How I Think:
- I am curious about everything.
- I am ready for short trips into the community.
- I know my family name and address.
- I talk clearly about my ideas.
- I am self-centered about my ideas.
- I like to be busy making something.
- I make a plan before starting a project.
- My attention span is 12 to 28 minutes long.
- I like to play the same thing for more than one day.
- My pretend play is more realistic.
- I easily use complete sentences.
- I can count 10 objects.
How I Move:
- I enjoy activities requiring hand skills.
- I draw a recognizable person.
- I am skilled and accurate with simple tools, like safety scissors.
- I can sit still for brief periods.
- I enjoy jumping, running and skipping.
- I have adult-like posture in throwing and catching.
- I like dancing, am rhythmic and graceful.
- I sometimes roughhouse and fight.
- I am well coordinated.
How I Get Along:
- I am becoming poised and self-confident.
- I copy adult behavior and act grown-up.
- I am aware of rules and explain them to others.
- I play in groups of two to five children.
- I am less competitive than at age 4.
- I am sensitive to teasing and get hurt feelings easily.
- I like the companionship of adults.
- I have to be right.
- I am sociable and like to visit.
- I may get wild, silly and giggly.
Some children do things earlier or later than described here. Most differences are normal. Focus on what your child can do and get excited about each new skill. If you notice that your child is lagging behind in one or more areas for several months, circle the things that your child is still learning to do. Check the things your child can do. Use this list to talk with your doctor about your child’s development.
Socially healthy children are able to get along with others, and when disagreements come up, they can solve problems in a peaceful way. Parents are the most powerful people in a young child’s life. Begin early and give your children the best start possible in their social relationships with love, attention, and a positive example.
These are ways parents can help children learn to be socially healthy:
- Show children positive ways to resolve conflict by talking through problems calmly. Use arguments or disagreement as a chance to show peaceful ways of solving problems.
- Step in to help children talk through differences with others. Help them think of ways to solve problems when they are not getting along with others.
- Practice “parental coaching,” Vary your level of supervision depending on a child’s age and needs, and intervene when social situations become too
- challenging for a young child to manage.
- Maintain a friendly family environment and allow children to learn social skills without stress or high levels of conflict.
- Plan family fun time — so everyone can play together.
- Be sensitive to times of transition or crisis that can upset children — such as divorce, separation, financial stress, death.
Currently, 60 to 70 percent of mothers with children under the age of six work part time or full time. This has led to parents sharing childcare. Couples must decide:
- Who picks up a child from the childcare center?
- Who arranges to see the doctor?
- Who can create a more flexible schedule?
Mothers and fathers who struggle with balancing work demands and raising children often deal with stress and fatigue. This makes parenting more difficult and can become discouraging. Here are some things that parents can do to balance their work and family roles:
- Spend time discussing and planning for the family’s future. Discuss who will work at what times and why. Explore options related to work and begin planning for future changes.
- Focus on working as a team — rather than each person simply pursuing his or her own goals. Parents have individual goals, desires, and needs — but family goals are important too. Identify family goals and work toward them together.
- Raising young children requires flexibility and teamwork. It means moving from “you or me” to “us. ” Focus on how all family members can create the best environment for raising your child.
- Explore options at your workplace that can help to ease burdens with raising a child. Is childcare available within a reasonable distance? Are there options for flextime or work sharing arrangements?
- Talk to other parents who also work and raise a young child. Discuss the strategies that they use to manage their work and family concerns. Build a network of support that can assist you in times of need.
For more parenting information, including additional articles, resource links, and frequently asked questions, visit:
Questions? Need help? Contact your local extension office.