A baby isn’t born with a fully developed brain. As it develops, its neurons make up to 15000complex connections with each other. This wiring of pathways readies the brain for all future tasks, and is most vigorous in the first six years of life. Pathways used often are strengthened; those not used gradually aliminated.this’use it or lose it’ principle of brain development is the key argument for preschools, as formal schooling begins only at age four or so.

Choosing a preschool for your child can be a tough decision! Friends and neighbors can be a good source of information, but it's important to do your own research too. Every child is different, and what works for one may not work for another. This is particularly true if you have a preschooler with special learning or behavior needs. The following checklist can help you get a head start on finding the right setting for your preschooler.

Preschool provides a wonderful opportunity for your child to make new friends, socialize, and learn from an adult. Starting preschool is an exciting (and sometimes nervous!) time for little ones and parents.

Here are the Preschool Tips that help you and your child :

1.Take advantage of opportunities to get to know your child’s teacher and his classroom before the first day of preschool.
2.If they’re offered, attend the orientation meeting, the Open House, or the Welcome Back Picnic.
3.Use those times to meet your child’s classmates and families. It might also be helpful to set up a playdate with a child or two from your child’s new class.
In the weeks before preschool starts, share your excitement about school with your child.
4.Focus on the fun things he’ll learn during the year, and all the different things he’ll get to do. If possible, visit the playground at preschool. If you’re excited, your child will be too!
5.Clear away a special area in your house for your child’s bookbag and jacket. Establish a routine that puts your child in charge of clearing out and hanging up the backpack each day. This will make the morning rush a little less hectic.
6.Find some quiet time at the end of each day to share two or three books. Ask your local librarian to share books about school feelings and the first day.
7.Take a few minutes to talk about her feelings and her day at school. You’ll both sleep better!

Preschool checklist: ten must have :

1.Teacher child ratio 1: 20
2.children or less per room
3.Adequate ventilation, natural light and space: ideally a garden with swings and a sand pit.
4.Proximately to home so the child needn't travel long distance and can be easily picked up if unwell.
5.Trained teachers who are not just competent but loving too.
6.Low teacher’s turnover, so your child is in experienced hands.
7.Clean and hygienic environment
8.Direct teacher parent communication with regular feedback
9.Books,toys,aids actually used by children, not just displayed
10.Completion free environment where children aren’t pressured or compared with others.
Jean Tracy, MSS
Raising optimistic kids isn't difficult when you use these parenting skills. Our parenting expert, Janet Coppola, is the founder of Express Yourself. Let's find out her 5 strategies.

1. Display and maintain a positive approach and always tell them you love them.

Janet's positive approach is important. Nobody likes being yelled at, especially kids.

Telling children that you love them, why you love them, and using love notes can be very effective in raising optimistic kids. Smiling a lot helps too.

2. Allow children the opportunity to see that we all make mistakes at times as we are human beings.

I like Janet's advice especially if you have sensitive perfectionist kids.

One of my son's hated making mistakes, like spilling his glass of milk. I told him, "Everybody makes mistakes. Just clean it up." I handed him the paper towels.

He needed more. So I asked him to draw a picture of everyone in our family including cousins, aunts, and uncles. He loved drawing so this was fun for him.

Then in big letters I asked him to write, "All People Are Mistake Makers." We posted the picture with the words on the refrigerator. Then we discussed it. It helped him relax when he made a mistake and to fix it if he could.

Now his children tell me, "It's just a mistake, Grandma, " as they fix their mistakes.

3. Show them that we are all afraid of something and explain to them the importance of tackling their fears.

I like Janet's advice here because my 4-year-old granddaughter fears bugs. To get over this fear we look under big rocks for bugs and save them in a container to observe. The other day she let a couple of ants crawl on her hands and felt fine. Teaching kids to tackle fears is an important step to becoming optimistic by feeling confident.

4. Promote children's thinking skills and encourage independence from an early age.

Asking kids thinking questions is often better than taking over and doing something for them. "How do you think this works?" is a great question to ask. Then congratulate them for trying to figure it out. This promotes independence too as they become "I can" children.

5. Be honest with children even when they ask difficult and sensitive questions.

Janet is right. But we have to use common sense with this one. Telling kids more than they need to know about issues like sex could worry, confuse, or entice them to act on what we say.

On other issues when we fib and they find out, they loose some of their trust in us. Most of the time it's easy to be completely truthful. But when we're not sure of what to say, it's perfectly OK to say, "I need some time to think about it."

Raising optimistic kids isn't difficult when you think about it. The trick is to think before we speak and keep it positive.

Let's give Janet a big "THANK YOU" for her fine ideas. To connect with Janet go to her Express Yourself website at where she promotes children to express themselves.

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