Here’s a question from a concerned parent, who is now a happy parent of mine:

I'm trying to prepare my child for preschool and have been setting time aside to coach my daughter with reading and writing but she cries every time I ask to do these tasks. She can't hold her pencil right and she can't even remember her letters. This is so frustrating because I'm putting in so much effort but she's not responding to any of my efforts. How can I get her to do what I tell her?

Firstly, I would like to say, good on you for setting time aside to work with her. I think children need that one-on-one time with us. I'm going to give you a 110% score for effort, but unfortunately, your approach needs a little bit more work because it's not only not working, but it's counterproductive.

Now, I know that this is probably not something that a parent likes to be told, especially after you have decided to dedicate time and effort into helping your child, but it's something that I see so very often in so many parents where they really, really want to help their child. They set time aside, they read up as much as they can, and they discipline themselves to sit and work with their child, but then, they use a process that is often not developmentally appropriate for their child because they're not trained to do it properly.

Hey! I mean, look around us. There’s training for every professional on this planet except for moms. To make matters worse, our children don’t come with manuals but the good news is that lots and lots of people have put in years of effort into researching and observing children to understand how children behave, learn and function.

And today, we can apply child developmental psychology into our parenting approach so that we can be targeted with what we do with them to make the biggest impact on our children's learning process. Now, here is the thing that most parents don't know and a sneak peek at what a difference it makes to actually know some child developmental psychology before your child can learn to read and write.


You must help them work on their pre-reading and pre-writing skills. Now, this is like learning to walk before you can learn to run. Skipping that whole pre-reading and pre-writing step is like expecting a child to learn to run before he can learn to walk. And what do you think will happen? Yes, you will end with a very frustrated child and an even more frustrated parent. And that’s exactly what you’re seeing right now.

And here is the best part, teaching children pre-reading and pre-writing skills can't be easier. In fact, it's so easy that many parents completely skip this step entirely because they don’t realize the importance of it. So here is what I did. I wrote an entire book on how parents can help prepare their children for preschool using the applied child developmental psychology approach and it's available on's bestsellers’ list for free. Yes, you don’t have to pay anything for it. Just go to and there will be a there to download it for free on Amazon or for a direct download.

Now, my new book is called A Parent's Guide to Optimizing Your Preschooler's Learning: Giving Them A Head Start in School and Life. And it’s been downloaded by parents from six different continents. And it not only teaches you about pre-reading and pre-writing skills, but also about how you can help your children develop concentration skills, social skills or making friends, self-confidence and problem-solving skills. And these skills are all building blocks for helping them build a strong foundation for future learning. Now, all the activities mentioned in this book are fun and enjoyable and totally developmentally appropriate. So don’t forget to get your copy as soon as possible.

About the author:

Queenie Tan (MEd) is Asia’s Elite Parenting Coach, was born in Klang, based in Hong Kong and is currently world schooling both her boys (Charles aged 13 and Kevin aged 10) while she speaks at international conferences, authors parenting books and manages her parenting podcast at

Being dyslexic, Queenie struggled with 11 years of formal public education and was determined to be the teacher that she never had. Queenie is a veteran international pre-school teacher and an experienced early childhood educator trainer who has worked in Hong Kong, Singapore and China.

Now, she shares her cutting edge teaching approaches and behavior management strategies with early childhood educators/teachers all over the world. While she advocates for personalized and customized teaching approaches to cater to every child’s unique individual learning needs, strengths and challenges, her passion also lies in empowering parents by teaching them how to ‘read’ their children’s cues, to interpret them accurately and to respond appropriately while creating optimal environments for their own children to thrive.

Queenie has recently been awarded ‘Best Parent Education And Support Services’ for 2017 by APAC Insider and Global 100 respectively.