Fourth Year To School Age - Emotions

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Fourth Year To School Age - Emotions
Fourth Year To School Age - Emotions
Video: Fourth Year To School Age - Emotions
Video: Teaching children how to manage emotions 2023, February

Fourth year to school age: emotions & behavior

From the fourth year of life to school age, toddlers develop into school children. The little ones feel their way through their development in a playful way. You move from the child's (fantasy) world to reality and thereby arm yourself for later life.

As in other development phases, every child has their own pace. Quite a few hurdles are overcome together with parents and new friends.


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  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • Set an example and offer support to children
  • Language and cleanliness development
  • Of Witches and Wizards - Magical Thinking
  • Why? What for? - The child's thirst for knowledge
  • Emotions and Relationship: Opportunities & Challenges
  • Sexual Development: The “Small” Difference
  • When thumb sucking & bed wetting cause problems

Set an example and offer support to children

Always curious and full of the urge to move, children often put their environment to the test. Parents can support their children with many steps and be the port from which children experience adventures and discover the environment. Children need a lot of security and support to cope with this important development path. Parents are the most important role models for their children. In addition, a healthy rhythm of life, in which activity and relaxation alternate, is helpful for the whole family.

Language and cleanliness development

Four-year-old children already know what time is and can empathize with other people. They can also form sentences of five to six words. By the age of five, a child has already mastered around 8,000 words and can tell stories. Many children go to the bathroom at this age. Sometimes, however, there can still be small "mishaps".

Of Witches and Wizards - Magical Thinking

Between the ages of four and six, the child's imagination is in its prime. Preschool children explain natural events with the help of fairytale characters such as witches or wizards. Objects are also humanized - for example, an object is "evil" because you hit it. This childlike way of thinking is called “magical thinking”. Children develop this way of thinking even if they don't know fairy tales. Adults of earlier epochs often explained natural events with mystical explanations. So it seems to be in human nature - at least in a development phase - to believe in "magic".

A child's perception only develops step by step towards recognizing (logical) connections. In the course of language development, for example, an understanding of symbols is created. The child gradually learns to distinguish between fantasy and reality. It also uses the imagination as a creative way to explain what is going on around you. The closer the seventh birthday comes, the easier it is for children to distinguish between real and fantasy. With factual explanations you bring your child closer to reality. But also listen to his fantastic stories and help him distinguish between the fantasy world and the real world.

Why? What for? - The child's thirst for knowledge

Question after question - the curiosity of preschoolers knows no bounds, there is so much to understand and explore. Why is the sun shining? Why is it raining? Children want to discover the world, and that leaves a lot of confusion. Often children repeat their questions - this is because they learn particularly well through repetition. As a parent, this flood of questions can sometimes lead to an explanation problem. Parents do not have to know everything by far, but they can help their offspring to answer the questions together (e.g. by visiting a museum, reference works, etc.). Questions from children are not of a philosophical nature, they want to understand why it is raining, for example (e.g. so that the plants get water).

Emotions and Relationship: Opportunities & Challenges

Children usually show a refreshing openness. They often express their emotions in a casual way. In the course of development, children learn to differentiate between their feelings, to express them adequately and to deal with them. As parents, you are in demand as an "interpreter" from the start. With babies because they cannot speak yet, with small children because they cannot yet name feelings. In toddlers and preschool children, grief often manifests itself indirectly through psychosomatic complaints or behavioral problems. Parents can help them to identify these feelings and those of others and thus make an important contribution to the development of their child's personality. All feelings are equally important and require appropriate handling.

Small "Rumpelstiltskin"

Anger or aggression usually presents parents with a particular challenge. The child always has a reason for his behavior. For example, it is annoyed (just like adults) when its wishes and needs are not met enough. In the course of development, a child repeatedly reaches its limits. There is always something that it cannot yet and has to learn first. The natural curiosity and the joy of learning are very helpful to the little ones, but the so-called "frustration tolerance" is also trained. That is, they learn to endure if something doesn't work out. It is a skill that is of great value throughout life.

Making the feeling of anger aware, helping to name it and expressing it in a "harmless" way (eg throwing pillows on the floor) helps children learn to deal with aggression constructively. Movement is a good outlet for anger - adults also notice this when, for example, they go running or do martial arts after a hard day at work. Because aggression is nothing negative per se and can by no means be equated with violence. It also offers a lot of potential that can be used creatively or as motivation. But the "how" is more than decisive with this emotion. Everyone has aggression from time to time, that's natural. Unfortunately, violence is something that is mostly learned (e.g. by setting a bad example). Uncontrolled, frequent tantrums in children should be clarified professionally.

Danger! Physical and psychological violence must not find a place in education. They are also prohibited by law. If you do not know what to do next in a critical situation or if you are afraid of getting into one, contact a family counseling center, for example. They will help you there.

The feeling of security in the family

The family or mom / dad or another primary caregiver is the haven for a child. From this security, it has the support to explore the environment and life. Just as partners are happy when they receive affection, so are children. Children are “the weaker ones” in contrast to adults. They need the consideration and support of their legal guardians. At least one caregiver is important for child development. You can find out more about attachment and why a certain sensitivity is required for this under parent-child attachment.

Unfulfilled wishes

Children can also be quite persistent when they want something. If you cannot pursue a wish, for example because you do not have the time or because it is financially unsuccessful, explain the reasons to your child. You can also look for an alternative solution together or set priorities (eg: "What do you want more?").

Finding solutions together with clarity

Own perceptions formulated in the “I” form (eg: “I get angry when…) Do not automatically assign guilt and express clearly what is going on. Wishes that are explicitly expressed (eg: "I want you to put your toys together") help the child orientate themselves. You can also offer your child support at the beginning and show them how something is done. Be consistent and look for solutions together with your child.

Find out more about constructive conflict resolution, violence and family therapy under Conflicts & Problems. Tips for creating a varied family life and for communication can be found under Lively family life.

Sexual Development: The “Small” Difference

Around their third birthday, children realize that girls are physically different from boys. For the time being, father and mother are role models in this regard. There is also "competitive behavior" - girls vie for the favor of their father, boys for that of their mother. You are practicing in a broader sense for the later partner recruitment. It is important to convey to the child that you love them, but also to your partner. Children often discover each other through play. They show their physical differences. This is completely normal. In addition, preschoolers slowly begin to explore their own genitals. This is part of sexual development and subsides again after a while until puberty.

Note Explain to your child about possible dangers (such as never getting into a car with a stranger). Sexual assaults occur most frequently in direct family or close circle of friends. If your child reports an incident, always take it seriously and seek professional help (e.g. a family counseling center).

When thumb sucking & bed wetting cause problems

Thumb sucking calms children down and is harmless until the age of three. If a child sucks their thumb later, this is usually a sign that they need something (e.g. closeness, occupation, etc.). If your child wets at night, you will find helpful information under Bedwetting.

Note If you are at the end of your game because your child shows behavioral problems (such as aggressiveness that causes harm to the child or others, hyperactivity, severe introversion) or developmental problems (such as delayed language development), do not hesitate to seek professional help. for example with a child psychiatrist or a family counseling center.

Regular mother-child pass examinations represent an important preventive health measure and ensure that development deficits are recorded in good time and that any support measures can be initiated. Information on medical check-ups in childhood, during which the health and child development is monitored, as well as preventive measures such as vaccinations, can be found under Mother-Child Pass

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