At age three parents often wonder about how their children are performing and whether or not there is balance between affection needs? When is it too much or too little?
Children have formed strong bonds with parents and caregivers, as they are the closest people in the child’s immediate circle of known people, who love and care for them. Children feel safe and loved by them and begin to show affection to people outside their immediate family circle.
It is most common that at age three children begin attending ECD centres or play groups where they can interact with other children of similar age and engage in play activities. The transition from home to the ECD centre is an important event in the life of the child and the family, and as such it should be planned and explained to the child.
A three years old who is confident and feels loved will continue to grow in confidence and individuality.
WHAT YOU CAN DO AND LOOK OUT FOR
- Take every opportunity to model positive behaviours by showing how and by doing it.
Note that your child enjoys copying what you and friends do (i.e. brushing teeth, washing hands, throwing rubbish in the bin, picking up toys, saying thank you).
- Acknowledge friends and family members and greet them when appropriate.
See that your child is affectionate with family and friends without being prompted.
- Encourage your child to play and share with other children in the family or in the playground.
Notice that your child finds easier taking turns in games.
- Gently introduce activities for sharing toys with other children.
Observe how your child grasps meaning of ‘mine’, ‘yours’ and ‘hers’
- Follow a daily routine of activities and let your child know what follows next.
Observe your child still prefers the usual daily routine but accepts small changes
- Offer as many opportunities to try new skills such as getting ready and clothed.
See that your child makes clumsy attempts to dress and undress without your help
- Explain to your child this is play and fun time with friends, when you take him/her to the ECD centre.
Notice your child says bye-bye and part from mummy or daddy without crying.