UNDERSTANDING YOUR PRESCHOOLER’S NEEDS … AFTER A DAY AT SCHOOL
Is your child like ours?
You pick them up from school or you arrive home after being at work and you ask your child how school was. We get, “Nice” or “Fine” or even “Nothing”. At one point we actually asked our son’s teacher if he really didn’t play with any of the other kids.
It really frustrates the living sh*t out of me.
All I want is to hear how much fun he had at school. Who he played with? What he learned … etc.
It. Doesn’t. Happen! If it does, is so rare!
I’ve read posts about how to ask kids about their day like …”Who did you have fun with today at school?” or “Did Ms. T read you a nice story today?” but honestly none of these questions get me more than … yes, and you guessed it and a … “Nice” or “Fine”!
So when I came across this post “Dear Mummy, this is how I really feel after a long day at preschool” the penny kinda dropped for me. It all started to make so much sense to me. Here I am trying to make our son feel that I am interested in all that took place in his day, which I totally am, and all it seems he wants is to chill in our company as his parents, in his comfort place and be left alone for a while.
Here are some tips to understand them a little more…
DON’T BE TALKING TO THEM
Very similar to how I feel when I get home and hubby just wants to ask me a million and one questions about my day, and all I want is to grab a glass of wine or bottle of Radler beer escape reality for a few minutes. Well, that’s how our young preschooler feels it seems. They are so young and have been stretching those brain cells all day, all they want now to CHILL and UNWIND sans any form of mental stimulation that requires more use of their brain cells.
LET THEM WATCH SOME TV
So many times I’ve arrived home, I’ve just sat my ass on the sofa and watched something that just took me away from reality for a while. Think about this, there’s so much punting about managing the amount of screen time our kids have lately, but the reality is that by the time they get home and they want to catch one of their favourite shows on the TV they have actually spent a full day in the playground outside at school. They have been introduced to so many new things, and memorized so much all day at school, while they sat still paying attention to their teachers. Just as you the adult wants to switch off and forget about your day for a while, so do our preschoolers.
GIVE THEM A SNACK … YES, BEFORE SUPPER
Now, I know we have a very fussy eater in our son most of the time. Preparing school lunch packs can be a challenge at the best of times. There have been times that when we unpack his school bag, not everything has been eaten. At times it’s because he really doesn’t like what I’ve packed. He does not enjoy anything that has “things” embedded in them, for example, muffins with raisins in them. There are times though that he hasn’t eaten because of the fun in the playground that has just been so much more fun vs eating! So we have a hungry child arriving home from school that wants to nibble on something, just an hour before dinner.
TEARS AND CUDDLES ARE FINE
It’s already such a huge step for our preschoolers to be away from us, their parents, for so long every school day. Added to this, they are expected to behave in a certain manner, listen all day, to so many new things being shared by their teachers. When they are with us at home, they want to be your baby and to be loved, cuddled and treated a little like the child they are to you. Free from being a “big” boy or girl and that it’s ok. The article I wrote says they just want to lie next to the parent and smell them. It’s so true. Have actually experienced it with our son a few times when we’re reading at bedtime, he snuggles and I find him taking in my scent.
So next time you see your child after a long day at work and them at school, remember that although they are growing up way too quickly, they still want to be our baby for as long as possible. Think about how you feel and how you want to be treated after a day at the office, and try and see it from your child’s perspective, they may just want the same treatment.
Having read the post written from the child’s perspective, it made so much sense to me.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS, DOES IT APPLY TO YOU AND YOUR CHILD TOO?