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childcare centres

Three to Four years

SKIP - Ministry of Social Development

Your child might have an unsettled time around three-and-a-half when they are feeling insecure. Children can have struggles with their mother in particular, but still enjoy talking things through. Around four they become very energetic and might be rough, impatient and loud. Three and four year olds love adventures.

You can:

  • try to avoid head-on clashes
  • keep telling them how great they are
  • use lots of words like "let’s" or "how about we"
  • give in when things aren’t important
  • if they say "no" change the subject or distract
  • ignore silly talking
  • if your child swears, suggest other words they can use
  • behave as you would like your children to behave – they’ll copy what you do
  • stick to limits and rules
  • try bargaining – if you pick up your toys we’ll go to the park
  • have calm down times when there’s trouble. Take your child to a safe quiet area, explain why they are there, and that they can come back when they are ready to do what you have asked them to do. This should only be for two or three minutes.

Say yes as much as possible.
Pick your battles.