Q:

What are typical problems my child might encounter when she starts kindergarten? And what will her teacher expect her to be able to do? -- Worried Mom

A:

Parents, as a one-time kindergarten teacher, I want you to relax! I know that this can be difficult. You just can't know how things will go for your child. Young children have different problems during the first few weeks as they adjust to going to the bathroom away from home, eating lunch in a noisy cafeteria and having to become part of a class.

The best thing that parents can do during this adjustment period is to give your child and the teacher some time to solve any problems together. Children will have meltdowns and may fidget during story time, but the classroom teacher has handled most of these problems before.

What kindergarten teachers do appreciate is children who can:

  • -Handle all their personal needs, such as going to the bathroom or putting on a coat.
  • -Play harmoniously with other children, share toys and games, and respect the property of others.
  • -Handle conflict situations.
  • -Make simple choices.
  • -Speak clearly enough to be understood.
  • -Express their own needs and wants.
  • -Follow rules and understand the need for them.
  • -Know and follow basic safety rules.
  • -Follow simple directions.
  • -Be happy away from home.
  • -Speak in complete sentences, avoiding baby talk.
  • -Follow a series of three directions.
  • -Draw rather than scribble.
  • -Have a basic understanding of how to use crayons, paints, paste and clay.
  • -Work independently for at least five minutes.
  • -Listen to a story for five to 10 minutes.