As your toddler turns into a preschooler, learn to cherish all the important social milestones she has achieved.
By Ananya Subramanian
With your child becoming a preschooler, you will begin noticing various developmental changes taking place in him. Though his physical development will please you and make you feel proud, it is his social development – such as offering a helping hand to his friend or hugging a distressed sibling – that will melt your heart! As he becomes more amicable and considerate, you need to know all the vital social milestones he needs to achieve in his fourth year to guide him through.
With improved vocabulary and language skills, your child will also begin developing better interactive skills. She will stop using gestures and actions and will try to communicate in words what she wants or feels. She will put her language skills to as much use as possible. This will push her towards becoming an extremely interactive and gregarious child.
The care and concern your four-year-old shows for others will take a huge leap. Until now, he had been expressing his affection for you verbally, but now he will become more physical. He will surprise you with warm hugs and butterfly kisses. These shows of affection will become abundant and regular, especially if he sees you in distress.
At this stage, your child will have a better understanding of the concept of sharing. She will also begin valuing it, as she realises that sharing her possessions with others always results in her getting something back. This is an important step towards the development of cooperative skills and becoming a team player. This is probably the most important social milestone for your preschooler.
As your four-year-old becomes more and more aware of himself, he will begin expecting you to give him increasing amount of freedom. He might want to be left alone in his room without supervision or to stay at a friend’s house nearby. You will realise that he is less dependent on you than earlier. Though his new-found independence might trouble you, you should understand that allowing him to be independent is important to develop his self-confidence.
Though your preschooler might make clear her desire to be left alone, she will also crave for attention and acceptance. She will try to please you and her friends, and make an extra effort to earn that acceptance. You can use her desire to impress people around her productively and help her develop other skills and talents.
Successful socialising is essential for every child, and it is important that you play an active role in ensuring that your four-year-old gets every opportunity to do so. Watching him grow can be an elating experience. So, stay by your preschooler’s side through every step of his developmental process, as he crosses one milestone after another.
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