At 4 years old, kids are gaining independence as they join school and leave their parents for the first time for extended periods. They continue to be curious about the world and become more creative and talented due to increased physical and emotional development. They’re no longer a baby, but they still need to be carefully supported by their parents. Here are some of our top tips to help ensure you have a happy 4 year old.
Encourage Independence and Responsibility
Up until they’re aged 4, most kids will have had everything done for them by their parents or guardians. Age 4 is a good time to encourage a little more basic responsibility and independence into their lives to help grow their self esteem and social skills.
Getting ready for school is a good chance to encourage some independence. The first time they get ready for school they will need guidance over getting dressed and ready. After a few days at school, give them the opportunity to get ready themselves. Give them simple instructions and wait for them to get ready. When they’re ready, check that they’re wearing the right clothes and have brushed their teeth. Don’t forget to praise their efforts to encourage more independence in the future.
Read at Bedtime
Reading a book to your child at bedtime can help them relax after an action-packed day. It’s also a great way of helping them learn new words and build their vocabulary, which is crucial in helping kids to express themselves and succeed in school. Story time is helpful for family bonding as you have an opportunity to spend some quality time alone with your kid. Furthermore, reading can help your child grow a love for books. If they show an interest, follow this up with trips to the library to help them discover even more fun books.
Reward Good Behavior
Every now and then it’s nice to treat kids to a new toy if they’ve been well behaved. You don’t want to spoil your kids, but every so often this can help strengthen relationships and improve your family bond. If your child has had good reports in school, you could buy them a gift as a reward. This will help encourage them to continue their good behavior through school. If you need some cool ideas for what to buy, take a look at this guide.
At age 4, children will start school and spend more time away from home than ever before in their lives. As your kid’s independence and curiosity grows, they can find themselves in more dangerous situations if they are not properly warned. Give them guidelines to follow for when you’re not there.
Stress the importance of staying away from the road, even if they drop something. They should never run into the road to chase after a ball. Teach your child to be wary of strangers and never to get into someone’s car who they don’t know. Finally, if your child can’t swim, make sure they stay away from the edges of ponds or lakes in case they fall in.