Why? A thousand times a day: why? Curiosity drives them, and experimentation and imitation are the methods they use to seek their answers. They will take things apart that you can't, put together things that won't go together, and play with things they were told not to. Walls will be crayoned or dry-erased. Tents will be built, Legos will be everywhere. They know the stove is hot, but they might try to make jello anyway. Their hands are increasingly nimble, as are their minds. It is a wonderful time.
- Evaluate toys for appropriateness carefully. Your child may be frustrated by a toy requiring more dexterity than he possesses. Your hall of fame child will not be able to hold a full-sized football effectively.
- They will wander away from you in the store. When you find them and scold them they will think you are crazy, then they will either cry or have a hissy fit, or both. Remain calm. Hug them.
- As they approach kindergarten, teach them their address and phone number, what is 911 and how to call, and what to do when they are lost (stay put).
- Teach them safe social behavior and the early parts of taking care of themselves when separated from you. Part of this is location and situational awareness.
- Start teaching them about fire, how to get out of the house if need be, and where to go. You need to know too. Perhaps a neighbor could be introduced as a safe place.
This page was authored by Dr. James C. Montgomery MD FAAP.