Emotional Development: Your Preschooler at 3 to 4 Years

Emotional Development means the development of a full range of emotions from sad to happy to angry, and learning to deal with them appropriately. This helps build self-esteem and leads to such deeper qualities as sympathy, caring, resiliency, assertiveness and empathy and the ability to rise to life’s challenges.

Typical Skills

  • Experiences a broad range of feelings, e.g., jealousy, excitement, fear, happiness, anger
  • Expresses needs with words, e.g., “I’m tired”
  • Is more able to express anger verbally rather than physically
  • Is becoming less egocentric and more able to understand feelings and point of view of others
  • Is less upset by limits and discipline

Emerging Skills

  • Continually grows in independence and self-esteem
  • Expands pretend play into rich, connected themes
  • Is more even tempered and co-operative with parents
  • Shows empathy, e.g., for a friend who is upset
  • May show attachment to one playmate

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