Your Preschooler

What are typical behavioral characteristics and challenges?
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:

What are some solutions to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)?
Children this age are constantly testing their parents and the world. Many parents face similar behavioral problems. Try some of these solutions to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) you may have about your preschooler.

Some days my preschooler acts as though she's ready to be "all grown up," other times I fear she's regressing back to her "baby" days. How can I help her through this change?
I think that if I communicated better with my child I would be able to influence his behavior more. But how can I start to improve this aspect of our relationship?

Remember that your child has a limited vocabulary and doesn't understand everything you say. It's important not to use too many words. Don't expect your child to understand another person's viewpoint because children this age are very egocentric. Also, your child can't understand abstract ideas yet so it's important to use concrete examples when using logic, reason, or cause and effect (e.g. if you turn your plate over, all the food will fall off). Practice these ways to communicate with your child:

My 4 year-old daughter seems so angry all the time, but I can't get her to talk to me about what is going on. What can I do?

Try active listening! Active listening is the art of observing and listening to your child's feelings, then repeating what you have heard to your child. Active listening: An example of active listening:
My 3 ˝ year-old child has terrible temper tantrums - especially when we are out in public and she isn't getting her way. What can I do? No matter what I try it makes things worse...

Tantrums are one typical expression of young children's anger. Children often have trouble verbalizing their feelings and act on them instead.
I feel as though my preschooler does not listen to me at all. I tell him to clean his room and he keeps playing. Ever since he turned 4, it's been a struggle to have him do anything that I tell him to do. In fact, sometimes he'll do the opposite! What can I do?
My oldest son was potty trained by 18 months. My youngest daughter is almost 4 and is still not potty trained! I am using the same potty training strategies I used with Ray, my oldest. What am I doing wrong?
My preschooler will not eat about 85% of what I serve to him. In fact, the only things he will eat on a regular basis are peanut butter sandwiches on white bread - sometimes some apple slices. I've become a short-order cook for my family! What can I do to change this?
When my child is really acting up, I give her a quick spanking and her behavior stops immediately. Spanking seems to work better than any of the other disciplinary methods I've tried, so why is it bad?
My child doesn't always listen to me. It's a struggle to get her to do what I say. There's no reasoning with her, especially once she's throwing a tantrum. How can I effectively discipline her?

More general parenting tips

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