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4 years old

Katie de Klee
How your pre-schooler will grow and develop, what changes to be aware of, and some great tips for the month ahead.
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What’s happening now:
  • Your child is full of energy and curiosity.
  • Independence! Brushing teeth and getting dressed by themselves.
  • Physically confident.
  • You might have a little actor or storyteller.
  • A fourth birthday party celebration. 
How your pre-schooler is developing:
Children at this age can be quite theatrical – they love to show off and get attention and praise from you. And from their friends, and from anyone who might be walking past! Four-year-olds have wonderful imaginations, which means they are also good at telling little lies or stories. Sometimes it is just to test your reaction, but be on the lookout for harmful lies, or if the lying gets out of hand. Children can also be rude at this age, but the more you over-react the worse the behaviour can become. Take a look at these tips on how to teach your child good manners, they may come in handy.

Children at this age ask more questions than at any other age! Four-year-olds have a vocabulary of over 1000 words and are getting better at putting sentences together. Thirst for knowledge is a good thing, so try to give answers that make sense to a little person.

You can start introducing music and sport into your child’s playtime more from now on. They may be too young to take formal music lessons, but playing with miniature musical instruments and learning rules in sports-play can help cognitive development. This can help with concentration, achieving small goals, and improving hand-eye coordination. Don’t overschedule your child though: down time is really important.

Tips for you this month:
Stay positive as much as possible. Try not to give negative attention for bad behaviour, but instead reward good behaviour. Hugs and kisses are popular forms of praise for four-year-olds. You can often anticipate when your child is going to have a tantrum: look for signs of hunger, boredom or tiredness.
Remember not to stray too far from routine, if you can. Pre-schoolers get confused (and confusion leads to tantrums) if they were allowed watching TV for an hour yesterday but today it is not allowed. Consistency is key.

This month’s To Do list:
  • Celebrate your child’s fourth birthday with a birthday party that they help plan with you.
  • Buy an instrument your child can play with (maybe not a full drum set just yet…).
  • Act out a favourite scene from a book or movie with your pre-schooler.
If you have 5 minutes…
Mom’s top tip.
If your child has done something naughty in the house, then have them help sort it out. If they have tipped toys on the floor, or drawn with colours on the wall, then be sure to include them in the cleaning up process. This helps children understand consequences.

Share your thoughts and concerns
Chat with other Moms in your area or at the same developmental stage as you in BabyGroup Forums. 

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