|

The Body and Soul of a Preschooler

Q-tip

Remember that your child will look to you as a model of how to express emotions. So make a point of expressing your own emotions honestly.

Q-tip

Try to encourage your preschooler's use of words to express emotions—especially anger and frustration. It can help to reduce conflict—or at least provide an alternative to physical attacks. Whenever you notice your child using words or some other means to avoid violent behavior, applaud him and let him know how proud you are.

Despite her dramatically improving verbal skills, your three-year-old will often still express her emotions physically-and histrionically. When angry, she'll hit, push, stomp, or yell. When sad or disappointed, she'll throw herself down on the floor and overact a protracted death scene. When happy, she'll squeal with delight.

Don't bother trying to tell your preschooler to control her emotional expression. First of all, she probably can't do it anyway. And second, if you forbid or attempt to curtail your child's physical expression of emotions, you may deny her the emotion itself.

Remember, your three-year-old probably doesn't have all the words she needs to express everything she feels. If you tell your excited preschooler to sit quietly or restrain herself, you can unwittingly transform her excitement into frustration and even sadness. So try to accept and even encourage the way your child expresses emotions. Support her feelings and any nonviolent way that she expresses them, whether that means tears, kicking the floor, or bouncing off the walls with joy.

As the year goes by, your three-year-old's expression of emotions will remain very physical, but she will acquire additional tools (words) that will enable her to express her feelings in other ways. Certainly tantrums and other dramatic displays of emotion won't disappear. But your child will begin to use words to voice her emotions, too.

More on: Preschool

|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Parenting a Preschooler and Toddler, Too © 1997 by Keith M. Boyd, M.D., and Kevin Osborn. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

easter fun
& crafts

Egg-cellent ideas
for tons of
Easter fun.

GO

highlights

Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Easter Egg Decorating Ideas
Need some fun ideas for decorating Easter eggs with the kids? Look no further for colorful and cool designs!

7 Ways to Curb Kids' Exposure to Violence
American children are exposed to violence more often than you might think. Learn how to limit your child's exposure to violence and manage the mental health and behavioral effects it can cause.