If you’re a parent uncertain about whether to send your child to preschool, consider that preschool offers invaluable benefits that can greatly impact the course of your child’s life. It boosts cognitive development and gives children a head start in learning social skills that will likely affect their future relationships. It also provides children with an educational foundation that increases their chances of academic success. It even goes so far as to influence their future employment and earned income.
Exposure to Personality Differences
Preschool offers an opportunity for your child to interact with other children. Your child will be exposed to many different personalities and must learn to get along with children who might be shy or introverted as well as with those who might be outgoing or even aggressive. Preschool allows children to understand that each person is unique and must be respected as such. It also teaches them how to handle themselves around children who might be less compliant or not as well-mannered as others. Such lessons at a young age are valuable and often necessary in preparing the little tykes for the diverse personalities they will encounter in later childhood and adulthood.
Development of Social Skills
Preschool provides a social setting for children that mimic situations they will need to know how to handle later in life. While your child may be the center of attention at home with every toy or fun activity at his or her disposal, in preschool your child is competing for attention against a group of other children. Your child must learn the concept of sharing, taking turns and working as a team, which may not be as easy as it sounds for someone accustomed to getting his or her way at home.
Preschool offers a forum for teaching children how to handle themselves in a group setting, such as in a classroom, at a birthday party, in line at the grocery store and in other social situations. They learn courtesy and respect. They learn to be considerate and take into account the needs and feelings of other people. They might also learn what makes someone laugh or smile as well as what makes someone angry or upset. It’s the kind of priceless education that carries them through their lives.
By the same token, preschool affords children the opportunity to be subjected to unbiased observation. This can weed out any behavior problems, social shortcomings and difficulties with following instructions or interacting with others. At preschool age, children are still young enough to have problem behaviors successfully corrected. Their personalities are still being shaped, making it is easier to steer them in the right direction at that age than when they are older and more set in their ways. This early intervention helps them stay out of trouble and become more productive and successful members of society.
Builds Independence, Confidence and Trust
Preschool places children in an unfamiliar setting with unfamiliar faces. It introduces them to authority figures outside the family, authority figures they must listen to or be reprimanded by. Your child will come to realize that you will not always be physically present to offer guidance and comfort. Such a realization encourages emotional maturity and independence. It helps them know that they can be away from their parents and still be safe. It infuses them with feelings of accomplishment, security and confidence, a sense that they can get along without constant parental supervision.
The preschool experience is also an early education in trust. Children learn to trust their teachers and, through working and playing with other children, they learn to trust and rely on each other. This can forge strong bonds and lead to friendships that can last a lifetime.
Another benefit of preschool is that it gives children an educational head start. They learn to match colors and shapes, they learn songs and stories and they develop vocabulary, communication, writing, reading and mathematical skills that given them an advantage not only when they start kindergarten, but throughout their educational career. They learn not just from instruction, but from watching each other perform tasks and by collaborating together, something they might not experience with home schooling.
Research on the subject confirms that children who attend preschool do better in school overall, including at the college level, and perform better on standardized tests. Such academic success leads to greater employment opportunities and successful careers.
Provides Future Stability
Studies indicate that those who attend preschool are less likely to be troubled teenagers and have lower instances of teen pregnancies. They tend to be more gainfully employed and earn better incomes than those who do not attend preschool. They are also more stable in their personal relationships, with more cohesive families, stronger marriages and lower divorce rates.
In conclusion, preschool gives your child a significant advantage in many aspects of life. It teaches fundamental skills and provides a foundation for future success and stability. It’s an important step in your child’s development.