our everyday life

Variables That Affect Children in Preschool

by Lauralee Moss, studioD

A variable is a situation which can be changed, often frequently. When children attend preschool, the variables in their lives can influence what kind of day they will have and how much they will learn. Young children have little control of their home environments, but their lives will affect them at school. As parents, make yourselves aware of variables, then you can focus on making (or keeping) them positive, which in turn will benefit their children's preschool experiences.


Children may come to preschool with a poor attitude about school. Older siblings may complain about teachers or homework, and a younger child may want to emulate that. Parents can also make disparaging remarks about education that the child will remember. Children with a negative attitude toward school will not be excited to participate at preschool, unlike children who hear positive messages concerning learning. Students want to please their parents by aligning their behavior with the family's belief system. Parents should speak positively about learning and school and discuss with older children ways to model positive attitudes.


Not all preschool children are healthy. Because of limited communication, preschoolers cannot tell adults their symptoms, which means serious conditions such as ulcers, asthma or headaches could be undiagnosed. Younger children may have not yet had dental or vision appointments, making toothaches and blurred vision painful variables. Parents may also send their children to school slightly ill because they do not want to miss work, but this creates issues according to Kids Health. Keep ill children at home so preschool is healthier for all students. Sick children will also struggle to focus or learn, and may exhibit a poor attitude.


Children ages 3 to 5 need between 11 and 13 hours of sleep per day. A family's odd hours or a child taking frequent, short naps can interfere with sleep schedules. A lack of sleep or a poor night's sleep can cause drowsiness during the day, leading to a frustrated preschooler. Make sleep a priority, keep a regular sleep schedule and create a bedtime routine to improve the quality of rest for your preschooler. Well-rested children are alert at school and ready to color, learn and play.


Diets greatly influence preschoolers. Serve children a healthy meal before school, so they are not hungry. Hungry children will struggle to behave. Additionally, proper nutrition is a major contributor to healthy weight. According to "Kids Health," one out of three kids is now considered overweight or obese. Overweight children may have bone or joint pain. They may also struggle with physical activity. This variable leads to preschoolers being uncomfortable while at preschool. Current guidelines recommend that kids over 2 years old get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. Providing healthy meals at home, or opting for fruits and vegetables rather than fried foods at restaurants, will improve a preschooler's weight.

Life Changes

Life changes, such as a new sibling, a parent's deployment or death of a loved one, can be challenging variables for your preschooler. "Kids Health" acknowledges that children thrive on familiarity and routine. Because children will look to their parents for reassurance, present a positive attitude. Be honest with your preschooler, and discuss the situation using age-appropriate terms. Cluing in your children will allow them to relax and focus on preschool.

About the Author

Lauralee Moss writes about education, female-oriented subjects and parenting. She writes for Advice for Parenting, Book Rags and other websites. Moss' master's degree research project studied the organizational habits of high schoolers. She is currently developing a new website about switching classrooms and educational theories.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images