Pre-K Vocab

When preparing toddlers for preschool, there’s a few words parents should try to help them know, for their teacher’s sake…

Yes & No

These two words are very small, but very powerful. You cannot fully understand one without the other. Yes & no create one of the very first global binaries in life. So, as bad as a kid saying no may sound, think of what it means: “Contrary to popular opinion, parents can welcome the no’s, because no’s are the beginning of the child’s defining him- or herself: I am or am not; you are or are not; yes or no; good or bad. These are clearly etched concepts—a binary yes or no—and this is how a child first sees the world and defines her place in it.”

Wait, Soon, Later

Patience is not something everyone has, most of us develop it over time. Kids, as a population, are least likely to be patience. They rush because everything is new to them and they don’t fully understand the concept of time. Preschool is not the time to bust out a quantum physics lesson on the space time continuum. You can start building kids’ patience by leading by example and starting small with expectations. Have kids wait when they need to & reward them when they do, especially without a fuss.


Sharing is a hard concept to teach in general. Families with only children, or siblings with large age gaps / who don’t get along can face even more struggle trying to teach this lesson at home. School offers a unique environment to help develop the idea of sharing, but that makes it even more important to reinforce at home.


Kids will struggle. It’s part of growing up. Part of maturing is knowing when to ask for and/or accept help. Help is a give and take concept. But while it’s great to be the helpful, there’s stigma attached to being the helped. Squashing this stigma early on will the help kids navigate the world more easily. Help along the way is inevitable & necessary.

Need vs. Want

This is a hard concept that I know some adults still have to work on. Some people are very aware on a emotionally intelligent level from a young age. Helping your child discern between the use of I want vs. I need by correcting your language choice as it happens is an easy way to help them start learning. However, explanation and criticism are two totally different things.