The first day of preschool is a milestone in a child’s life. And parents can help prepare kids for this momentous occasion with everyday family routines that create a nurturing home environment.
According to researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, routines help develop a child’s social and emotional readiness. That’s the ability to handle the challenges of being away from mom and dad, and interact with other children in new environments. It may even contribute to future school and life successes.
Children who enter school with a low level of readiness are at greater risk of difficulties with reasoning and problem solving. They have a shorter attention span and less social acceptance — all problems that can affect academic achievement, health and well-being, not just during their school years, but also stretching into adulthood.
Family routines aren’t complicated. In fact, they’re rather simple activities like eating dinner together, singing songs, reading books, telling stories to your children and playing with them. Children who participate in five such family routines on a regular basis are more than twice as likely to have high social and emotional readiness. And that readiness rises with every additional routine you do with your child.
If you have preschool-aged children at home, make time for this important togetherness every day. And continue these bonding activities as your kids grow and flourish.
The Michigan State University Extension has more about school readiness and children’s social and emotional development.