At this age, children can really benefit from going to preschool. It’s here that they can start learning about other people’s rules and how to get along with other children in a formal setting. Your preschooler needs boundaries that guide his natural enthusiasm but that don’t dampen his passion for life. Boundaries and a routine offer him security. They protect him from getting overwhelmed by too much responsibility before he’s ready.

Preschool children are still trying to learn the everyday things that we take for granted, like how we talk to each other. For example, you might think he is not listening to you but maybe he is still trying to figure out what someone said five minutes ago!  In trying to understand the world around them, we have to forgive preschoolers for being a bit distracted. A good rule is to always budget for another 30 minutes when doing things with your preschooler.

Here are some extra things to keep in mind about preschooler behaviour:

Reminders. Preschoolers have short memories and are easily distracted. You may need to remind them about things several times. (Test this. Try saying, ‘I will give you a piece of chocolate tomorrow morning’ and see if he remembers.)

Show him how you feel. If you can tell him honestly how his behaviour affects you, he recognises his own emotions in yours, like a mirror, and is be able to feel for you. So you might say, ‘I’m getting upset because there is so much noise I can’t talk on the phone.’ When you start the sentence with ‘I’, it gives your child the chance to change things for your sake.

Change the environment. When he is getting frustrated because his baby sister keeps crawling over his jigsaw puzzle, try to find a quiet spot where he can play undisturbed.

Explain the consequences of his behaviour so he can figure out why something is wrong. This helps give him a better understanding of the world around him.

Remember, it is the behaviour that is unacceptable, not your child.

Time-out is one discipline tool that parents can use to discourage undesirable behaviour. Find out how to make time-out work.

(Raising Children Network)

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