Avoiding Homework Battles & Kindergarten Social Skills - MetroFamily Magazine
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Avoiding Homework Battles & Kindergarten Social Skills

by Peggy Gisler, Marge Eberts

Reading Time: 2 minutes 

Question: How can I avoid the nightly homework battle with my second-grader? There has got to be an easier way! – Seeking Peace

Answer: Most homework battles occur over  the time it is to be started. This needs to be  set in stone. A contract between parent and child can resolve most homework battles. Find a contract on our website (DearTeacher.com) under the Skill Builders section of  the Resources category. If you decide to use  a contract, we recommend that you include very few terms in the beginning, and add more as needed.  Beyond using a homework contract, make it  a point to give help only when it is requested. You don’t want to have homework battles harm the relationship between you and your child. Try to settle this issue now before it becomes a running battle over the years. 

Question: How can I be sure that my rather shy preschooler has the social skills he needs to enter Kindergarten?  – Need to Know

Answer: Keep in mind that some children are simply shyer than others. It can be counterproductive to push such children into social situations that make them uncomfortable. Unless your child’s shyness  is preventing him from enjoying being with  other children, his shyness is not likely to be  a problem in Kindergarten.

Many skills are important in determining  if your child is ready for Kindergarten. The ability to get along with others is certainly one of them. On the next find, we have included an Education Resources  Information Center checklist that you may use to observe how well he is doing in forming social skills. If he demonstrates few of the traits on this checklist, he might need a few strategies to build more satisfying relationships with other children. If he has attended a preschool program, how well he has handled the social aspects should give you a good idea of how well he will handle  Kindergarten.

Social Skills Checklist

Does your child have well-developed social  skills? Yes, if he:

  •     Approaches others positively.
  •     Expresses wishes and preferences clearly.
  •     Asserts his own rights and needs  appropriately; gives reasons for actions  and positions.
  •     Is not easily intimidated by bullies.
  •     Expresses frustrations and anger  effectively without escalating  disagreements or harming others. 
  •     Gains access to ongoing groups in various  situations. 
  •     Makes relevant contributions to ongoing  activities. 
  •     Takes turns fairly easily
  •     Expresses interest in others.
  •     Negotiates and compromises with others appropriately.
  •     Does not draw inappropriate attention to  himself. 
  •     Interacts non-verbally (smiles, waves, nods) with other children.

Dear Teacher is written by Peggy Gisler and  Marge Eberts. Do you have a question? Send  it to dearteacher@dearteacher.com or visit dearteacher.com

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