|Continue to offer 3 meals and 1-2 nutritious snacks each day. Your child should be eating what the rest of the family eats. You should decide what you’re going to serve, and your child should decide how much she wants to eat. Involve your child in meal planning and preparation. It’s important to share mealtimes as a family.|
Parenting: Discipline with love by using firm, consistent rules. Use only nonviolent discipline. The negativism that was prominent during ages 18 months to 3 years is replaced by a spirit of cooperation. Most 4 year olds want to please their parents by doing what their parents say. Generously praise your child for good behavior. Limit TV watching to less than 2 hours per day of good quality children’s entertainment.
Safety: Children this age have difficulty differentiating between reality and fantasy. They are beginning to know what actions might be dangerous, but close observation at all times is essential to keep your child safe.
Play: Reading remains one of the most important activities that you can share with your child. Children this age enjoy playing with their peers. They can play simple board games and do puzzles. They also enjoy art and craft activities as well as devising new games with new rules. Outdoor activities remain important, as do singing, dancing, and simple riddles.
Next visit is at 5 years of age. This is an exciting but difficult exam, as your child will have a “finger poke” to check hemoglobin and cholesterol as well as a number of immunizations. You may want to prepare your child a day in advance and bring along a favorite comfort object like a blanket. Tell them that you will be there to hold and comfort them but the injections are important to prevent them from getting ill. Some parents offer an incentive to completing the injections, “when we’re all done, we’ll go out for lunch or to the park,” for instance.