Your child at this age may often dream and play make-believe. You will not be able to fulfill all of his dreams and wishes, but you can give him the respect he deserves by listening. Give your child the right to express himself freely and encourage him to express all his feelings. Show him ways, like the examples shown below, to express anger and other negative feelings that do not damage other people or things.
Your child is angry. Her body language is telling you just how angry she is.
Why is she angry? Your daughter wanted something and you said "no" to the request. She is angry at you and lets you know it. Here's a positive way to handle it.
Child: "I won't love you if you won't let me do it; I hate you!"
Mother: (Responding calmly): "You seem to be angry."
Child: "I am! I don't like you!"
Mother: "I understand that you feel angry when you don't get what you want. Sometimes, I feel angry too. When you feel that way it is better to talk about it. Maybe if I tell you why I said 'No', you will understand and not be so angry. The reason I said 'No' is...."
Note: Your child may continue to repeat that she is angry and hates you. Your response is the "broken-record" technique - saying very calmly each time she says she's angry: "I understand you're angry, but you cannot do it." Your child will soon tire of your quiet response and go to another activity.
Friends and Toys
Your son built a block tower, which his friend knocked over. Your son then hit his friend. You want to help him shift his expression of anger away from hitting others to talking-telling others he is angry and why.
Mother: "Hitting hurts and it is not allowed! You can tell your friend how you feel. If you are still angry, you may hit the cushion or hit the plastic nails with the plastic hammer or you can tell your friend how you feel. But you may not hit Janie."
HINT: Now is the time to help your child learn how to tell his friend that he doesn't like his tower being knocked over!
A good pattern for this is to teach him to say: "I feel ______ when you ______ and I want you to ______." Fill in the first blank with what he is feeling and the second with the action that upset him. The third blank is for your child to tell what he would rather the other person do.
Note: This is not making your child say, "I am sorry" but having him express his feelings.
Teach your child to wash his hands after using the restroom. Show him how to use the soap and thoroughly clean his hands.
Remember to read to your child each day. A good book about feelings will help your child develop an understanding of his feelings and the feelings of others.
Let your child make believe he is reading his favorite book to you. Help him hold the book right side up and to turn the pages from the front to the back.
Let your child explore colors. Finger paint is excellent for this.
Make a fun time of naming the parts of the body. For example: First touch the nose and ask, "What is that?" Then touch the toes and ask, "What is that?" Touch the ears and ask what they are and what they do. When he know the simpler body parts, add new parts such as chin, elbow, knee, waist, etc. Do bending and stretching exercises with your child and have him touch each part as you name the parts. This helps him develop his muscles as well as his mind.
Toss a soft medium-size ball to your child and let him toss it back to you.
Give your child toys that are moveable, such as: cars, trucks, building blocks, puzzles, tricycles, wagons or swings.
Put a piece of wide masking tape or duct tape on the floor and let your child practice walking on the line.
Help your child work puzzles. Once he masters a puzzle, you can make it harder by turning the puzzle pieces face-down and then let him turn the pieces over and work the puzzle.