Common Concerns during the Preschool Period
The preschool period includes ages 3 to 5 years old children. During this time, physical growth is considerably slow and personality and cognitive growth is substantial. The psychosocial development of preschoolers is initiative vs. guilt. As preschool children encounter a widening social world, they are challenged more than when they were infants. Active, purposeful behavior is needed to cope with these challenges. Children are asked to assume responsibility for their bodies, their behavior, their toys, and their pets. Developing a sense of responsibility increases initiative. Uncomfortable guilt feelings may arise, though, if the child is irresponsible and is made to feel too anxious.
- Children of this age are constantly asking mostly “how” and “why” questions. Parents have to answer these questions simply curiosity, vocabulary building and questioning are encouraged.
- Mealtime conversation is encouraged as preschoolers find this enjoyable and they can describe something from their day in great detail.
- Parents should correct “bathroom language,” as children of this age imitate language exactly.
- Adults should watch out their language as preschoolers imitate exactly what they hear and this is the language pattern they adopt.
Children at this age do not need too many toys. The imagination that this age group has is keener than they will be at any other time in their lives. Playing house and games that use imitation ate the ones they enjoy a lot. What preschoolers see that their parents are doing, they imitate. Thus, it is very important that parents and caregivers set a good example to these children. Actions that preschoolers love to imitate are eating meals, mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, arguing and etc.
When playing with other preschooler, they pretend to be teachers, cowboys, firefighters, doctors, nurses, dentists and etc. imaginary friends are normal at this stage because of having an active imagination. Imaginary friends often exist until these children formally begin school.