Your 3-year-old: Power of play

Your 3-year-old: Power of play

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Your 3-year-old now

Preschoolers often work out complicated emotions in their play with animals, dolls, blocks, cars, or other playthings. After a traumatic doctor visit, for example, your child might line up all her teddy bears for shots. If she witnesses a car crash in real life or in a movie, she may repeatedly smash toy trucks together.

Disturbing as this may be, don't interrupt right away. Your child is assimilating the new experience, and play is a safe way to do so. It might help her take the fear out of the situation or make her feel as if she's in control of the scenario.

You might want to join in the play if you notice one particular theme being rehashed over and over. Make a comment that invites your child to think through the next step: "Wow, those bears are getting a lot of shots. Are they sick? Do you think they're happy or sad?"

If your child has nothing but violent themes in her play, you might look at what she's seeing on TV, her tablet, or video games, or consider whether she's been exposed to violence in real life. At this age, the evening news, cartoons, or movies can overwhelm a child.

Your life now

Figuring out when to drop the afternoon nap can be tricky. One surefire clue is if your child is consistently lively and resistant to sleep at her usual nap time. A nice transition is to institute "rest time" in place of the old nap time. Tell your child that she doesn't have to sleep, but she does need to lie on her bed for a while with a book or quiet toy. This gives you a break and lets her recharge her batteries. If she falls asleep, wake her up in half an hour or so. She may need the sleep, but probably not a full two hours' worth.

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Watch the video: Toddler Observation Video 3 (August 2022).

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