Ah, to go back to kindergarten with its glue paste, nap times and circle mats. It was a simpler time and with any luck, our kids will come out of it with the same life lessons we learned in kindergarten. In case you need a reminder about the simple things that make living with people a little easier — or you're anxious for your 5-year-old to start exhibiting those habits, here's a refresher course on some fundamentals teachers reinforce to kids at the very beginning of their academic careers.
While most kindergarten curriculums these days are a little more advanced than just teaching the alphabet and counting, kids are still at a prime age to learn how to manage themselves and their social interactions more independently. You might notice that your little one is becoming more aware of other people's needs and feelings, so they are very keen to identify with their peer group and want to please them. Additionally, kids are starting to realize there's a big world outside and they are curious to know what's in it and how it all works. Luckily, kindergarten is all about learning while getting students' hands dirty by incorporating fun, interactive, and social lesson plans to encourage learning and engagement.
So what does all this mean for adults? As we get older and responsibilities pile up, we seem to forget the basics of cleanliness (ew!), playing nicely, and making time for fun. Maybe this list will help you remember that while adult life is certainly not all laughs all the time, the key to happiness was buried in your own kindergarten classroom.
1. Naps Are For Everyone
Considering napping's benefits, The National Sleep Foundation thinks it's weird that it's only socially acceptable for small children and the elderly to take a mid-day snooze, so maybe snuggle up together after dismissal to sneak it in once their teacher eliminates it from the school day.
2. Wash Your Hands
Running in a pack of kids — or office mates — requires everyone to pitch in and prevent a Norovirus epidemic that brings everything to a very gross halt. Soap up is the lesson here.
3. Play Nice
Sharing is caring, guys, and you should lend your friend a hand when she falls down on the playground — or in life, noted Psychology Today. And if you want to play, don't hit, don't tease, and don't call names.
4. Live A Balanced Life
Play a little, work a little, have a treat, but eat some veggies. Get enough exercise and rest each day. It becomes more difficult as we get older, but no less important.
5. Put Things Back Where You Found Them
Anyone else suffer the frustration of looking for a spatula (or baby wipes or a broom) after your beloved leaves it somewhere it does not belong? Shared spaces require a place for everything, making cohabitation easier on classrooms, families, roommates, and office mates, and this lesson begins in kindergarten. Which leads to ...
6. Clean Up After Yourself
Clean up, clean up, it's clean-up time, it's clean-up time! The song never stuck with some adults, which leaves everyone who got the lesson constantly mucking out the mess others leave behind. That's not being a good friend, you guys.
7. Hold Hands & Stay Together
Clearly, this lesson is a bit more literal among the 5-year-old set, and little kids have good hands for squeezing. But finding a tribe and watching out for each other is a fundamental resource for getting through the ups and downs of life, and kindergarten makes that very clear.
If someone is talking to you, listen and don't interrupt — your turn is coming. Whether it's instructions on how to fill your hot lunch order or that your late-night smart phone habits are ruining your partner's sleep, opening your ears and your heart to other's words will directly affect you and your relationships. Kindergarten teachers seem to focus on this a lot with kids and I think it's a lesson worth remembering when you become an adult.