Posts Tagged ‘ presents: Stop Second Guessing Yourself – The Preschool Years’

Blog Love:

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Jen Singer, over at, is my hero. The woman has been there, done that:

  • Create blog? Check
  • Write (multiple) books? Check
  • Become a cancer survivor? Yep. And although I’m pretty sure this was one challenge that wasn’t originally on her to-do list, she writes about it with candor — and (because that’s Jen) humor.
  • Become a superhero (with great legs)? Oh, yeah.
  • Oh! And she does stand-up comedy:

Vist and you’ll see what I’m talking about. And be sure to ask her where she got those superhero boots.

Three Things Nobody Tells You About Preschoolers

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Welcome, Jen Singer, who is guest posting today!
Jen is the creator of and the author of presents: Stop Second Guessing Yourself – The Preschool Years (HCI, September 2009). She offers up three things nobody tells you about parenting preschoolers — and how to deal with them…

If you’re just coming out of the exhausting, filled-with-major-milestones toddler years, you may wonder what lies ahead. Preschoolers are like tiny teens in light-up sneakers: increasingly independent and yet in dire need of your supervision and guidance as they spend less and less time with you. A few tips:

1. Their milestones are far more nebulous. Your toddler hit the Grand Slams of Milestones: walking, talking, potty training. But your preschooler’s milestones are a little less concrete. As you parent your three-to-five-year-old, you’ll come to learn about fine and gross motor skills, socialization and kindergarten readiness, among others. They’re a wishy-washy bunch of milestones, but you can learn to deal with them as your child gets ready for preschool and beyond.

What to do. One of the most-important milestones is getting your child get ready for school. Picture a preschool teacher trying to help 20 three-year-olds on with their coats, and you’ll see why these teaching your child these basics are as important as going over counting and colors. The school-readiness three:
a. Teach him to put on his own coat.
b. Teach her how to share with playdates, playgroups and have lots of patience.
c. Teach her how to sit still (or at least more still than usual) with floor time and bedtime reading.

2. Discipline becomes more difficult as your preschooler becomes more verbal.

You’ve decided that your preschooler should wear her pink dress on the first day of school, but she has different plans – and she tells you so. Before you know it, you feel like you’re in mediation with a very skilled lawyer who has compiled compelling reasons why her Cinderella Halloween costume would be more suitable garb for the occasion.

What to do: Step up the sophistication of your discipline plan as your three-to-five-year-old gets more and more savvy. Preschoolers have great verbal skills and a frighteningly proficient ability to push your buttons. The Time-Outs that worked for your toddler need to be amped up now. Here’s how:
a. Choose which behaviors are misdemeanors and which are felonies beforehand, so you know what to correct as they come.
b. Be as emotionless as possible when you dole out consequences, because preschoolers love to get your goat.
c. Don’t set up a Time-Out in a fun spot, like the middle of the playroom.
d. A Time-Out should equal one minute for each year of age.
e. Revisit the infraction after the Time-Out ends by talking about it.
f. Stick to your guns. If you skip a Time-Out now, your preschooler will make note of it for later.

3. Preschoolers can be far more independent than we give them credit for.
Your preschooler just got up from the kitchen table, leaving behind his empty plate and cup. You think nothing of it. After all, you’ve been waiting on him since he was born. But now that your child is more dexterous and able to focus better than when he was a toddler, he’s ready to take on more tasks around the house.

What to do: Anybody who actually likes to sing the Barney ‘Clean-Up’ song ought to be put to work. I’m not talking about scrubbing floors while singing songs from ‘Oliver,’ but preschoolers can do a variety of chores – and they may actually enjoy them. Get started by:
a. Making it easy. Stick to simple tasks, like putting toys in the toy box or putting cups in the dishwasher.
b. Giving guidance. Break out tasks with simple steps, such as “Put your doll in the toy box… Good! Now put your socks in the hamper… Good!”
c. Set a deadline. She’ll be more likely to clean her stuff off the coffee table now if you tell her to finish it by the time the egg timer rings.
d. Praise, praise, praise. Who doesn’t want some positive feedback when they help out around the house?