Ages & Stages > Preschoolers

Preschoolers (age 3-5 years)

Not a baby anymore, not even a toddler, your little one is a Preschooler -- what is often called the Wonder Years.  And wondrous they are, as your little one gains the ability to manage herself and control her emotions -- most of the time!

Photo: Crushed Red PepperWant cooperation?  Connect with her, and make your routines fun. 

Want a preschooler who goes to bed easily and doesn't have potty accidents?  Make sure you meet his needs for security. 

Want a kid who talks instead of hitting or tantrumming?  Develop his emotional intelligence by empathizing and talking about feelings.  

Here's your game plan for bringing out the best in your preschooler.

Game Plan for Positive Parenting Your Preschooler

With a little help from you, these years will build a fertile foundation for your son or daughter's entire childhood. Your game plan for giving your 3 to 5 year old what she needs to blossom.  (Read article.)

Positive Parenting Your Preschooler: Daily Life

How to navigate all the day by day moments that make up your 3 to 5 year's old's childhood.  Here you'll find articles on everything you need, from bedtime to potty accidents to discipline to staying connected. (Read articles.)

Playing with Your Preschooler: Games for Connection & Emotional Intelligence

What if you had permission to set a timer and forget about your To-Do list and just connect with your child for ten minutes?  What if I promised that if you do this on a regular basis, your child will become more cooperative, and you will feel more energized?  What if it helped you become a happier parent? Children need to play.  (Read article.)

How to Pre-empt Whining

Whining is common with toddlers and preschoolers.  Parents are usually advised to tell their kids to ask in a "nice" voice, because they can't hear the whiny voice.  But whining is a symptom of a deeper issue.  So if you want to eliminate whining, you have to address what's underneath. If your child's whining is driving you crazy, here are six parent-proven secrets to stop the whining. Which secret you use depends on why he's whining.  (Read article.) 

Your Preschooler and Bedtime

Wondering how to get your three, four or five year-old into bed -- and how to get him to stay there all night?  You're not alone!  I hear from parents all the time about their preschoolers falling asleep on the couch or in front of the TV, anywhere but their own beds.  (Read article.) 

Bully-Proof Your Child

Bullying begins in preschool and gains momentum as kids grow. Depending on which survey you read, between 40 and 80 percent of middle schoolers admit to bullying behavior..  That's the bad news.  The good news is that bullying is preventable, and you can bully-proof your child -- and keep him from becoming a bully. (Read article.)           

Keeping Your Child Safe

It's a big world out there.  When your child was a baby or toddler, you were always there, or you left your child in the care of a trusted, nurturing adult.  But as your child gets older, you'll be holding his or her hand less and less.  You're bound to worry a bit about safety.  And when kids begin to navigate the sidewalks or even public transit themselves, it can be positively nerve-wracking. (Read article.) 

What every parent needs to know to keep your child safe from sexual abuse

Most parents worry about how to protect their children in a world that sometimes seems so dangerous.  As with any other danger, protecting our kids from risk starts with understanding those risks.  For instance, parents often think a discussion about "stranger danger" is sufficient to protect kids from sexual abuse, but most children are molested by someone they know: babysitters, relatives, even another child.
(Read article.) 

Preparing Your Preschooler for the New School Year

Whether your preschooler is starting for the first time, or an experienced school-goer, there’s one thing you can count on:  School is always a big transition for the whole family. (Read article.)

Helping Your Preschooler Adjust to School  

So she’s off to school every morning now, like a big kid.  But instead of the exuberance you expected, you find many days – especially Monday -- starting with tears, or maybe a tummy-ache.  Don’t worry, it’s not unusual for kids to need a little extra help adjusting to the start of school.  What can you do? (Read article.)

12 Step Program for Managing Your Own Separation Anxiety

You’ve probably put a lot of thought and effort into helping your child adjust to school for the first time.  And maybe you’ve been looking forward to your new freedom. But if you’re like most moms, you’ve found yourself wiping away a tear or two as well.  So for a little help managing your own separation anxiety, here’s my 12 Step Program for Moms! (Read article.)

Your Toddler or Preschooler and TV 

How much TV should your Toddler or Preschooler watch?  Are you ready?  None.  Really.  (Read article.)

Positive Parenting Your Growing Preschooler

Helping your preschooler develop social and emotional intelligence, good judgment, competence, generosity, and more.  (Read article.)

Q & A: Letters and Answers about Preschoolers

Have a question about parenting your infant?  Questions from readers, with wise and practical solutions from Dr. Laura Markham to all those questions that keep you up at night.  (Read article)