The earliest years of a child’s upbringing can be the most important in many ways. Professionals who teach pre-school are always keeping an eye out to see whether children are developing mentally, physically, and socially. A variety of important life skills and character traits – fostered at an early age – will serve them well as they grow and face the rigors of education, work, and life in general. These skills relate to all facets of a child’s development from the cognitive base to the emotional. Parents and pre-school teachers have a duty to ensure that children gradually develop a sense of independence that enables them comprehend, adapt, and function at a high level.
In many cases, development of these life skills happens quite naturally, particularly when consistently monitored and encouraged or corrected. To an adult, these skills and traits might seem mundane or trivial, but incremental development of them can have a profoundly positive impact on their futures.
WHAT SKILLS TO BUILD
Even ordinary tasks as simple as putting one’s clean clothes away carefully or washing their hands before eating a meal are hugely important. In some sense, these are the first steps that a child takes in educating himself or herself regarding concepts like organization, self-reliance, and hygiene. Pre-school children between the ages of three and five are usually not ready to study or work, but can readily learn these skills through structured interactive play and positive reinforcement.
HOW TO MAXIMIZE LIFE SKILL BUILDING
In order to master these skills, children will not only need to observe adults doing them but also gain experience performing particular tasks themselves. Certain skills will come quicker than others, especially because no single child is the same as another. As such, pre-school teachers and parents should pay careful attention to which skills are being developed properly and which still require practice. In some cases, a child may need extra help in order to fully understand and learn certain skills. In addition to pre-school, toddlers participating in structured group activities such as pre-school karate frequently learn from an age-appropriate curriculum specifically designed to build life skills in addition to physical and mental skills.
Perhaps one of the most important life skills that must be presented to pre-school children is the ability to interact properly and cooperate with other children as well as adult authority figures. While independence is certainly important, building the social skills of a child begins at the youngest of ages. Social skills and cooperation can sometimes be difficult to measure, and more
often than not require intensive observation on the part of the pre-school teacher or parent. In order to fully allow a child to develop such skills, it is important for pre-school teachers and parents to clearly define their expectations of a child and put into place measures that maximize the capacity for a child to learn and adopt them.