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Comfort, Play & Teach: A Positive Approach to Parenting™ helps you encourage your child's social, emotional and intellectual development.
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What to expect and how you can help, as your child grows and develops.
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Social Development: 3 to 4 years

Social Development means being able to make friends and get along with others, to work as part of a team and be a good leader, all of which are built on self-confidence, cooperation and trust.

Emerging Skills
  • Begin to grasp the concept of sharing
  • Enjoy games with rules
  • Enjoy dramatic play with others
  • Take turns
  • Comply with requests from parents more often
  • Look/seek adult approval
  • Find out more about What to Expect from your preschooler, 3 to 4 Years.


    Through the comfort and responsiveness of an adult, preschoolers will learn how to handle their emotions and how to seek help when needed.

    Parents Can:
  • Praise their preschooler for his efforts
  • Provide feedback about what he does well (such as getting dressed on his own)
  • Child Will:
  • Be encouraged to take on more activities independently
  • Gain confidence
  • Feel motivated to be more independent

  • Parents Can:
  • Be available to their preschooler, even when she is playing or working on her own, and be prepared to talk
  • Child Will:
  • Know that you take an interest in her activities
  • Feel valued by your availability
  • Feel secure

  • Parents Can:
  • Give their preschooler a special responsibility, such as helping to water the flowers in the garden
  • Child Will:
  • Feel he has a special role
  • Feel independent
  • Gain confidence and have a stronger sense of self

  • Play

    Through opportunities for play, preschoolers will experience joyful, free, spontaneous moments of fun while also learning about themselves and others.

    Parents Can:
  • Provide opportunities for their preschooler to play with other preschoolers
  • Child Will:
  • Develop her ability to share
  • Practice turn-taking
  • Comply with your request

  • Parents Can:
  • Praise turn-taking during everyday routines, such as waiting for his turn to take a bath or helping with dinner
  • Child Will:
  • Begin to practice turn-taking, even in everyday events
  • Begin to refine the necessary social skills for school

  • Parents Can:
  • Spend time playing simple games that require turn-taking, for example, card games such as "Memory" or "Go Fish"
  • Child Will:
  • Gain confidence
  • Develop turn-taking skills
  • Begin to understand expectations of games with rules
  • Enjoy playing with you

  • Teach

    Through routines, and emotionally and physically safe and secure environments, preschoolers can learn how to think, solve problems and communicate.

    Parents Can:
  • Ask their preschooler about her day, with specific open-ended questions. For example, "What was one special thing you did?" or "Who did you enjoying playing with today?"
  • Child Will:
  • Feel her comments are valued
  • Seek your approval for the good things that happened in her day
  • Want to talk to you more often about her day

  • Parents Can:
  • Explain to their preschooler the reasons behind requests. For example, "Go to bed so that you can be rested and ready to play in the morning"
  • Child Will:
  • Comply with requests more often
  • Understand that there are reasons behind requests
  • Have a better understanding of routines, rules and limits

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