Promote a Positive Personality in your Preschooler ~ By: Aroma Pannu

posted Jan 18, 2014, 11:32 PM by
Between the ages of 3 and 5, your child's personality is really going to develop. As preschoolers gain more confidence, self- expression and control, they begin to rely less on adults and more on themselves. They're learning how to calm themselves when they get excited, frightened, or upset, and they're becoming more attentive and less emotionally reactive. They are also learning how to treat others. By age 5, kids typically start showing more concern for mom and dad, at last starting to understand that you have your own needs and feelings. They also begin to show affection more easily, develop a fantasy life, and may see-saw between being demanding and being cooperative.

While your child's personality will blossom on its own naturally, here are some things you can do to support your child:

1. Remember that your child is unique. Parenting that is sensitive and responsive to the individual strengths and needs of the child fosters healthy personality development.

2. Encourage play. Play is a huge influence on a child's development. Experts say that giving kids time to play is key to helping your child's personality blossom. Play helps kids develop physically, mentally, and emotionally. It teaches them to work in groups, settle conflicts, develop their imagination, and try on different roles. When kids play, they practice decision-making, learn to stand up for themselves, create, explore, and lead.

3. Avoid labels. You want your child's personality to develop on its own without being shaped by your (or anyone else's) views. So avoid labeling your preschooler with words like shy, bossy, emotional, or tough.

4. Set an example. You're probably the person your preschooler sees and imitates the most. So it's up to you to model politeness, sharing, and patience.

5. Realize it's nature and nurture. Don't chalk up your child's personality to just his or her nature or just the nurturing you provide.

Resources: Wendy C. Fries and Louise Chang, MD