The one truth I've learned about parenting is to expect the unexpected. That rang true last week at Curriculum Night at my son's preschool. Curriculum Night at Bright Horizons gives parents the chance to hear from the center director, learn about the curriculum and activities coming up this year, and chat and ask questions with the teachers.
Typically, I save important "Owen" conversations for one-on-one parent-teacher meetings but I happened to have a chance to chat solo with his preschool teachers that night. I shared what's been weighing heavily on my mind -- a recent resurgence of angry and toddler-like behavior happening at home that I feared may also be playing out in the preschool classroom. After a casual exchange about a recent space project that Owen loved, I asked the question, "Have you been noticing any behavioral issues with Owen? He's been very angry at home. Throwing toys, hitting, yelling, etc." And to my surprise..."Not at all. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen Owen mad like that. He can get frustrated sometimes but not angry." Wow! Phew!
I've been so worried that Owen's 3-year-old behavior was a new phase, and persistent across his school and home life. Knowing that it's an issue at home makes it easier for me to identify, correct and work on. I also realized, encouraged by our recent webinar Establishing Parent-Teacher Partnerships, that I'm overdue for a parent-teacher meeting. I have so many more questions that have been weighing on my mind.
Questions to Ask During a Preschool Parent-Teacher Conference
- How is my toddler or preschooler doing socially? Is he engaging with his peers appropriately for his age? How well does he share? Who are his friends?
- How is my child doing emotionally? Is he reacting appropriately to various situations (happy, sad, frustrated, empathetic, etc.)?
- Does my child engage in play appropriately for his age? What is his favorite play activity?
- How does my preschooler respond to classroom rules and procedures? Does he need a lot of redirection and reminders?
- When needed, how is discipline handled? What can I do at home to correct problem behavior?
- How is my child progressing cognitively (counting, colors, weather, alphabet, etc.)?
- How are my child's self-help skills (washing hands, eating and cleaning up lunch, brushing teeth, preparing nap mat, etc.)?
- Does he complete tasks?
- What do you think my child is good at? What does he enjoy most in the preschool classroom?
- What areas do you think my child needs improvement?
- Are there any concerns I need to address with my child's pediatrician?
- Do you have any advice for [potty training, sibling rivalry, positive behavior guidance, etc.]?