It can be difficult to look at our child and see anything other than the sweet and adorable bundle of joy that they are. However, if we peel away the layers, we can see that there is a lot of development going on beneath the surface.
Children are growing faster than ever, and this is especially true for preschoolers. Preschoolers are just emerging from this toddler stage, but they still lack much of the development that school-age children have. When we look at our three-year-olds, we need to understand what is going on in their development.
It can help parents understand why they act the way they are, why they make the choices they do, and what they can’t do. If parents have a strong understanding of this, they can support their development. You know what your child is capable of, and you can leverage their strengths and help them overcome their weaknesses.
We’ll take a closer look at the three-year-olds. We’ll look at where they are in each stage of development and how they should behave. It’s important to remember that every child develops at their own pace and these are just averages. If a mother is concerned about her child, she should talk to her doctor.
Social and emotional milestones
You may notice that your three-year-old is becoming quite a social butterfly. They’re starting to branch out and aren’t as shy as they were as toddlers. According to the CDC, there is a lot of social/emotional development at this age. One of the biggest ones parents might notice is that they can leave them anywhere without a major meltdown.
If you drop them off in preschool, they shouldn’t get upset at all, or they won’t take long to calm down when you leave. Your child will also begin to reach out to those around him. Toddlers are known to be shy, but by the time they turn three, they will start to really notice the other kids around them and join them to play games.
Now that your child is three years old, you may have noticed that they were talking up a storm. Three year olds have found their voice and they are not afraid to use it and their language development is now advanced. They should be able to say their own name, describe actions, and ask the five W’s.
They are also usually able to communicate well enough that surrounding adults can understand what they are saying. Language develops individually, and some may be a little behind, but they’re getting there. Gone are the days when mom has to try to guess what her child wants because her now three-year-old is going to tell her.
What can three year olds do?
We now know they can play with others and they’re on their way to communicating, but what else can a three-year-old do? According to CHOC, a child this age is working on all types of fine and gross motor skills. They can run and jump with ease, and they can usually navigate a flight of stairs on their own. They will be able to wash their hands themselves and you will find that their gaming skills have grown as they can stack up to 10 blocks independently.
Your child should also be able to feed themselves and dress themselves by this age. They may not be able to handle buttons or zippers yet, but they’re on the way. They also usually have full bladder/bowel control so they are either potty trained or potty ready. When it comes to sleep, three-year-olds typically still sleep about 13 hours a day, with most of them still taking an afternoon nap.
Three year behavior
Mom may be waiting for the day when her child will throw tantrums, and while children get better at handling tantrums as they get older, there may still be tantrums by the age of three. According to Raising Children, three-year-olds are beginning to understand their bodies and emotions. They understand that their emotions and feelings are theirs, and that might mean they still throw occasional tantrums, but it should still be less than before.
At the age of three, children begin to be afraid of imaginary things. This is when mom may experience more nightmares or fear of dark and small spaces. Children should also show some empathy for others at this stage and care about others around them and be concerned about their feelings.
The “uncomfortable” stuff
There is one thing mom should be aware of when it comes to her three year old and she might feel a little uncomfortable but it is completely normal. According to Just In Time Parenting, children start to really understand gender differences around the age of three. They will start to get curious about what their body looks like and the bodies of those who are different from them.
It’s not uncommon for parents to get calls from teachers that their child and a friend were trying to get a look at each other’s privates. This can be worrying, but is usually not a cause for concern. When this happens, it’s important not to be too harsh, as your child won’t understand why he did something wrong, even though he thought he was just learning. Instead, have a conversation with them about gender and body parts, but explain the importance of privacy.
When to worry
While mothers know that all children grow and develop at their own pace, they may still be concerned if they think their child is too far behind. There are some things Mom can look for that indicate something is wrong. If her child is not making eye contact, using three word phrases, or having hearing/vision problems, the mother should see a doctor at this time. It’s also important to pay attention to physical milestones they haven’t reached, such as: B. if they are clumsy most of the time or cannot hold small objects in their hands.
Sources: Just-in-Time Parenting, CDC, CHOC, Parenting