Kindergarten and beyond: teaching values and discipline
It’s important during the early years to set a routine for your children and yourself. That way your days are structured and there’s little chaos. In theory, at least. In reality, there’s hundreds of little things that can send routines into a spin and you run out of time to do certain things. Teaching your children the value of routine, discipline and respect will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
- Set up a ‘chore chart’
Children aren’t used to responsibility, and that’s why it’s essential to teach them this through their kindergarten years. Have a chart on the wall somewhere, decorated with colours or something cheery, that lists jobs that every member of the family must do. For the little ones, it doesn’t have to be too big. Something as simple as setting the table will do.
As they grow up, add jobs to the list, or other tasks they have to complete. This will eventually include homework, music/sports practice, and even taking out the rubbish. Having a points and rewards system is an incentive for good behaviour.
- Make a set time for bed and eating
These routines are important after the children graduate kindergarten. While Eskay doesn’t have set eating times, ‘big school’ will and it’s important that kids understand it.
It’s also essential for children to get enough sleep. Young ones need 10-12 hours a night. They won’t get nap time in school, unlike kindergarten, so having a solid rest (combined with a good breakfast) stops any dozing off during class.
- Enforce good manners
Children are very impressionable and copy what they see without understanding the context or consequences. This is especially mortifying if they’re copying bad manners.
Parents will take the initiative to teach their children the importance of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ at home, and teachers certainly encourage it at kindergarten and big school.
- Not everyone’s the same
Everyone has different values, speaks different languages, and has a different family dynamic. In Australia, this is especially true. During kindergarten, children learn to respect the opinions and backgrounds of others as part of the Early Years Learning Framework. It’s important to carry this on when kindy finishes to make sure your child understands how large the world is, and everyone in it is unique.
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