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Language to Use with Preschool and Kindergarteners (ages 2 1/2 – 6)

When asking your child to perform tasks like get dressed, clean up, etc., use questions, never commands. For example:

Where do your shoes go? Do you want Mommy or Daddy to put your shoes on? Do you want to where the red or the green shirt?

Always give your child ample time to transition. For example, when you arrive for pick up , say ” Do you want to go now, or would you like 5 more minutes?” Give a similar 5 minute warning when leaving the playground, or asking them to stop playing and come to the table for dinner.

For clean up ask things like: “Would you like to put your toys away or would you like help?” Offer help with statements like “one toy for me , one for you,” dividing the task until it is cleaned up. Make a game of it! Don’t expect them to put it away themselves at this age. And don’t worry; this phase will be over soon!

Your youngster at this age has very strong order needs. They don’t like things out of order (they may make chaos but they don’t like it). Use that to your advantage!

And remember: there is no perfect child or perfect language!

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