Age 4

Age 4

The child turns four and you are thinking how did he get to grow so fast. He was just born not too long ago. Ties to your four-year old are starting to loosen as your child develops more independence and self-confidence. Before you know it, it will be time to start kindergarten. By this age 95% of children are bowel trained and 90% are dry in the daytime and 75% at night.

Behavior

Always remember to encourage and praise your child for their achievements.

Your 4-year-old will continue asking many questions and repeat everything you say so be careful on what you say around your child.

Continue reading books to your child and spending quality time one-on-one. Limit television viewing to one hour per day. Do not use the TV as a baby sitter or it as a substitute for interaction with your child. Watch children’s programs with your child when possible.

Use a computer and surf the internet together with your child. By using the computer already at this age your child will get used to a computer. Also learning to use the computer fully will be easier for your child in the future when he is already used to seeing it being used by you. You can buy educational software for the computer and let your child learn and experience with the help of computer. You can also let him play games that help learning and are also entertaining at the same time. See our guide for parents on safe online surfing. Do not leave your child alone with the computer and don’t use a computer as a baby sitter.
Arrange times for safe running and exploring outdoors and spending time with friends. At this stage your child will begin to play cooperatively others.

Do not worry if your child is curious about body parts. This is normal at this age. Always use the correct terms for genitals. Modesty and a desire for privacy begin to emerge at this age.

Discipline should be firm and consistent, but loving and understanding. Praise your child for his or her good behavior and accomplishments.

Teach them the Value of Money:
Toddlers and Preschoolers
At this age children can sort coins, learn their value and begin to understand how money gets converted into ‘things.’ More…

Provide some type of structured learning environment in preparation for kindergarten next year. Examples include preschool, Head Start or Sunday School. Show an interest in your child’s preschool activities.

Development

* Speech is almost always understandable.
* Can usually count from 1 to 10.
* Can walk on tiptoes, climb a ladder and ride a tricycle.
* May name and match three or four primary colors.
* Knows his or her own name.
* Correctly uses the pronoun “I.”
* Children this age recognize gender differences and will correctly say “I am a girl” or “I am a boy.”
* Can dress and undress with supervision but still has trouble with laces and buttons. They also begin to be selective about what they wear.
* Holds and uses a pencil with good control. Can copy a cross, circle and possibly a square.
* Can to draw a person with a face, arms and legs.
* Engages in conversational “give-and-take.”
* Can sing a song.
* Talks about his or her day’s activities and experiences.
* Can identify emotions such as sadness, anger, anxiety and fear.

Feeding

Your four-year-old continues in a period of relatively slow growth. Average weight gain per year is only three to four pounds. Therefore, the appetite still is not what most parents think it should be. Remember, feeding problems may arise if parents make their child eat more than he or she needs to, or show too much concern in what their child eats. Provide healthy snacks rich in carbohydrates like fruits and limit high-fat, low nutrient foods. Avoid nuts, hard candy, uncut grapes, hot dogs or raw vegetables. Control sweets and avoid junk food.
The 4-year-old can and usually insists on feeding himself or herself. Mealtime should be pleasant and food should never be forced. Provide nutritious foods and let your child decide what and how much to eat. Offer small portions with the availability of a second helping.

Eat dinner together as a family whenever possible and set up at least one meal a day where the whole family is together without any outside distractions. It is important to have a family routine because it gives the child a sense of security. During the meals begin to teach your child proper table manners and encourage conversation. Turn the TV off during meals.

Sleep

An afternoon nap may still be necessary.

Fears of the dark, thunder, lightning, etc. are quite common at this age. Maintain a consistent bedtime and bedtime routine, using a night light, security blanket or toy are all ways to help lessen nighttime fears. Nightmares can wake a child up from sleep. They can be triggered by changes or stress. Reassure your child and put him or her back to bed.

Oral Health

Supervise brushing twice a day with a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste.

Take your child to the dentist for regular check-ups as recommended by the dentist. Also continue giving a fluoride supplement if recommended by the dentist. If the child sucks his or her fingers or thumb, ask the dentist how to discourage these habits. Stop pacifier use.

Learn how to prevent dental injuries and what to do in case of a dental emergency, especially the loss or fracture of a tooth.

Toilet Training

* By age 4, 95 percent of children are bowel trained.
* By age 4, 90 percent of children are dry in the daytime and 75 percent at night.

Car safety

It is very important to have your baby in a car seat no matter where you are driving. Even if the place is just around the block. Any child who weighs less than 60 pounds should be put in a safety seat every time the child is in the car. It is also a law in all 50 states. Put the baby car seat in the back seat of the car. This is the safest place for a baby to be in case of a car accident. If the car seat is in the front an airbag may seriously injure the baby. Fasten the harnesses on the car seat over the child’s shoulders with less than one inch of space. Do not put small infants in seats with rigid shields. When you are shopping for a car seat, look for the ones that are approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. For hot days you also want to make sure that the car is always kept cool inside. Check the seat’s temperature before you place your child in it. You also want to cover the car seat with a towel or blanket so exposed metal or plastic parts of the seat will not burn your baby’s skin
if it happens to be a hot day.

The following age and weight guidelines will help you choose the right car seat. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions foe exact figures.

* Birth to 9 to 12 months (or 20 pounds): Use an infant or convertible seat facing backward.
* 9 to 12 months (or 20 pounds) to 4 years (or 40 pounds): Use a convertible or toddler seat in the forward-facing position.
* 4 years (or 40 pounds) to 8 years (or 0 pounds): Keep your child in a convertible or toddler seat as long as he or she will fit. When your child has outgrown the seat, use one of the following:
If the car has a lap/shoulder belt in the rear seat, use a booster seat that positions the lap/shoulder belt alone if it fits properly. Secure the lap belt across the child’s hips. The shoulder belt should not cross the face or front of the neck.
Use the rear lap/shoulder belt alone if it fits properly. It should not cross the face or neck or ride up across the stomach. the belt should fit across the child’s hips.
If no rear lap/shoulder belt is available, use the shield-type booster seat restrained by the lap belt in the car.
If no other type of restraint is available, use the lap belt. Position it low on the hips and adjust snugly.
* 8 years and older (or 70 pounds and more): You can use the car’s protection system without a booster seat.

Safety
Your child continues to require close supervision. Accidents continue to be the principal cause of death in children in this age group. Know where your child is at all times. A 4-year-old is too young to be roaming the neighborhood alone.

Always walk behind your car before backing out of the driveway.

Many 4-year-olds are fairly good “swimmers,” but knowing how to “swim” does not make the youngster water safe. Never leave a child unattended in a bathtub, even for a few seconds. Ensure that your child wears a life vest if boating.

Begin to teach your child not to talk to strangers or accept food from strangers.

Teach your child pedestrian safety (“look both ways before crossing the street”).

Guidelines for school readiness:

If you are not sure whether your child is ready for kindergarten or not here are some signs that your child may show to tell you that you will not have anything to worry about. He is ready.

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Your child plays well with other children and takes turns, in other words have basic social skills
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Your child is able to follow directions
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He adjusts to simple rules regarding behavior and can manage in a group
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Feeds and dresses himself
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Is able to separate from you for at least ½ day

Constipation in children

Children ages 3-5, requirements in a nut shell:

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opportunities to develop their motor skills finer
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encouragement of language through a lot of talking, reading, singing
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activities that will develop a positive sense of accomplishment and mastery
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opportunities to learn cooperation, helping, sharing and social skills
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help and support with experimenting pre-writing and pre-reading skill.