It’s a tumultuous time, those fours and fives! Your little darling is making the trip from toddlerhood to childhood. He’s no longer a “little baby,” and he isn’t likely to let you or anybody else forget that he is a “big kid.” He demands the respect due his new station in life, and it can get really frustrating for parents. You’ll often hear the words “I’m a big girl now” or “I’m a big boy now.”
Four- and five-year-olds usually grow physically at an alarming (for their parents) rate. Muscles develop. Four- and five-year-olds seem to become perpetual motion machines. They never stop. Some four- and five-year-olds even begin to become physically aggressive by taking toys away from younger children, hitting, or biting.
Four- and five-year-olds have discovered language and the power of language. They have a good vocabulary now of between 1,500 and 2,000 words. They’ve also learned that words can “shock” adults and they love the feeling of power that using “bad” words or bathroom language can evoke.
Four- and five-year-olds have superactive imaginations, and they might have imaginary friends or engage in a fantasy life. They talk — and talk, and talk, and talk. They also ask questions at about a mile a minute. The favorite one is, “But WHY?”
They’ve learned to play with and interact with other children. They develop relationships. They rely more on words to solve problems than on physical actions like snatching, hitting, pushing, etc. But they can also resort to name calling, and they can be bossy.
The four- to five-year-old is developing morality. He understands the difference between right and wrong, and he wants to do right. When he fails to do right, he is very likely to blame that failure on another person. (It wasn’t HIS fault.)
For more great tips on the best positive toddler discipline methods make sure to check out the “Talking to Toddlers” audio program.