Your 4-year-old now
At this age your child still lacks self-control. It can take more than one, two, sometimes ten times for a lesson to sink in. Repeating transgressions is also a way of testing the limits. Are they firm or mushy? If Dad ignores me this time, maybe what I did isn’t such a big deal after all.
Aggression is a normal phase at this age. Specific situations in which your child feels uncertain or out of control usually trigger the incidents. Respond quickly and calmly. Establish set rules and consequences for antisocial behaviors like hitting and kicking.
Not everything needs to be a battle. Overlook small things or give your child a mild verbal warning (“Keep your feet off the sofa”) so your messages about the big ones get the emphasis they deserve. Don’t get drawn into battles you can’t win, such as those over eating.
Your life now
Congratulations! You’ve brought your child to the brink of the school years. Whether he’ll be moving on to kindergarten or a pre-K program, turning 5 ushers in a year of big things.