Child Requires Constant Praise

Question: Our daughter's kindergarten teacher is concerned because our child has to be encouraged or praised to do even the most routine tasks. It's the same story at home, but we accept that this is just the way our child is. Should we be concerned? - Puzzled.

Answer: Young children need considerable praise and encouragement, and it is important for them to receive it from parents and teachers. Nevertheless, the teacher has a valid point - children need to be able to do routine tasks, both at school and at home, without receiving any special inducements. By kindergarten, young children should be learning how to become self-starters. If they haven't, they will encounter problems later on in the primary grades when they must handle more and more routine tasks.

In a classroom with many other young children, it simply isn't realistic to expect the teacher to give your child special attention in order for her to do routine tasks. You can turn things around now by teaching your child how to become a self-starter. For example, assign her one routine task that she is to complete each day. At first you might have to remind her to begin the task. When she does a good job, it is appropriate to thank her for handling the task well and also for beginning and completing the task independently. Once she can effectively handle one task, add others.