Why we wrote this series

Listen to a story that highlights why we wrote this series on getting your child ready for preschool:

The elementary students are often out in the community to meet their responsibilities of caring for their classroom.

One day we had to go to the grocery store to shop for supplies for a class party. Once we were in the store, the child who had the shopping list told each of the children what they were responsible to collect from the store.

Two of the four children got their assignment and walked confidently off, on their own, to find the products. Two others stood hesitant and unsure (the children were all third graders, so it was not age that separated them). I asked one of children what was wrong.

She said, “I don’t know what to do.” The other child nodded his head in agreement.

So I asked, “Do what you do when your mom asks you to find things in the store.”

She replied anxiously, “My mom doesn’t ask me to do that.”


It was then that I realized how profound the impact is on children when their parents expect that they participate and contribute in real ways to the life of the familyUltimately this disparity in family life makes all the difference in the life of the child out of their home: it’s the difference in how the child sees himself; the difference between capable and feeble.

Those students who came from homes in which they had to pull their weight were in all situations able to figure things out, saw themselves as able to accomplish the mission. Those who didn’t were afraid and insecure. And this worldview impacts everything they do from making friends to solving algebra problems. It is their Operating System. And a child’s operating system is installed by their parents.

Parents should expect children to participate and contribute in real ways

The more that is asked of a child in his home, the more that he is able to do in the world. It is that simple. In this series on getting your child ready for preschool, you’ll find a common theme: parents should expect their very young children to be responsible and resourceful.