Your Pre-Kindergartner

Social Emotional

To be “good with people.” It seems like such a simple skill, but it’s such an important one – and your kid is learning it now. She’s finding out how to fit in, but still be herself. She’s seeing how to trust her own skills, but still try new things. She’s getting better at predicting how a classmate might react to something, but she still has to be ready for surprises.

It’s an age when we, as kids, experience plenty of contradictions. As her parent, you probably deal with a wide range of emotions, too. The happy, outgoing kid you dropped off at preschool may be quiet and grumpy when you see her later.

What matters most right now is that she’s learning to deal with her feelings. You’re seeing her getting better and better at explaining what’s going on in her head. Don’t expect her to have full control just yet, of course. Just being there for her, through the ups and downs, is exactly what she needs.

Multilingual Learning — Many Paths to Language Skills

Here’s How I Feel.

What does your kid do when he sees a friend is upset? It probably depends on the day – anything from offering comfort to making sure he doesn’t get blamed! But he’s also becoming more aware of his own feelings, and learning how to deal with them. Think back to him as a baby, and it’s clear: Your kid has come a long way.

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

Do children use lots of feeling words throughout the day? Learning to talk about emotions and show empathy for others is essential -- and teachers should be helping them and reacting positively throughout the day. "I hear you saying that you are frustrated."

Different is OK.

“Uh-oh,” you think. “I always pick her up from school, but next week I’ll need to find another ride for her. I wonder how she’ll take it?” Then, much to your surprise, she adapts! Your kid is learning, little by little, how to go with the flow. This will make things easier for both of you.

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

Do teachers support children in managing changes to the daily schedule -- or perhaps some not-all-that-positive ideas? Children are learning about self-control and choice making, and adults should be helping them manage challenges while giving them chances to make their own choices.

We Can Work It Out.

You may have had to “step in” when he had disagreements with other kids in the past. Now, don’t be surprised if he’s the one who suggests a solution. Your little peacemaker may not always succeed – or even try – but it’s great to see any attempts. Feel free to help him figure out what will work best.

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

Children at this age are learning how resolve their own conflicts independently. When a disagreement pops up, are children working through it -- or encouraged to do so? Are teachers ready to support them if and when they need a little help?

I Love My Friends.

There’s not much better than having a Best Friend. And your kid may be in the right stage to experience this now. She could even be ready to show how much she likes another person, whether they’re her own age or an adult, with some kind words or a handmade craft. Awww…

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

Friendship and compromise skills blossom in pre-K. Do adults encourage happy and enthusiastic interactions? Are children welcomed and called by name -- by one another?

All children learn and grow at their own pace and in their own way. For more information about the skills and milestones for your child's age check out our developmental milestones resource page. If you continue to have concerns or questions please give us a call at 1-800-299-1627.