Emotional Development: 4 year old

Your child's fantasy life will continue to be quite active. But his ability to distinguish between fact and fantasy will improve dramatically.

When you order your 4-year-old to pick up his toys or clear his plate, he may occasionally tell you to "shut up" or assault you with kiddie profanity ("No way, poopie face.") Sassing off -- although difficult to hear -- is actually a good sign. It means your child is learning to challenge authority and test the limits of his independence. Still, it's important to reprimand your child when he shows disrespect.

Self-confidence is growing. Listen to the way he converses with adults. In the past, he may have been clingy or shy. But now he looks people in the eyes and implores them to listen.

Your 4-year-old is becoming more aware of sexuality. He may begin to ask questions about the differences between boys and girls, explore his genitals and express curiosity about other children's private parts.

More skills and milestones:

Development Tracker main page


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