Four year olds are a lot of fun. They are energetic, curious, and a little bit more self sufficient. They are also very independent minded and a little bossy. As the Academy of Pediatrics states, “they generally have out-of-bounds behavior”. They really test the limits. Tantrums are still very much present, but four year olds are also developing some reasoning skills. There is a significant amount of imagination and pretend play that also happens at this age.
Depending on your child’s language skills, our expectations of their behavior can sometimes be very high. We forget that they are not at our level, and that their impulse control is not fully developed. It is normal for a four year old to resist when limits are set. Distraction, modeling behavior, and limits remain very effective ways of helping your child move on from negative behavior.
Most four year olds are toileting very well, although they may still need help wiping and cleaning themselves.
Some four year olds are napping, whereas others are no longer needing the nap.
Four year olds are also much more conscious of what is occurring socially. They may want to please a friend and start to try to adhere to the rules of a game (with guidance).
Singing, climbing, dancing, and generalized exuberant energy is the main crux of this age.