Pre School Preschool Social & Cognitive Development

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First trimester do's and don'ts

Preschool Social & Cognitive Development

  • 01

    Most parents will at some time or another encounter their child’s refusal to go to bed when the appointed hour arrives. Evenings are a time of day when mums and dads are most likely to be at home together, with the working day over and the household winding down for the night. Naturally, children want to spend as much time as they can with their mums and dads and this is the time of day when they are most likely to have both of their attention. It can be difficult for them to understand that they need to go to sleep – telling them that they could be affecting their healthy development by having late nights isn’t going to cut it, as four-year olds lack the cognitive ability to think ahead and make such a reasoned judgement. Here are ten handy tips that have been designed to help you help your little one settle down for the night with a minimum of fuss.

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  • 02

    At the age of four years your child still lacks full self-control and will often act on impulse. When their impulses result in a transgression, it can take several admonishments before the offending behaviour stops. Repeating transgressions is also a way of testing the limits – does mum really mean it or can I get away with my behaviour? Will dad ignore me if I carry on after he’s told me to stop? It can be difficult knowing how to discipline a child when all they seem to do is to want to willfully oppose you at every turn. Here we look at how you can help your child learn to understand what is acceptable and what is unacceptable behaviour.

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  • 03

    Kindergarten is a great way for your child to learn how to get along with other children and will help them learn the vital social skills that are important for life. You might be successful in improving your little one’s language and numerical abilities at home through maths and reading activities, but kindergarten will teach social and communication skills that will enable them to become more proficient in cooperating with, talking to and playing with others. Starting kindergarten is a major milestone for your child and you can prepare them for it in many ways. Here are the best ways to get your child ready for their enrolment in their first year of school.

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  • 04
    Sibling Rivalry

    Being a parent with more than one infant can increase the childcare workload exponentially. Not only do you have the additional demands of another person to cater for, you also will have to spend time and energy managing the relationship dynamics between your siblings, which can be a full-time job in itself. Sibling rivalry is not always a problem between younger family members, but when it is an issue, it can be a source of discord and stress and a very draining experience. Some children experience jealousy more than others when it comes to having to share their parents’ time and affection with a brother or sister.

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  • 05
    How to Win and Lose Graciously

    It will probably come as no surprise to you that for your child, winning is often everything. For four and five year olds, playing a game is only fun if they come first. Any hint that they may not finish as the champion in whichever pastime they’re engaged in is liable to open the floodgates to tears or induce bad behaviour and a reluctance to continue. While some preschoolers have no problem accepting defeat, others have concluded that being number one is the most important outcome for every situation. To them, losing—whether the competition is a board game, a running race, or even a game of pass the parcel at a children’s party —is likely to trigger tantrums and sulks.

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  • 06
    Imaginary Friends

    At four years of age, your child will have an extremely active imagination and quite often this can extend to having a make-believe friend. It is quite common for children at this stage in their development to have an imaginary companion, so it’s nothing for you to worry about if your little one starts referring to a person or animal that clearly is a figment of their fertile and productive mind.

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  • 07
    Bed Wetting

    It can be worrying and frustrating for you if your child is wetting their bed. It can also be very tiring for both you and your child, with the repeated interruptions to a good night’s sleep causing exhaustion that affects your daily activities. There are also practical and financial consequences that are incurred when bedwetting is a problem, such as the need to continually wash bedclothes and nightwear. However, most bedwetting resolves with time and medical treatment is only usually indicated if the episodes continues on a regular basis (twice a week or more) once your child is over the age of 5 years.

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  • 08

    It can be very upsetting when you witness your child biting another child, or indeed if you find yourself on the receiving end of a chomp from your little one. Although you might find it disturbing, biting behaviour is common in pre-school children and most will have bitten someone at least once and will have themselves experienced the pain of being bitten by another. Children bite less frequently after their toddler years, when biting is related to oral exploration, but they can still give a nasty nip as they get older, particularly in situations where children are placed together, such as in playgroups.

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  • 09
    Night Terrors

    Night terrors are a form of sleep disorder that can be very distressing for young children, as well as upsetting for their parents. Night terrors are distinctly different from common nightmares and are characterised by frequent and recurrent episodes of fear and crying and during sleep, with difficulty rousing the child to wakefulness. Night terrors typically occur in children aged 3-12 years, with boys slightly more affected than girls. In children younger than 3½ years, the peak frequency of night terrors is at least one episode per week. Among older children, the peak frequency is one to two episodes per month. The disorder usually resolves during adolescence.

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  • 10
    Safety near Water

    Living in this part of the world means that we are blessed with more than our fair share of sunshine, with water activities being a firm favourite for adults and children alike. However, fun by the pool can so easily turn to tragedy if younger children are not supervised correctly. Nearly 1,000 children die each year from drowning, with the majority of deaths occurring in home swimming pools. It is the second leading cause of accidental death for people between the ages of 5 and 24. By making sure that your child is properly supervised at the beach and by the pool you can keep them safe from harm and enjoy all the fun that water has to offer.

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  • 11

    The period of development from 3-6 years of age is extremely important for your child, as this is a time when their language, motor, comprehension and analytical skills will be steadily improving through their play activities. At this age, your child will be full of energy and learning to run, jump, skip, climb and generally be as physically active as they can. Their developing coordination skills mean that they are learning how to throw and kick a ball, with the result that they are starting to become more involved in play activities with others. Passing the ball back and forth introduces them to concepts of taking turns. Teaching them to catch and showing them how they can kick teaches them about following instructions.
    This is the stage when parallel play gives way to shared play, although parents need to be aware that there is the potential for tears when playmates get together – sharing is a social skill that takes time to develop.

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