Discussion Prompt #1: Use this Scenario to open up a short discussion with the audience.
These are signs of a potential developmental/behavioral or social-emotional concern. Recommend that these concerns be evaluated by the child’s Pediatrician
What are some activities for Kristen to participate in at home that will promote her social-emotional development and prepare her for school? Why is Kristen ‘following’ her brother around?
Discussion Prompt: What is an example of a ‘cause & effect’ question that you could ask your three year old? How is empathy conveyed in a classroom setting and at home? Answer: Cause & Effect: What happens if I drop this ball? Will it roll? Will it bounce? Let’s try it.Empathy Question: Why is your friend Tommy crying? How can we help Tommy feel better?
Potential Peer Conflicts: Sam’s friends may become ‘annoyed’ with his ‘rough & tumble’ play. Sam could unintentionally hurt one of his peers during his rough interactions.Promotion of successful peer interaction: Invite Sam to participate in more structured activities. This may be an arts & crafts activity. Sam would benefit from using play-doh, paste, & other ‘tactile’ cues to direct his focus. Sam’s teacher and parents could incorporate gross-motor skill activities into play time with Sam and his friends. He may benefit from cooperative sports.
I have had the opportunity to witness some ‘repetitive themes & concerns’ identified in 3 & 4 year old children. Here are three of them, and some recommendations.
The Ages & Stages of Social-Emotional Growth Supporting the Social-Emotional Development of the 3 & 4 year old Child. Presented By: Shannon M. Holliker
1) Provide parents & professionals with a comprehensive overview of social-emotional milestones of children 3-4 years of age. 2) Offer suggestions/ideas on age-appropriate activities to promote developmental & social-emotional growth. 3) Encourage audience discussion through case illustrations & audience experience related to specified topics. 4) Offer supportive guidance to address some of the ‘social-emotional’ concerns of children 3-4 years of age. 5) Emphasize the importance of awareness & understanding of age-appropriate expectations of 3-4 year old children. Presentation Goals….
Think of a child that you have noticed has specific concerns in regard to how he/she interacts with his peers. This child can be of any age. He/she may be an aggressive preschooler or a defiant 11 year old. This child may be your own child, a friend’s child, or a child that you work with. What are some of the challenges that you have faced in trying to address the concern? What has worked? What has not worked? Consider This….
The milestones outlined in this presentation are an important ‘point of reference’ for helping gauge preschooler development. However, every child develops individually & each child may be ‘beyond’ or ‘not yet reached’ any of the skills identified in this presentation. It is recommended that if you have concerns, you should speak with the child’s Pediatrician The milestones indicate skills that are typically acquired by the end of each year. Important Considerations
Imitates others during play & in real life interactions Is learning how to ‘take turns’ Is developing a strong sense of what is ‘yours’ & what is ‘mine’ Openly expresses affection Displays a wide range of emotions More easily separates from parents Finds major changes in routine difficult **Source: www.cdc.gov/actearly Developmental Milestones3 year olds
Frequent falls or difficulty climbing stairs Lots of drooling and/or unclear speech Unable to build a 4 block tower Difficulty drawing a circle or small object manipulation Is not involved in ‘pretend play’ Displays little interest in toys or peers Has difficulty with caregiver separation Poor eye contact No longer has skills he/she once mastered **Source: www.cdc.gov/actearly Signs of Concern…
Kristen just turned 3 years old. She loves playing dress up & with her princess castle. Currently, she stays at home with mom during the day. She has a 6 year old brother who she follows around, which ‘annoys’ him. Kristen is excited about starting Preschool, three mornings a week, next month. Case Discussion
3 year olds enjoy activities that encourage imaginative play, but are still drawing heavily from imitating peers & adults. Provide ‘themed activities’. Dress-up, Cooking, Cleaning, & Role Playing will help your preschooler to develop essential skills for social interactions as he/she ‘tries on’ new roles. Kristen may enjoy ‘playing school’ with her family & brother. This will also help prepare her for when she begins school. Dramatic Play
Provide art activities that incorporate shapes, colors, letters, & numbers. Encourage small group or play group arts & crafts. This will promote sharing & cooperative peer interaction while focusing on a directed task. Make sure that there is ‘enough to go around’ and that every child has access to the same materials. For example, everyone should have their own red crayon. Arts & Crafts
Challenge your child to ‘hop on one foot’, ‘jump with two feet’, pedal a tricycle, & climb (with supervision) Introduce gross-motor games like ‘hop scotch’. It will be unlikely that your three year old will ‘master’ this game. However, it is a way to introduce cooperative interaction concepts & promote full body coordination. Gross Motor Skills
Stringing Macaroni. Use large noodles & string to make necklaces. Either in a group or one-on-one. Provide plastic jars and lids to practice ‘screwing’ & ‘unscrewing’ lids on and off of containers. Draw a shape and ask your child to draw the same shape as you. Fine Motor Skill Activities
Read a book (have your child turn the pages). Ask questions about the story. Discuss with your child. Ask questions that promote ‘logic & reasoning’ and ‘cause & effect’ skills. Your child will likely provide imaginative answers, but it provides an opportunity to help them develop those skills. Use feeling identification to encourage empathy. Social Skills
Has interest in ‘new experiences’ Engages in cooperative play with peers Takes on roles in play like ‘mom’ or ‘dad’ More inventive imaginative play Begins to display conflict resolution skills Becomes more independent Associates monsters with unfamiliar circumstances Is able to view self as someone with a body, mind, & feelings Has difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality Source: www.cdc.gov/actearly Developmental Milestones4 year olds
