Preschooler Development: 3 ½ to 4 Years Old

boxing childFrom toddler to preschooler, your child has made quite a transition over the past few months.  You cherished the last of his toddlerhood as long as you could, but now at three-and-a-half years old, there is no denying that he is a preschooler.  Be prepared to be continually amazed and baffled throughout this stage of your preschooler’s development. 

Did you know? Emotional confusion is pretty typical at this stage and age!

In the beginning, your little girl seemed to be growing out of her undesirable behavior, so it might be really discouraging to see it come around again.  Nichole Avery, author of “Planning with Kids,” explains in her blog that half-age stages are gorgeous periods of disequilibrium. 

In other words, emotional confusion is pretty typical for a three-and-a-half-year-old.  It’s going to drive you crazy, but whining is bound to happen, as well as indecisiveness. And when he demands that you do things for him that he once enjoyed doing himself, you’ll wonder if your little preschooler, the one who used to seem so sure and self-sufficient will ever be happy again.  Your patience will be given a thorough workout, but as you help him work through this unbalance, you can be assured that happiness will eventually be restored.

While this age comes with its challenges, it’s also filled with important developments, making it all worthwhile.  When you see him creating elaborate block towers, drawing detailed pictures of his family, expressing sympathy, being able to differentiate between real and unreal scenarios, telling a sequentially correct story, or when a stranger is able to understand most of what he says, give him a thumbs-up, for these are all evidence of development.  It may not be as obvious as a first step, or a first word while it’s happening. But when you take a moment to look back in time, before he was a preschooler, you’ll see just how big these changes in his development really are.


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Preschooler Development: 3 ½ to 4 Years Old

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