What Behaviour To Expect Of Young Children

What Behaviour To Expect Of Young Children


  • Cry to get what they need and what they want
  • Are dependent on adults
  • Love to play with their food
  • Get into everything
  • Sleep less as they grow
  • Learn by touching, tasting, smelling, seeing, and hearing
2-year olds:

  • Are learning to be independent (say "No" many times)
  • Are possessive ("That's Mine")
  • Are noisy
  • Try to get their own way
  • Have a short memory
  • Can't make up their mind
  • Are pokey (play in food, dawdle)
  • Can't sit still
3-year olds:
  • Try to please
  • Follow through on tasks fairly well
  • Accept suggestions
  • Can be reasoned with
  • Are attentive when spoken to, especially when called by name
  • Can make choices
  • Can talk enough to be understood
  • Haven't learned how to share yet
4-year olds:

  • Want friends
  • Ask many questions
  • Tend to be bossy
  • Brag and stretch the truth
  • Tattle frequently
  • Talk a lot
  • Can learn to take turns
  • See themselves as the centre of attention
  • Enjoy playing with made-up words
  • Say words that shock you
5-year olds:

  • Are friendly with friends (usually) and parents
  • Are businesslike
  • Like to imitate grown-ups
  • Like to feel independent
  • Tattle on others
  • Enjoy dressing up
  • Can give their name and address
  • Are serious and demanding
It is important to know the characteristic behaviour for each age. Often parents are irritated by children's behaviour when they are only acting their age. This does not mean that the misbehaviour should be ignored, but it does help when you realize that the child will out-grow the behaviour.
Discipline needs to be in keeping with the child's age and abilities. Ask yourself: Are my demands reasonable for this age? Do I expect too much?
This is an excerpt from an article that first appeared on http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/350/350-110/350-110.html


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