Three to six years of age is the magical time when your little one stops being little anymore. She is now, or so she likes to believe, a young lady with her own choices, preferences and circle of friends. Choosing her best friend(s) from her entire circle, deciding who she will hang out with in the park, making up her mind about her favourite colour, choosing whether she wants to be a tomboy or not – so many life-changing decisions to be made at such a young age.
And your little trooper is out there, bracing them one after another. Here’s a little on what may be going through the little head and a peek into what to expect over the next three years.
In this age bracket, her development will be broadly classified under the following categories:
- Physical development
- Language development
- Emotional development
- Social development
We shall, in the context of this topic, delve a little deeper in points three and four.
Between three and six years, your preschooler will begin to feel strong emotions and express them without a glimmer of hesitation – be it joy, anger, sadness or fear. By age five, this will move onto more complicated feelings such as accomplishment, pride and jealousy. Kids also begin associating various activities to these feelings and hence pursue them accordingly.
They also become independent in terms of being completely potty-trained. Hence, the streak of independence also grows to at least a couple of metres long. Choosing where she will go, what clothes she will wear, books she wants to read, people she wants to meet and so on – her opinions has to be valued now.
This is also the time they will try and communicate with you. Be very attentive to what she is saying. She may try and convey to you some hard facts through a make-believe character. You may actually encourage her to do so, which will give you a good insight into her head without seeming to overwhelm her.
During this phase, it is very crucial that she has your complete support and presence. Much as she prefers her ‘independent’ tag, the choices she makes will still be guided by your subtle reactions and expressions to her thoughts. There will still be a doubtful glance coming your way just as she is about to step out in her new collection of dresses. And your encouraging smile and hug will seal the choices in her mind.
The inquisitive mind has been always been awake in your little one. However, until now you have been successful in distracting her attention to something more comfortable. The next three years, however, may not be that simple. The niggling questions will refuse to go away, no matter how hard you try. And some of the awkward ones may pop up. She is beginning to learn to socialise. You can assist her during this phase, by helping her develop her thoughts on the concept of right and wrong. Now is the time when a lot of her decisions will be guided by it.
Most of the traits you will see in your little one now, in terms of social and emotional behaviour is who she naturally is. So, you will have a clear picture of whether your preschooler is the spotlight-seeker of the class or the silent dove. This will help you assist her in overcoming her traits in carving a place for herself too.