Parents are keen to see their preschooler succeed in school, but they may not know how to create the environment for success.
They may have misconceptions about their child’s readiness for school, said Ms Zhang Gui Yue, a psychologist at the child development unit of the National University Hospital.
MISTAKE 1: Parents often equate school readiness with academic preparedness
Academic skills like reading and counting are crucial to school readiness, but being good at schoolwork does not mean that your child can cope well with the transition and learning in school, she said.
Basic skills, such as the ability to work independently and follow classroom rules and routines, are more important. The lack of communication and self-help skills can lead to stress and anxiety, she said.
Ms Zhang advises parents to be positive and encouraging.
“Rather than chasing academic excellence, it is more important to make learning and the school experience an enjoyable process,” she said.
“A happy and well-adjusted kid is more likely to learn better and achieve success in school.”
MISTAKE 2: Some parents think their child will be ready for primary school, no matter what, just like his elder brother or sister
Every child is unique, said Ms Zhang. “Each child has his own temperament, learning style and abilities.”
Some children develop certain skills earlier or later than others, while others need more time to adjust to a new routine and environment, she added.
Read more of our Primary 1 stories here:
How to prepare your child for Primary 1
A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times.