Sunday, December 6, 2009

Developmental Milestone For A Three Year Old Child

We have learned some of the general developmental milestones for 2 years old child in my previous post, today we will look into the milestones of a three year old child. While rearing a child at any age is no snap, things should get easier during the third year. Most 3-year-old can be reasoned with. They will take turns and may even share toys. A child in this age group will help the parents get him or her dressed. Most are toilet trained during the day, although it is common for an occasional "accident" while busy playing. In previous generations, moms and dads learned what to expect of their child from their mother, grandmother or another family member. Today, most families are so scattered that parents do not have this help available. Therefore, do not hesitate to ask any questions you might have about your child's growth and development during the three year checkup. This is the reason for regular well-child exams.

Parenting and Behavioural
  • The 3-year-old will ask more questions than a district attorney. Nothing is sacred and some questions will throw you for a loop!
  • Continue reading books to your child.
  • Arrange times for safe running and exploring outdoors.
  • Playmates are important. Allow your child to experience interaction with peers. Three-year-olds are usually quite social and enjoy being with other 3-year-olds. This can be accomplished in a preschool, play group or just having another child over for a few hours.
  • It is normal for children this age to have imaginary friends. Parents can sometimes use the youngster's imaginary "playmate" to their advantage (like getting your 3-year-old to do something you want them to do.)
  • Limit television viewing. Do not use the TV as a baby sitter or as a substitute for interaction with your child. Watch children's programs with your child when possible.
  • Do not worry if the child becomes curious about body parts. This is normal at this age. Always use the correct terms for genitals.
  • Children this age begin to recognize gender differences and will correctly say "I am a girl" or "I am a boy."
  • Discipline should be firm and consistent, but loving and understanding. Praise your child for his or her good behavior and accomplishments.
  • Three-year-olds like to do things for themselves.
  • The 3-year-old does not understand "tongue-in-cheek" comments and can not always tell when a parent is joking. For example, never threaten to leave a child at the store when he or she misbehaves.
  • Your child may continue to use a security object (such as a blanket, favorite stuffed toy, etc.). This is normal and the youngster will give up the item when he or she is ready.
  • Keep family outings short and simple. Children have a short attention span at this age and lengthy activities will cause them to become irritable and tired.
  • The question of preschool usually comes up now. Daycare has already been established for a family when both parents work outside the home. Even for moms who stay at home with their child, preschool a few mornings a week can be helpful. It gives mom a welcome break and provides the child an opportunity to meet new friends.The success or failure of preschool will depend upon the child's maturity and the quality of the preschool. For example, if your child seems anxious and dependent away from home, perhaps he or she is not ready for preschool.
  • If you are expecting another baby, discuss with your child's physician how to prepare your 3-year-old.
  • Encourage your 3-year-old to make choices whenever possible, but the choices should be limited to those you can live with ("red shirt or green shirt.") Never ask a toddler an open question ("Do you want to take a bath") unless you are willing to accept the answer.
  • Use the two "I's" of discipline (ignore or isolate) rather than the two "S's" (shouting or spanking). When disciplining, try to separate the child and his or her behavior ("I love you, but I do not like it when you touch the VCR.")
  • Provide alternatives. "No, you cannot play with the telephone, but you can play with these blocks."
  • Avoid power struggles. No one wins! The 3-year-old still uses temper tantrums as a weapon. Respond to this behavior with the two I's of discipline - ignore or isolate (time out!).
  • Discipline should be consistent. Do not make threats that you can not carry out. If you say you are going to do something, do it!
  • Can name pictures in a book
  • Names at least one color.
  • Knows his or her own name, age and sex.
  • Begins to use pronouns.
  • Able to put on his or her own shirt, but will need help with shoes and buttons.
  • May be able to ride a tricycle.
  • Can jump in place and stand briefly on one foot.
  • Can (unfortunately!) open doors.
  • More than 50 percent of the child's speech is intelligible. There may be temporary episodes of stuttering during this time.
  • Understands such words as "cold," "tired," "hungry." Comprehends the meaning of "on or under", and "bigger or smaller."
Oral Health
  • Supervise brushing twice a day with a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Take your 3-year-old to the dentist, if you have not already done so.
  • Limit juice and sweets.
  • Continue giving a fluoride supplement if your drinking water is not fluoridated. Some dentists recommend fluoride be continued through age 8; others recommend continuing through age 12 or 16. Check with your pediatrician and dentist.
  • Stop pacifier use
  • Appetite is perhaps a shade better than it was a few months ago, but it is still not what most parents (or grandparents) think it should be. "My child will not eat," is a familiar complaint heard at the three year checkup. Remember, feeding problems may arise if parents make their child eat more than the child needs to, or shows too much concern in what the youngster eats.
  • The 3-year-old should pretty much be able to feed himself or herself.
  • During meal time, the 3-year-old is sometimes very demanding of parent's attention and may also dawdle!
  • Avoid nuts, hard candy, uncut grapes, hot dogs or raw vegetables. Control sweets and avoid junk food.
  • Eat dinner together as a family whenever possible.
  • Begin to teach proper table manners and encourage conversation during family meals.
  • Turn the TV off during meals.
  • Make sure your child's caregiver is following your feeding instructions.
  • Sleeping
  • An afternoon nap is usually still needed by the 3-year-old.
  • Fears of the dark, thunder, lightning, etc. are quite common at this age.
  • Maintain a consistent bedtime and bedtime routine. Using a night light, security blanket or toy are all ways to help lessen nighttime fears.
  • Read to your child when possible before "lights out."
  • Nightmares can wake a child up from sleep. The nightmares can be triggered by changes or stress. Reassure your child and put him or her back to bed.
Toilet Training
  • Many 3-year-olds are trained during the day but still do not stay dry at night. Others are completely trained. Remember, the age a child uses the bathroom by himself or herself varies and it is based only on a child's readiness to be trained and the positive attitude of the parents.
  • Avoid putting too many demands on the child or shaming him about wearing diapers. Instead, let your child no how proud and happy you are about any potty successes.
  • Some children may postpone having a bowel movement as a way to manipulate their parents or because they are busy doing something else. Try not to make an issue of this
  • Your 3-year-old may continue to experience respiratory infections, such as colds, ear infections and sinus infections. These frequent ailments often become frustrating for parents. Unfortunately, most illnesses are unavoidable, especially if your child is in preschool or has older siblings who bring the colds home from school.
  • When your child is ill, the pediatrician will determine whether antibiotics are needed. Remember, most illnesses at this age are viral, which means antibiotics will not shorten the course of the illness

