Character Development – Not Reciting ABCs – is Key To Toddlers’ Success in Preschool
San Francisco, Calif., January 9, 2006 – Learning numbers and ABCs are not the most important lessons young children should master before heading off to preschool, a new report finds. In fact, parents who focus too much on academic and technical skills like number and letter recognition in preschool-aged children may inadvertently be overlooking the fundamental building blocks toddlers need to get along with others and do well in school, according to a national survey of 350 preschool teachers conducted by Horizon Research Corporation.
The issue, according to 80% of the preschool teachers surveyed, is that parents need support and guidance when it comes to learning how their children develop, and are overemphasizing scholastic skills versus social development. Teachers indicated that parents who support their children’s verbal communications, ability to follow directions and participate in group activities will help their children get the most out of preschool and will help cut down on behavioral problems inside the classroom and out.
Teachers recommend the best method for teaching children of preschool age the necessary social skills is to expose them to social settings where there are other children. Examples include playgroups, parent-child development classes and play dates.
The teachers surveyed also said that societal pressures have undoubtedly influenced parents’ thinking and behavior as it relates to the development of their children. “In today’s competitive world, parents feel pressured to push their children to get an early jump-start on academic skills,” said family therapist and parent educator Sheri Glucoft Wong. “This survey demonstrates that parents can have a more important influence on their young children’s eventual school success by supporting basic social and character development and by providing them with opportunities to play and learn in cooperation with others.”