Okay, this weekend I encountered two moms who were a little anxious about sending their first child off to preschool. Ironically, one mom was worried because her son would be the oldest in the class and the other mom was concerned about the opposite—that her child would be the youngest.

As parents, we all want our children to have the best advantage educationally and that can start with preschool. Many want their child to be one of the younger ones in the class to glean all that knowledge from the older kids (we’re talking months here!) and others think their “older” child will be the leader. In fact, both can be true but age isn’t everything. Language skills vary among two and three-year-olds and contribute to the mix. Children who aren’t talking as much will find that they have to communicate to get their needs met. As parents, we often anticipate their needs, handing them their juice or a snack before they even ask. Not so at school. On the other hand, those children with stronger language skills will develop a confidence at being able to direct pretend play or participate in interactive story time.

The important thing is to give your child time to adapt to the class and then assess. If she is still way behind the skills of the other children in the class or way ahead, you might want to meet with the teacher and make an adjustment. Children react when they are bored or in way over their heads.