Since immunization schedules vary from doctor to doctor, and new vaccines may have been introduced,it is always best to seek the advice of your child's health care provider concerning your child's vaccine schedule.
  • Normally, no immunizations are given at this checkup unless your child is behind in the immunization schedule.
  • Hepatitis A (HepA) may be administered at this visit for children living in selected states.
  • Annual flu vaccines may be recommended for children with chronic illnesses like asthma and heart defects. Check with your doctor.
  • Some physicians at 3years do a hemoglobin or hematocrit determination to check for anemia ("low blood"). This requires a small poke on the finger to obtain a drop of blood. A urinalysis will also be done if the child is toilet trained to check for kidney and bladder problems.
  • By this age, most children have received the following immunizations:
  • 3 doses of Hepatitis B vaccine
  • 4 doses of DTaP vaccine
  • 4 doses of HIB vaccine
  • 1 dose of the MMR vaccine
  • 1 dose of the Chickenpox vaccine
  • 4 doses of the Pneumococcal vaccine
  • 3 doses of the Inactivated Polio Vaccine
  • 3 doses of the rotavirus vaccine



Wedding Speeches and Toasts said...
January 8, 2010 at 2:21 PM

When you are trying to teach discipline to a three-year old child, especially a boy, you have to tell him certain “conditions” which are not dependent to you. For example, if your punishment is not allowing him to watch TV, you must not say, “You’re not watching TV until I give you permission.” Given this condition, he will only pester you on allowing him to watch TV. The better way will be telling him, “You’re not watching TV until after we ate dinner.” This way, he will look forward toward the fulfillment of the condition you set (this one depends on “time”). When he tries to ask you if it’s alright to watch TV before dinner is over, you can just remind him about that certain condition or agreement.

Lilian said...
January 19, 2010 at 1:52 PM

that is a very good advice from you wedding speeches and toasts. thanks for sharing and keep reading!

Travel Purses said...
February 20, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Thanks for this post. It helps a lot especially with the discipline part. I have been having trouble with it to my 3yr old girl.

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