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50 months Milestone

Magical thinking creates endless possibilities

Four-year-olds believe rules should be obeyed because adults say so. They have not developed a sense of right and wrong yet. They can also learn to adapt the rules to changing circumstances, for example, “You may be loud outside, but we use our ‘inside voices’ in the house.”

Three to five-year-olds are wired to experience the world as if anything is possible and they are the main characters in a fantasy play. This explains why most are afraid of imaginary things and some have imaginary friends.

Sometimes they are unable to differentiate between fantasy and reality. This is a small price to pay for being able to slip in and out of a fantasy world where they experience feelings and do imaginary things that would otherwise be totally impossible. The fantasy world gives children a place to practice and develop life skills. 

Tip: Prepare your child for social success 

The easiest way to effectively prepare a pre-schooler for social success is to explain to them how they should behave before they go somewhere such as a shop, Grandma’s house or a friend’s house. The explanation should be given in detail and repeated several times before arrival.

Pre-empt any difficulties your child might experience. For example, if your child is shy, prepare them by explaining that when Aunty Mary opens the door, they can go to her and say, “I’m happy to see you!” Explain that if they want to give her hug, they may. If they don’t want to give her a hug, they should be kind and say “Hi five!”.

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