Preschool Expectations. A child sits discouraged at his desk while his teacher looks on.

Great Expectations: How to Manage Lofty Preschool Expectations

Expectations, whether those we set or those that are placed upon us, are inextricably attached to lives of children and the thoughts of parents.  And while reasonable expectations can be valuable benchmarks for child development and behaviors, unreasonable ones can create unwarranted concern, unwanted conflict, and unnecessary interventions.

This week’s episode of the ParentTalk Podcast zeroes in on the latter, focusing specifically on the unreasonable expectations commonly experienced in preschool and daycare.  In the first of a multi-part series on the expectations encountered throughout childhood and beyond, Arthur and Susan discuss how to manage the unavoidable comparisons associated with classrooms and “group averages,” and how to build healthy and secure expectations that allow your child the space to learn, to develop, and “to become,” at his or her own pace.

Stay tuned for next week’s episode, where we will tackle the pitfalls of academic expectations in early education.

“The ‘average’ of anything is about as useful as knowing the average amount of food someone eats for lunch. If you go to a summer camp and feed everyone an average lunch, you’re guaranteed that everyone will be upset. Half the kids aren’t going to get what they need, and the other half are going to get way too much. It’s going to be the wrong answer for just about everyone. There will be a few people in each group that do things right on the average, but most of humanity does things on either end of it.”

– Arthur Lavin

Episode Highlights:

– What is average? The downside of group averages.

–  How to better think of average milestones.

– Preschool expectations: Walking and Talking.

– Preschool expectations: Toddlers and Separation.

– How to transition your child into preschool.

– Cues that your child is ready for preschool.

– Preschool expectations: Sitting at Circle Time.