The countless homework tantrums, a new sense of independence and never-ending questions – raising a 4-year old is a mixed bag. It is a beautiful experience as well as a challenging job. The goal must be to ensure the overall development of a child. It comprises the daily routine, healthy food habits, and the child’s academic and physical growth and safety. As a parent, ensure to tick all the boxes correctly concerning different facets of your child’s life.
In this article, we will discuss some parenting tips for 4 years old that are of utmost importance. We will look at Do’s and Don’ts and the day-to-day activities you can plan for your kid.
Parenting tips for overall development
At this stage, children begin to indulge in daily routines. They begin to manage things independently including – dressing, brushing teeth, sharing toys and making friends. It’s time to enrol them in preschool, which will help them develop social, cognitive and physical skills. You can also motivate your kid to do small chores around the house, like clean their rooms, wipe the tables and so on.
Food Habits for 4 years old
It is best to encourage healthy food habits from a young age itself. Make sure children get three proper meals and two nutrition rich snacks every day. A diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, dairy products and devoid of high fat and high sugar items is recommended.
High-calorie snacks like chips, soft drinks, ice cream and candies must be allowed on a particular cheat day, but not regularly. Also, avoid scolding your child over poor eating habits and instead spread positivity and pleasant vibes on the meal table.
Parental guidance can make a child’s physical activity more streamlined and your preschooler more active.
These activities must be encouraged daily:
- One hour structured play: It involves involving a child in activities like riding, swimming, playing sports, etc., under adult supervision.
- One hour of free play: You allow the child to explore and organize themselves in physical activities.
- Limit screen time: Make sure your child doesn’t spend much time in sedentary activities like watching on screen, reading or colouring.
Use of technology
Screen time is not always harmful. There are tons of educational videos and games available on the Internet, which can help your child learn stuff in a fun way. However, It is essential to monitor that a child is consuming age-appropriate content and not spending much time in sedentary activities.
Parenting tips for your child’s health
It’s the age when you must educate your child about health risks and safety measures to take during fire or kidnapping.
Annual health checkup is a must to take care of the following:
- Examine child’s growth and development
- Review the child’s diet and sleep cycle.
- Necessary immunizations like DTaP, IPV etc.
- Monitor metrics like height, weight and blood pressure and dental hygiene.
- Screening tests like vision and hearing.
Educate on safety
It is vital to make your 4 year old aware of various safety concerns and how they must respond to them.
- Proper use of car seats: A child must sit facing forward and wear harness straps long enough.
- Prevent choking: Take special care to not leave small objects like coins, rubber, safety pins within the child’s reach.
- Water safety: Encourage your child to learn swimming, but ensure that they wear proper safety costumes and are under adult supervision.
- Avoiding strangers: It is vital to take care that your child doesn’t fall prey to a stranger who offers candies or engages them in a play.
New preschool world
It will introduce your kid to a new world where he learns new skills every day and develops social interactions.
Here are some parenting tips for 4 years old when it comes to managing their emotions and behaviour:
- Praise good behaviour with your little gestures.
- Don’t lose your calm when frustrated.
- Assign small responsibilities to help them grow.
- Be patient with countless questions.
Activity ideas for 4 years old children
Parents can always engage their child in certain exciting activities, which boost their academic, motor and social-emotional skills. Here are some simple and enjoyable activities that help kids learn and engage and even allows parents to connect with them better.
A math fusion to mealtime
It’s the best way to get creative with your child while you are busy with household chores. You can ask your kid to recognise the shape of dishes and utensils, ask them to count the number of cups and much more. Not just meals, you can devise similar fun math exercises during laundry, dress-up, bedtime etc. You can explore more Math fusion ideas here.
Takeaways – Develop math skills, Fosters creativity
A puppet play
Motivate your kids to act out a play on some story or fairy tale. Ask them questions about the play, its characters and how they imagine it.
Takeaways – Improves communication skills, Overcome stage fear.
Put blocks together
Games like Building blocks and Jenga involve putting the blocks together to be stable and not topple.
Takeaways – Sharpens the mind, Develop problem-solving skills.
Make a museum
Let your child showcase their imagination while they create their museum. They can collect their tiny treasures like rocks, toys, shells etc. and arrange them in small jars or egg cartons. It is a fun way for a child to learn letter recognition and make themselves aware of art and history.
