Common Concerns during the Preschool Period
Developing a Preschooler’s Sense of Initiative
Children with well-developed sense of initiative have discovered that learning new things is fun. Parents who punish or criticize children for attempts at initiative may develop a sense of guilt for wanting to try new activities or new experiences. When children carry guilt at this period, they may carry these feelings of guilt into new situations and they may have difficulty making decisions later in life. Making decisions about changing a job or choosing which place to live may be difficult for adults who have guilt during their preschool years.
To gain a sense of initiative the parents should keep these things in mind:
- Preschoolers should be exposed to a variety of wide experiences and play materials. This is to promote learning as much as possible about the world. Trips to the zoo or amusement parks are good for this age.
- Seeing new places and going out with family on vacations increase a preschooler’s vocabulary.
- Parents should provide play materials that encourage creative play such as finger painting, blowing bubbles, mud to make pie pieces, sand caste building and modeling clay to be made into different shapes.
- Encourage parents to support creative plays but not to take over with it.
Dealing with a Preschooler’s Imitative Behavior
Preschoolers love imitating the actions and roles of people surrounding them. They love role playing and they imitate the work of the people they see. A boy who sees a fireman might end up imitating the actions and roles of the fireman he saw. The following are basic guidelines to embrace when dealing with a child’s imitative behavior:
- The fact that the child is imitating a role is far more important than getting the role absolutely correct. Thus, parents should allow fun role playing though the played role is not accurate.
- When a parent is concerned about a certain role, it is usually best NOT to stop the play to do so. For example, if the child is playing with the water hose because he is imitating the role of a firefighter, the parent could explain when driving past the fire station this is where firefighters work and they put out fires.
- Adults and parents surrounding the children should set a good example to the kid.