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Three Things Preschoolers Crave

by Lori Sciame | June 28th, 2012 | Preschool

The stages of your child’s life each present themselves as a gift. A newborn, helpless in every way, requires complete care from parents. Once your son or daughter becomes a preschooler, he or she can do many things on his own, from eating to getting dressed to brushing teeth; however, there are three things that preschoolers continue to crave from mom and dad: love, security, and adventure.

Moving from the terrible two’s to being a preschooler marks a huge turning point in a child’s life. No longer will tantrums threaten to erupt, and it seems as if your little one has turned into a self-sufficient creature. Now that you separate for play dates, it seems as if your child doesn’t need you as much. This could not be further from the truth. He or she still craves lots of love, including hugs, kisses, and words of affection.

Some parents were raised to stop public displays of affection somewhere around preschool age. This end to physical affection isn’t necessary. Your son will still grow up to be a “man” if you continue to hug and kiss him as much as you want to. Of course, once a child hits school age, let her lead the way with how much affection to show in front of friends. In essence, your preschooler enjoys affection from each parent, and stopping it can have a negative effect on your relationship.

Children also crave security. Your son or daughter wants to feel confident that you will always be available to him or her when a problem arises. For example, if your child is ill, make the extra effort, and shower them with attention. Also, if he is afraid of the dark, or of monsters under the bed, work through the problem until fears are eased.

My three year-old son decided that robots lived outside his window. I don’t know if he dreamed it, but I knew I had to act so he would once again feel safe in his bedroom. I proceeded to go outside while his dad held him by the window, and I said, “Would mommy go outside if there were really mean robots?” It worked; he again felt safe and secure.

A final thing that preschoolers crave is adventure. This could be in the form of learning skills or in the exploration of new places. As my earlier example about robots shows, children this age have vivid imaginations, and they are trying to make sense of the world. Going on these simple adventures aid this process, all while having fun.

Activities that promote adventure and having a good time include going to the zoo, visiting a park with play equipment, attending a local fair, taking part in a kid’s day at the museum, and signing up for a summer reading program at a local library.

Enjoy your time with your preschooler. Lavish the love, supply the security, and provide plenty of adventure, and you will have memories to last a lifetime (and one happy child).

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