Parenting Preschool Kids
A once famous comedian said, “I started out as a child.” Uh Huh.
Parenting begins after the pregnancy is confirmed. There’s a room to decorate, a decision to make about knowing the gender, and a name to choose. There’s lots of conversation about a baby being in the house. And invariably the question, “What kind of parents will we be?”
Getting Some Help
I asked my friend Melissa, our church’s Pre-School Minister, for some advice. In addition to her ministerial duties, she’s been our Vine Preschool Director for 10 years, taught in the preschool for 2 years, and was a public-school teacher for 6 years. She and her husband are raising two boys, 14 and 11.
The Help & Advice
Me: What challenges are parents of preschool children facing?
Melissa: Their biggest challenges are with schedules and habits: meals, snacks, naps, and bedtime. Preschoolers need routines and when they get out of their routines it can be upsetting. They get tired, cranky, and difficult. The whole house ia affected and the harmony of the home disturbed. When you’re in this stage of life, it can seem like your days are LONG. But, these years are so SHORT.
Me: Are parents concerned about outside influences?
Melissa: Obviously, preschoolers aren’t in school yet, so their issues are different. They don’t face relational problems such as peer pressure. They aren’t aware of conflict or challenged by world problems. Those outside issues come into play once they start school. Parents are in control of the child’s environment when they are preschool age to keep them safe and happy and exposed to only the things they want them to be.
Me: What advice do you have for parents regarding spiritual training?
Melissa: Preschool children have only a generalized understanding of things, but they can learn to pray and can learn bible stories. You can tell by listening to a PS child pray if they have been praying at home, as they watch and learn A LOT from their parents. Those whose parents pray with them are usually comfortable with praying and are good at it.
Me: Are parents of preschool children effective in spiritual training?
Melissa: I believe so. They are excited about being a parent, and conscientious about their children’s spiritual development, so they will enroll them in a Christian preschool, in Sunday bible school, and will participate in age appropriate church events. But still, parents of preschoolers have the biggest influence on their kid’s lives. At this age, they look to their parents for their value and worth. So, take advantage of this time. As your kids age, these parent/child roles will change.
Me: What’s been most important to you in raising your own kids?
Melissa: For them to keep their faith each time they leave the house.
Thank you, Melissa, for sharing your insights and wisdom, it’s much appreciated!
If you are a parent of preschoolers, then be encouraged to establish good patterns and good habits. If you haven’t already done so, then get your family rooted in a bible based church that is loving, accepting, and that places a high priority on children.
Remember: You are the best thing that ever happened to your kids.
Tomorrow: Parenting elementary age kids.