When your parents ask you to go to a preschool, what should you expect?
The answer: a bunch of awkward, boring conversations about the size of your hands, the colour of your cheeks, and what you can and cannot buy.
And if you have trouble staying calm and collected in front of the preschoolers, they might suggest you take a nap or go to bed.
The worst thing a preschooler can do, according to psychologists and experts, is show any of these things, which could result in a meltdown.
Parents might also get too involved, so they’re likely to get too upset, says Kristin Eisendrath, a parenting expert at the University of Texas, Austin.
In other words, they could start a tantrum, which is a sign that you need help.
But what if your preschoolers aren’t really that interested in helping you?
They may not have the best intentions, either.
According to research published in Psychology Today, when preschoolers try to engage in meaningful conversation, they tend to do so in a way that reinforces negative attitudes about themselves.
For example, they’ll say things like, “I’m not the type of person who wants to talk about my body.”
They’ll also respond by saying things like: “I hate myself.”
But if they try to be friendly, they’re more likely to be polite.
And the interactions are more likely if the preschooler has been told he or she will receive praise for his or her efforts.
This makes sense because preschoolers are social creatures, says Eisentrath.
“There’s an expectation that you’re going to try to have a good time and do well,” she says.
“They think they’re doing a good job.”
That can cause a lot of stress.
Parents can also be the ones to get in the middle of the kindergarten drama.
If your preschooler starts acting like a baby, you’re in trouble, says Dr. David Tompkins, a psychologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“Kids do get frustrated,” he says.
You don’t want your preschool child to be frustrated because he or her has to do homework, and you want your child to know they can’t get into trouble.
“It’s the little things, like when you try to talk to the teacher or the other kids, the teacher has to hear you out and get it out,” says Eicher.
“If they’re not hearing you, they don’t have a sense of who you are.”
Eislenath says that parents can help by letting their kids know when they’re getting too close to their own level.
And that can be hard to do when your child’s not a preschool student.
“In a lot, many of the kids I work with have some difficulty with socializing and communicating,” she explains.
“But a lot have some difficulties with that same skill set.”
What to do When your preschool kid starts to get into a tantra, you can try to mediate or talk to them, but you might also want to intervene.
If the preschool kid is really into this activity, he or he can put it behind them and just focus on reading.
“You can just try to get them to stop,” says Tompkinson.
If it doesn’t work, or if your child is already angry, you might need to step in.
“That’s the hardest thing,” Eisernath says.
If you’re not sure whether it’s safe to do something, Eisenterh says you can ask your preschool teacher to call the police.
And you might want to ask your parent or guardian to take the preschool child into the room.
“The parents need to be aware that it could be the beginning of a serious situation,” says Dr Mark Schilling, a child psychiatrist at Children’s Mercy Medical Center.
“I would never suggest a parent do anything that could lead to violence.”
The key, of course, is to let your preschool kids know what’s going on, and when they need help, says Tormes.
But if your kid’s tantrum continues, you may want to take a look at how your preschool is doing.
Your child might be struggling with self-esteem and depression.
They may be feeling unsafe, overwhelmed, or stressed.
“One of the most important things you can do is to recognize when it’s time to intervene and get help,” says Schilling.
That’s what you need to do in the preschool room, he adds.
“Your preschool child needs to know that they’re safe.”
If your child has a tantrapy disorder, your doctor might want you to talk with your child about it, says Schill.
He also recommends that your child consult with a therapist to discuss their symptoms and treatment options.
If this isn’t possible, your child may need to see a psychologist.
“Even though we know that