Tag Archives: Distracted

Tips for starting kindergarten.

Tips for starting ‘big school’
(Otherwise known as kindergarten)

My little man is starting kindergarten next year (approx 4 months away), and my ovaries are bursting with pride and sadness.

Pride because he is growing into a beautiful little man who has so many great qualities. Sad because he is growing up too fast.

I’ve been thinking about the difference between preschool and kindergarten and what he will need to learn or know before starting his big school experience.

Here are a few tips that I have come up with.

What tips do you have that makes the transition easier?

– Eat in a timely manner
Currently his preschool provides the meals and they all sit down together to eat. They serve themselves and clear their plates etc which makes getting him ready for preschool just that bit quicker. Big school they need packed lunches and I’m pretty sure the teachers don’t go around telling the children to eat, so therefore he needs to learn to eat his recess in that time frame and his lunch also within the given time frame.

They are need to know how to open and close their lunch boxes including lids and various containers along with snap lock bags and cling wrap if the school they are attending allows. Most schools are now ‘plastic free’ which means only containers with lids etc and no cling wrap or snap lock plastic bags.

– Toilet locks and going alone
At preschool there are no cubicles. They all use the bathroom together, it’s unisex and it’s open. I was recently told to teach him how to lock a cubicle behind himself for privacy. Also being able to undo their own buttons and zippers on pants if need be without an adult assisting.

– Belongings
My little guy is pretty good with not loosing things. Good to the extent that if he can’t find something his owns, he gets worried that he will be in trouble of me for loosing it. Perhaps that’s my downfall with getting him to be responsible for his own things at such an early age? They do need to be responsible for their belongings st school because even though there may be a ‘lost and found’. If a hat is left in the playground, it most likely won’t be handed in or have a teacher do the after school rounds and find all forgotten’ items.

– Sharing
Being able to share toys, pencils and other items. Knowing when to give another a turn, and when it’s their turn without having a tantrum or meltdown. I think most kids by the age of 3 have this down pat, however it is a good skill to polish up on prior to being in a larger group scenario.

– Social Skills
Being able to interact with other children and play together rather than simultaneously. I think social skills is important to know, but again these children are only 4 and 5 years old. Are we expecting too much from them? At what stage should we expect good social skills?

– Alphabet and Numbers
I recently read somewhere that children by the age of 5, should be able to count to 30 and know their alphabet? My 4 year definitely knows his alphabet but can only count to 20-25 without getting the sequence jumbled?

– Name writing
Do they need to be able to write their first and last name? Again my 4 year old can write his first name, and really quite neatly. He jumbled up our surname but it also has 6 letters in it. Is this a priority?

– Listening to instruction
Paying attention to the teachers whomever is speaking. Using listening ears and sitting quietly without being easily distracted or distracting others. Now call me silly or naive, but I would assume that most 4/5 year old can still be easily distracted? My little man can sit quietly, but not for hours on end. He will sit through a movie, start to finish but can also be distracted in a group activity. Does this mean he isn’t ready for kindergarten or will this be something that they work with him on and expect that young ones sometimes get distracted?

Can you add to my list?

Or what do you think is important?

Parenting whilst distracted.

Parenting whilst distracted.

I’ve previously written an article on a similar subject but I feel very strongly about it and recently read a very informative article by an extremely reputable paediatric specialist. This was also on SBS recently so I felt I needed to share this information from someone who does know what they are talking about.

Their words are easy to understand and this makes absolute sense to me.

I’m not saying there is no place for technology, we live in a very technologically advanced world, however what I am saying, is that there is a time and place for it.

Our children are only young once. Enjoy the time.

Have a read and let me know your thoughts.

Parenting while distracted.
I’ve been a pediatrician for 20 years, and I thought I’d seen it all. But not long ago, when a father brought his 2-year-old into my clinic, something happened that has me deeply concerned.
Written By Jane Scott
Source The Washington Post
11 AUG 2014 –

I’ve been a pediatrician for 20 years, and I thought I’d seen it all. But not long ago, when a father brought his 2-year-old into my clinic, something happened that has me deeply concerned.

Upon entering my examining room, I found father and son sitting together, eyes downcast, each silently scrolling and tapping on smartphones. During my initial exam, the father directed most of my questions to his frowning toddler, who indicated that his ears hurt, and I quickly discovered that both eardrums were red and inflamed.

“Guess what?” I said to my small patient. “Your ears hurt because you have an ear infection. But we can give you medicine and make you better.” I smiled at the little boy and his father. Immediately, the child picked up his phone and pushed a button. “Siri,” he asked carefully. “What ear ‘fection?”

At age 2, a few minutes on a smartphone isn’t a big deal; screen time is a part of growing up today, and most parents try to set appropriate limits. But when a child so young turned to a machine for information instead of to his father, it made me wonder: Just how limited was his parents’ screen time? What I saw was modeled behavior — a child who has learned that when he has a question, Siri, and not Dad, is most readily available with an answer.

It’s hard to say for sure based on this one moment, but there can be no doubt about the larger trend: Parents today are probably the most informed and involved generation in history. And, yet, in the company of their children, they often act as though they’d rather be someplace else. That’s what they’re saying when they break eye contact to glance at their push notifications or check Facebook when they think their child’s distracted. The parents are present, their attention is not.

In my practice, I see evidence every day of how such inattention affects kids. It’s expressed in temper tantrums and separation anxiety, and older children who resist discipline. Most parents are taught that this is all normal, that children are biologically wired this way. Not exactly. Yes, all of this is normal attention-getting behavior, but it often is preventable.

Consider the results of a March study by researchers from Boston Medical Center who carefully observed caregivers and children at fast-food restaurants. Out of 55 caregivers, 40 used their mobile devices, and their absorption was such that their “primary engagement was with the device, rather than the child.” In many cases, the caregivers expressed irritation when the children tried to get their attention. One observer watched a woman push a small boy away as he took her face in his hands in an attempt to get her to look up from her tablet.

It’s possible all those adults were following an urgent work email thread. More likely, they were on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. A 2011 Nielsen poll found that people with children use social media more than those without. Maybe these adults were reading an article shared by another parent. Maybe they were making plans with friends and family. But they were definitely communicating to their children that they were less important than whatever was on those devices.

This might seem absurd to today’s parents, who feel like they give themselves to their children in ways previous generations never imagined. But the undivided attention that children need from us is in jeopardy. Most people just don’t realize how much time they’re spending online; what feels like a few minutes is often a half hour or more. When we are with our children, we need to be with our children — not with them except for the part of us that’s reading emails, tweeting and checking Facebook.

Another reason for parents to put down their phones: Though Facebook may provide community, it can also promote competition and unreachable standards of perfection. Through Facebook, we read an endless litany of our friends’ boasts about their children. It’s enough to make a person wonder what she’s doing wrong because her child prefers plain pasta over the curry special or “Old MacDonald” to Chopin. Though most parents would say they’re not competitive in this way, many worry privately that they might be short-changing their kids.

Social media has a place and a purpose, but too many parents are creating unnecessary stress by trying to be in two places at once, while modeling to their children that online relationships take precedence over real ones. In an era of constant distraction, we must decide what’s more important: heeding the constant ping of our devices or telling our children, in word and deed, “I am listening. I am here. And there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”