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  • How to Help Your Child Face 5 Big School Challenges

    Big school, from homework to friends, can be intimidating. Help her overcome with these tips.
    by Kat Castaneda .
How to Help Your Child Face 5 Big School Challenges
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  • The transition from preschool to a big school is a milestone not only for your child but for you, the parent, as well. With it comes challenges your child will face: how will she make friends? How does she deal with competition? How should she handle a tighter schedule? Heed this advice to five big school problems:

    We enrolled my daughter in a nearby school when we moved house. As a transferee, she told me that she misses her old buddies and worries she won’t make new friends in her new school. What do I tell her?
    More than going to a new school, making new friends can be very difficult. Encourage your child by saying, "Don't worry, you’ll enjoy the many beautiful places you’ll visit in our new place." Tell your child to raise her chin with confidence and smile at the new people she will meet in school. Your child can make the first move after she meets new people by introducing herself and giving the other person a compliment. Assure your child that as long as she is being herself, she will find real friends who will accept her for who she is.

    My 5-year old is easily disheartened whenever he fails. During one soccer game, when his team lost, he told me he wants to quit. How do I teach him that failing is part of the learning experience, and motivate him to do better next time?
    First off, allow your child to show his feelings whenever he loses a game. If he feels disappointed, assure him that it is okay to feel that way, and in fact, that is the normal thing to feel in that kind of situation. However, at 5 years old, coping with the situation can be hard. Tell your child, "I know it feels bad to lose a game, but you will get through this. Sometimes you win, other times you lose. Just cheer on your teammates and try your best next time!"

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    Since my child started schooling, she would use recess and lunchtime to play with her friends. When she gets home, I find that she took only a few bites from her baon. Any tips on what type of baon are enticing, easy to finish, but still nutritious?
    Three essential food groups must be included to your kid’s baon: protein, carbs and fats. The best example of this would be a sandwich, which you can pack with a nutritious chocolate drink or ready-to-drink milk as supplement. You can also give a slice of fruit and milk to go with the sandwich. See also the nutritional value found at the back of every food product.

    My daughter enjoys reading and writing her own stories, but she feels pressured around other children whom she thinks are faster readers and writers. How do I encourage her?
    Provide a positive environment that encourages and promotes a love for reading and writing. Challenge your child little by little, but also let her try things on her own. Give her the book she loves and introduce another book that might be more challenging for her. Give words of encouragement to boost her confidence such as “Wow! You read that book really quick!” or “I didn’t realize you knew those words already, good job!” Support your child’s skills, but also let her do so at her own pace.

    My daughter does well in school, but refuses to do her homework unless I prod her. She insists on more time for play. How can we build a routine at home where we won’t have to fight?
    Sometimes it takes a lot of trial and error. Could it be that she needs to rest for a while before tackling assignments? Find a system you are both comfortable with, one that she is able to follow, then supervise to make sure she sticks to it. Make sure she gets a say in the routine, and when she gets one task done, that she can do something fun, like play. Hopefully she'll find the motivation to do her homework this way!

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    Kat Castañeda is a preschool teacher, writer, and mom of two. She runs Momtroopers, a blog meant to share creative and practical tips on teaching and parenting. Besides work life, she focuses on homeschooling her kids while maintaining a home, but still allows herself some Mama me-time.

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