The Terrific Threes and the Frustrating Fours

April 6th, 2009by admin

Three- and four-year-olds are fascinating. They are, for lack of a better word, “becoming.” They are beginning to show their own unique personality. They are beginning to develop their sense of “self.”

Three- and four-year-olds begin to distinguish between fact and fiction, between what is “real” and what is make-believe. They begin to sort through, distinguish between, and categorize feelings, thoughts, and actions.

There is no specific timetable for development and development is not a “one-size-fits-all” situation. Children develop in different areas at different rates. Development is divided into five general categories: physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and moral. It is perfectly normal for children to make greater advancements in one area at a time.

Physical milestones:

  • He’ll be able to ride a tricycle.
  • He’ll be able to climb a ladder.
  • He can scribble with a pen, pencil, or crayola.
  • He begins to dress himself.
  • He can feed himself with either a spoon or a fork.
  • He is mostly toilet trained.

Intellectual milestones:

  • His imagination develops and he likes to assume “play-like” grown-up roles as mommy, daddy, fireman or superhero.
  • He is curious and asks a lot of questions.
  • He begins to understand the cause/effect concept.

Social milestones:

  • He can now accept separation from his mother calmly.
  • He beings to interact with other children his own age.
  • He begins to notice and imitate the differences in the way men and women behave.

Emotional milestones:

  • He is becoming sensitive to the feelings of others.
  • He is becoming more independent.
  • He wants to please the adults in his world.

Moral milestones:

  • He begins to understand the difference between right and wrong.
  • He wants people to like him.
  • He is gaining self-control.

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