Life really is a preschool thing. Some of the most valuable life lessons we need to know, we learn even before we start to school. It’s interesting, no matter how old we are, much of what we teach our little ones is still foundational to joy in own lives. And when we think about it, what great examples we have to share with our little ones as we “Make It Personal” and encourage them to embrace what we are teaching.
Let’s Share. For little ones, this means taking some of what they have and love and letting someone else play with it. For preschoolers, this may be Hot Wheels cars, building blocks or plastic food from the play kitchen. When a new child arrives in the room, the first reaction of the child all ready playing is to encircle all the toys within their arms and pull them in closer.
So how can we show preschooler that we, as adults, share? We don’t have Hot Wheels to share. So how do we demonstrate sharing? If we donate a pair or two of our favorite shoes to a homeless shelter. That’s sharing. (Side note: Donate a pair of favorite shoes, not the worn out ones. Shelters always get the junk, but rarely anything new.) Or perhaps we could spend half of our Starbucks budget for the week on a gift card to give to a friend who’s going through rough times. These are ways we share. And if we can tell our preschoolers when we have done these things, in a very humble way, they can see that we are sharing, too.
Sharing. It’s a preschool thing that makes adult life better, too.
You First. This means letting someone else go first when you want to go now. For little ones, this is doing the impossible- waiting. Usually this instruction follows a loud whine from one child who wants to play with the newest toy in the room. When there is only one fire truck, one rocking chair, or one ride-on car, waiting patiently without crying, screaming or forcibly taking it from another child is a big ask for preschoolers.
For “big” people, letting someone else be first seems so unproductive in our lives. We have things to do and places to be. Whether it’s letting someone merge in ahead of us in traffic or waiting our turn at the Redbox, the idea of letting others go first and doing so patiently, can still be a challenge. Even at the office, letting someone else take the spotlight in a team meeting is a grown up version of “taking turns.” To do it without complaining or being impatient can still be a very difficult task. But when we do, what a great example we have for our kids!
Taking turns. It’s a Preschool thing that makes adult life better, too.
Don’t Worry. If the subject of sleeping in the dark or spending the night away from home is brought up, kids will often tell you that they are afraid. As you get to know them better, you may find that kids are afraid of their parents going away or the monster in the closet. We often tell our little ones, “Be brave! God is with you!” And for the moment, they feel better and tears subside. But the when the next storm blows through and the lightening and thunder rumble, tears return. “Be Brave!” we remind them, “God is always with you.”
For adults, we may be passed the monster-in-the-closet issue, but there seems to be times in everyone’s life when fear creeps in. Fear over job security. Fear over relationships. Fear over an unpredictable future. How many times do we remind ourselves that, God’s got it. We can trust Him no matter what. It usually takes more than one reminder, but eventually we grow to trust Him more and fear less. We can use these times to encourage our little ones to be brave. We can share a time that we trusted God and He was there for us!
Trust. It’s a preschool thing that makes adult life better, too.
As we are purposeful in finding ways to connect with our preschoolers, making it personal is not as difficult as it might seem at first. After all, we as adults, still do have a lot in common with preschoolers!
How have you made it personal for your preschoolers?