Understanding Child Development (3-4 years)
If your child is aged between 3 and 4 years, then s/he’s a preschooler. These years are known as “magic years” not just because you survived the last two years, but also because your child’s imagination is running wild. Want to know how your little preschooler is developing and what she’s up to while she’s at school? Read on.
By now, your child would have got used to your family routine. For example, if your family has dinner at 8pm everyday, you’ll find your child at the table (although it might take some persuasion).
You’ll notice that s/he’s becoming more and more independent and wants to do things on his/her own. You can supervise him/her on tasks like brushing his/her teeth and using the toilet properly. But small things like tying shoe laces, feeding himself/herself, dressing up and holding a pencil correctly will become easier for him/her.
You can find him/her constantly running, climbing the stairs, jumping up and down, throwing and catching a ball and doing his/her best to spend his/her excessive energy.
If your child is asking a lot of ‘who’, ‘why’ and ‘what’ questions then s/he’s on the right track. Your child’s understanding and memory is improving. S/he can remember nursery rhymes, simple stories and will be excited to share his/her experiences with you.
By 4, your child can speak longer sentences and people will be able to understand most of them, if not all. S/he will also be able to recognize pictures from his/her memory and associate words to them.
Your child is the most imaginative when s/he’s playing. S/he will make up different scenarios in his/her mind and create characters to go with them. S/he can also differentiate between girls and boys, count on his/her fingers and understand the concept of day and night.
At this age, your child is able to tell that your emotions are different from theirs. S/he will start showing signs of affection when s/he sees people s/he is familiar with, and will also care about what they think. S/he gets used to different emotions like happiness, sadness, anger and fear.
Sometimes his/her imagination can get the better of him/her, making it hard for him/her to distinguish between fantasy and reality. But do not worry, s/he will learn about it at his/her own pace.
Reading stories with your child, singing songs and rhymes and teaching him/her when s/he hesitates over a new word is a great way to aid his/her learning process.
Make sure s/he has a lot of play-time and also make him/her try things like painting, drawing and musical plays.
As a parent, it might get exhausting having to look after your child all the time, but it’s important to remember that you should never show your frustration on your child. Scolding your child when s/he does something you told him/her not to is completely normal, but take care not to overdo it. Your child is at a very sensitive age where any action of yours has a large impression on him/her.