Takeaways – Fosters creativity and language skills.
Ride a bicycle
It is one of the vital motor skills which you must encourage for your child. Gradually, remove the training wheels to help them master balancing. It is advisable to stay with the kid and not leave them alone.
Takeaways – Motor skills, Develops concentration.
Paper weaving is quite engaging and requires simple props. All you require is two coloured sheets, a pencil, a ruler and scissors.
How to do:
- Draw straight lines across one of the sheets.
- Half-fold the other sheet and draw straight lines, maintaining at least 3 cm space from the edge.
- Cut our strips from the first sheet.
- Cut the other sheet along the lines but not completely. The paper must remain intact after it is opened.
- Make your child learn how to weave two papers by alternating them over.
Takeaways – Develops focus and hand-eye coordination, teaches basic sewing and weaving.
Sort the marbles
Fill up the basket with cotton balls and marbles. Ask your child to sort them separately, only using their sense of touch.
Takeaways – Helps improve focus and sensation of touch.
If your child loves a pet, engage them when you are feeding your pet. They can help in bathing your pet, offering them correct food at the correct time, brushing their fur, etc. It develops a sense of empathy and responsibility in a child at this tender age.
Takeaways: Empathy, Responsibility, Good memory, Concentration
8 mistakes to avoid with 4 year olds
No doubt, parenting a 4 years old can often be an ultimate test of your patience level. Preschoolers seek their independence and may act too demanding sometimes. But that doesn’t discard the fact that they also seek care and attention from their loved ones.
Here are the 8 mistakes parents tend to make while dealing with their kids, along with the Parenting tips to avoid them.
1) Inconsistency with routine
If you sometimes adhere to the child’s demand, and sometimes you don’t, a child may get confused. They lack a sense of maturity to understand the circumstances at this age.
How to fix it?
It is essential to be consistent with the routine in most cases. Avoid straying away from daily routines like mealtime, sleep hours and discipline.
2) Focusing only in negatives
Parents tend to look only at the negative actions of their child. It’s easy to yell and scream when the child does wrong, ignoring the good deeds.
How to fix it?
Appreciating the kid when they do something positive is equally crucial. Little gestures like a reward, a hug or a kiss mean a lot for your preschooler.
3) Ignoring the warning signs
Some parents tend to reason, even if the child throws repeated tantrums. However, you might be ignoring the crucial warning signs.
How to fix it?
Keep a close watch on kid’s warning signs like hunger, fatigue or boredom. It’s time to take appropriate action and not reason any longer.
4) Don’t encourage whining
It’s okay to pamper your kid, but only to a certain extent. If you encourage whining, the child figures out the correct pulse to press and seeks more and more attention.
How to fix it?
It’s okay to not respond to the demands. A child will eventually realize that these tantrums will no longer work.
5) Don’t overschedule the child
Parents tend to make their child too busy by aligning them to many activities – dance classes, music classes etc. It can make them feel exhausted and affect their sleep.
How to fix it?
Every child needs free time at home to calm themselves. The heavy burden can do more harm than good.
6) Underestimating the free play
Many parents enroll their child into various programs and classes, neglecting the value of free play.
How to fix it?
According to many psychologists, free play allows the kids to explore themselves better and develop their brains faster. Goofing around, dramatic play, roughhousing are some examples of free play.
7) Too busy with daily grinds
Adults tend to become way too engrossed in their office, their cellphones and other tasks. It implies giving less or no attention to your child’s play.
How to fix it?
Giving dedicated half-hour attention is better than sitting distracted the whole day. You can set a timer to ensure a dedicated time to be involved in kid’s activities.
8) Don’t overreact to lies
Parents often lose their cool and freak out when children lie. However, it is an emotional change the child showcases and is natural.
How to fix it?
Don’t overreact to the situation. It might make the kid even more anxious and insecure. You must realize that it is a normal phase in a child’s development.
In a nutshell, Effective Parenting requires consistent efforts, patience and diligence on your part. This article discussed vital parenting tips for 4 years old kids, the Do’s and Don’ts, and some worthy activities to keep them engaged. Plan out every moment of your child’s life – daily routine, food habits, education, physical activity, health and safety. And remember, the child is just a reflection of us. Give them ample opportunities, consistency and security to grow themselves.