adults are responsive to their needs, will be children that thrive and develop holistically. This will then promote a positive prosocial culture in the class and develop a trusting relationship between teachers, children and their parents.
When parents contemplate to enrol a child in a new centre or enrichment class, it is always a good idea to orientate and bring your child along so that he/she can have a vibe of the centre and have a while to process what takes place in such settings. This process where the child is an observer allows him/her to pick up on positive social cues and reactions of other students at the centre. This social referencing goes a long way in alleviating a child’s anxiety.
For example in Kinderland, we place emphasis on standards of engagement where our teachers and environment are inviting to children so that it minimise anxiety, nurture learning and promote independence.
At four years old, young children are gaining competence and expanding their repertoire of skills. Although, it is in a child’s best interest that we nudge them to try something new and acquire new experiences and skills, we have to be sensitive to different temperament types. Children who are especially shy, will need a longer time to settle down and form rapport with a new teacher and a new group of friends. They tend to get reactive and reluctant to participate. As such, parents can stay with their child for a period of time when they enter a new environment in the process of helping to get them familiarised.
At Kinderland, we understand this and allow parents to accompany their child over a period of three days to accustom to the new routine, settings and people.
Unknown to many parents, the lack of social exposure when children are younger manifest as reluctance and non-compliant behaviours in trying out new experiences with different people. Hence it is important to expose children to as many forms of social interactions with as many diverse groups as you can earlier. Attend play dates with different people and cultural groups across different events and settings to help children understand social norms and expected behaviours. The fear in children stems from not knowing how to interact.
This is where going to school trumps over home schooling. In such social settings, children learn many skills and research has shown that children who attend school are outspoken and expressive, and show risk-taking behaviours about trying new experiences. These are the children that find little or no problem at all when they head out into the world. Kinderland assures parents that partners in quality care and education for young children, trust and good relations with centre staff will help propel your child to enjoy their childhood experiences.
Question answered by
Principal of Kinderland Preschool, MOE