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by Sylvia B. Bodell

Kindergarten Readiness — more than ABCs

It’s that time of year again - kindergarten roundup! Will your preschooler be ready next fall?

by Sylvia Bodell with Laurie Kendig, LCSW

“When school readiness is discussed, people often think of children learning their letters, numbers, colors, shapes and traditional academic skills,” said Laurie Kendig, LCSW. “But we know children’s emotional and social skills are as important to school success as academic and cognitive abilities because learning is a social process.”

As a therapist with The Center, Laurie’s areas of focus include: parenting, school-related issues, social skills, ADHD/autism/developmental testing, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and group therapy.

A frequent contributor to parenting and school panels, Laurie sees clients in-person at The Center’s counseling offices at Christ United Methodist Church Plano and First Baptist Church McKinney.

Laurie explains that students who struggle with these skills are more likely to have issues with socializing and may be more likely to use inappropriate ways to communicate frustration and other feelings by hitting, yelling or biting.

“Imagine how difficult learning would be for a child who can’t follow directions, doesn’t get along with other students and is unable to control their emotions in the classroom,” continued Laurie.

Social and emotional skills can help students set goals
According to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study published September 5, 2017, Laurie cites social emotional and skills can help students set goals for themselves and build positive relationships with peers. They can also lead to long-term societal benefits that extend far beyond the individual child. Supporting the whole child and student early on, pays off in the long run.

“I have worked with children, teens, adults and families for more than 12 years and I’m passionate about helping my clients find answers to the difficulties they are facing. Together we work to help you and your child live your best life in the coming years.”

And she reassures parents, “When it comes to kindergarten readiness, your child will grow and mature a lot over the next six months.”

We're here for you
The Center offers a wide range of services for children, teens and families, from assessments for ADHD, autism and college preparation, to parenting consultations and counseling for children and teens. If you or someone you know is interested in counseling or psychological assessments call 214-526-4525 or click Request an Appointment at the top of this page. The Center is in-network with most major insurance companies for counseling services.

Five interrelated sets of cognitive, affective and behavioral competencies:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship skills and
  • Responsible decision-making

Things you may expect to see in a Kindergartner:

  • Names feelings
  • Can communicate how they feel
  • Uses self-calming to manage emotions – walk away for a situation, distract with a toy, think about something else
  • Can acknowledge feelings of others
  • Pays attention to others
  • Follows directions and classroom routines
  • Takes turns
  • Stays in seat
  • Remains on task
  • Shares with others
  • Making and keeping friends
  • Appropriately asks for help when needed
  • Early problem-solving skills in social conflicts