What are typical behavioral characteristics and challenges in the Preschool years?
Children are in the Preschool Years from 3 years old until they start school. These children are starting to show personality traits and more intellectual development, including:
Egotism: A preschooler is the center of the world. Your child believes that everything in the world revolves around her.
Independence: A preschooler will want to dress by himself and want to help you with the household chores. Be patient as your child practices these skills.
Creativity: Imaginations are constantly "on." Your child's world is full of magical things at this time.
"Why?": Preschoolers are trying to learn all about their environments; they will ask "why" constantly! Take the time to help your child learn about what causes the events happening around him.
Sociality: Preschoolers are learning to be a good companion or friend to other children their age. Preschool, day care, play dates or playgroups provide wonderful opportunities for your child to learn important social skills.
Listening: Preschoolers must also learn to listen to others with interest. Model appropriate listening behavior for your preschooler by actively listening when she tells you about her day, her friends and her discoveries.
Motor skills: Preschoolers are also learning complex movements such as hopping, climbing, and skipping. Let your child practice and make it fun!
Adventurous: Children can be very active during this time period. Make sure to provide helmets when riding tricycles and do regular safety checks on play equipment.
Language: Pronunciation improves during this time. Don't be alarmed if your child leaves out word sounds occasionally.
Principles: Preschoolers are also learning the difference between right and wrong. You can help by setting firm and consistent limits for your child.
Reality vs. Fantasy: Preschoolers must learn the difference between reality and fantasy. By the end of the preschool years, your child will have a better understanding of past, present and future.
Phobias: New fears, especially to unfamiliar sights and sounds are common at this age. Be supportive while trying to ease irrational fears.
Poor sportsmanship: Preschoolers learn to follow simple rules in the games they play, but they will always want to win and be in "first place." Playing "fair" will come later in your child's development.
Highly impressionable: Preschoolers are heavily influenced by what they see. It's important to actively supervise what your child is exposed to on television and in the real world.
Early Childhood Assistant Principal
Grade 1 Teacher