What happens with your child at this age?
- Child learns to bathe and to get dressed without the help of others. He sees a difference between old and young, man and woman. Wonders about different parts of body, their use, about how his body feels and what can it do. May be that he touches his genital area.
- Games of exploring is his main activity. It is possible that a child uses touching his genital area as a way to relax and to fall asleep. Possibly plays games with sexual context with other kids and toys.
- Becomes closer or identifies with one of the parents. Independently from his own gender, he can have a crush on someone.
- Many role plays, storytelling. A child can have imaginary friends.
- Interested in how a baby gets into mummy’s tummy and how he gets out. Possibly plays doctors and other games. Uses names that adults use.
- Recognises and understands different ways of living and traditions. Asks questions about it. Tests existing boundaries. Possibly tests good and bad touch.
- Sometimes he doesn’t have enough energy to behave well, especially when he’s tired.
- Shows more interest in the world outside his house.
What should be done to support your child?
- Support your child in trying to wash and to dress himself without the help of others. Explain how to take care of genital area, tell him that it’s his private part.
- Underline individuality – it is good to be the way you are.
- Accept your child, tell him he’s wonderful. Teach him that other people are wonderful as well, just the way they are.
- Teach your child to recognise and to name different emotions. Explain him that emotions are good but he can’t hurt others.
- Teach him honesty, respect and different traditions: both your family’s and others.
- Teach him the basic safety measures: to say “no”, to walk away, to tell a trustworthy adult about what had happened. Tell him that those are the right things to do.
- Answer his questions in a simple way so that your child understands. A baby grows from a child seed in mummy’s tummy. It can get in there in several ways. Making love is one of the ways how adults show that they love each other, it is also how they create a baby. Tell him that it is also possible to adopt a baby or to get one with the help of a doctor.
- Slowly teach him about social norms. Tell him that in different cultures and in different families there are different values.
- Teach him where and how he can touch others. Touch shouldn’t make him feel bad. Tell him that he has rights to say “no” to a touch if he doesn’t like it and that he should tell an adult he trusts about it.
- Child has rights to feel safe. Let him ask questions, tell his desires and needs.