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My 3-year-old doesn’t want to learn her ABCs
Q: My daughter is nearly 3. She doesn’t want to sit still so my husband and I can read to her, and she doesn't want to learn her ABCs and 123s. She picks things up quickly and does better when she is around a group of children. Should I enroll her in preschool so she’ll learn these skills? My husband works a lot and was recently away from us for a year. We are together now, and she sticks to him like glue.
A: Try reading to her at a time when she is likely to be a little tired. There is no better time than after pyjamas are on and she’s ready for bed—it isn’t just by chance that we talk about “bedtime stories.” And since she sticks to her dad like glue, let him read to her as often as possible. When she sits through a story (choose short ones) be sure to compliment her.

She is too young to learn her ABCs except by rote, the way we learn a poem or song. At this stage of her development she is not going to realise those letters stand for certain sounds in the words we say. That understanding will come, and with it will come the desire to “crack the code” and say and write the letters.

If you enroll her in a preschool, make certain you choose one that is as concerned with social behaviour and stable emotional expression as it is with academic skills.