Cannot throw a ball overhand Has difficulty with pincer grasp & cannot scribble Unable to stack four blocks Ignores others & does not have interest in interactive games Does not respond to others outside of family Does not engage in fantasy play Has difficulty with self-control, such as when angered Does not use ‘you’ & ‘me’ correctly or use more than 3 word sentences Signs of Concern
Sam is an active 4 ½ year old who attends preschool full-time, 5 days per week. Sam is described as ‘outgoing’ and enjoys ‘rough & tumble play’ at home and school. What are some potential peer conflicts for Sam? What are some ways that his teacher and parents can help promote positive peer interaction? Case Discussion
Incorporate Play Stations into home and school environments. For example, full kitchen sets, firefighter dress up clothes, dolls & baby care items. Use blocks, legos, & gears to encourage imaginative expression during play. Structure small group activities or ‘play dates’ with children within the same age range. Dramatic Play
Use items from nature (colorful leaves, pinecones, etc.) to create themed activities. Allow the usage (under close supervision) of safety scissors to practice cutting lines & shapes. Use glue, paint, and clay to promote sensory experiences. Create activities that have a directed goal & require following directions. Use small groups of peers and promote sharing of materials. For example, 1 pair of safety scissors per 2 children. Arts & Crafts
Provide puppets & stages to encourage usage of full body movement and coordination. Use basket balls, soccer balls, & soft balls to encourage kicking, throwing, and dribbling. Use relay races or 2 person races to promote healthy competition. Have your child ‘jump like a frog’, ‘gallop’, & ‘skip’ as race ideas. Introduce sports and how to play them. Have your child practice following game rules alone and with friends. Gross Motor Skills
Ask your child to help with preparation tasks that include pointing, counting, sorting, and dexterity. For example, ask your child to help with meal preparation by snapping green beans. Ask your child to write familiar letters using a pencil. Invite a friend to help your child put together a Lego set. Put together a puzzle with your child. Fine Motor Skills
Ask your child to draw a picture, and ask him about what he drew. Set up regular ‘play dates’ or school activities with her peers. Encourage your child to ‘use his words’ to express wants, thoughts, & feelings. Read books with your child that have ‘more complex’ story lines. Display appropriate interactions, as you are modeling these behaviors for your child. Social Skills
What are some typical behaviors? What are some concerns? Typical vs Atypical…
3 & 4 year old children express aggression through play and in ‘real life’. Typical: Occasionally hitting or kicking a peer or adult out of frustration. Atypical: Daily, frequent aggressive acts towards peers and adults that include Hitting, Kicking, & biting. Aggression
A study was conducted following the 1992 L.A. Riots that compared themes of expressed violence/aggression in preschoolers who were exposed to them to those who were not. The Preschoolers exposed to the riots engaged in more narratives with aggressive words & thematic content than those who were not. (Farver & Frosch, 2008) Aggression
Remember: 3 & 4 year old children are still learning how to process & regulate their emotions. They are heavily influenced by what they witness on television, in society, and in their own environments. Recommendations: Limit violent themes in your home. Monitor what your child is watching. Create a sense of ‘safety’ for your preschooler during natural/man-made disasters. Answer questions about disasters/tragedies honestly. Aggression
Typical: Simple experimentation with ‘small lies’. For example, ‘my friend made me do it’. ‘Stories’ grounded in themes related to fantasy. Research indicates that consequences can affect the ‘moral judgment of preschoolers’; therefore a preschooler may lie indiscriminately to avoid consequences (Bussey, K., 1992). Atypical: Frequent dishonesty surrounding detailed & persistent theme of trauma or stress. Your child may be trying to process a fear or anxiety. Dishonesty
Remember: 3 & 4 Year old children are still engaging in ‘imitative’ behaviors and have difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality. Recommendations: Help 3 & 4 year olds understand the differences between reality & fiction through discussion. Think about where the dishonesty is coming from—especially if the story lines are complex and not age-appropriate, try to identify the source. Also, your child may be trying to process a fear, stress or have anxiety that may warrant further support if a theme is repetitive and persistent. Dishonesty
Typical: Difficulty with sharing and taking turns. Occasional tearful outbursts or ‘having feelings hurt’. Copying/imitating peers, especially behaviors by those children that are older. Atypical: Lack of interest in peers and socialization. Inability to engage in activities that encourage imaginative play. Lack of interest in toys or obsession with one object/theme. Poor impulse control. Difficulty with Peer Interactions
Remember: All children develop at a different pace. 3 & 4 year olds may observe from a distance (at times) or engage in parallel play. Recommendation: Utilize teachers, counselors,& other support professionals to adequately target and address behavioral concerns. Children who develop better ‘self-regulation’ skills tend to increase success in peer interactions (Remani, et al., 2010) Difficulty with Peer Interactions
“Change the First Five Years & Change Everything” Click Link to Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbSp88PBe9E An Ounce of Prevention
An Ounce of Prevention (n.d.). “Change the first five years and you change everything”, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbSp88PBe9E Bussey, K. (1992). Lying and truthfulness: Children's definitions, standards, and evaluative reactions. Child Development, 63(1), 129-137 Farver, J.A. & Frosch (1996). L.A. Stories: Aggression in preschoolers’ spontaneous narratives after the riots of 1992. Child Development, 67(1), 19-32 Ramani, G. B., Brownell, C. A., & Campbell, S. B. (2010). Positive and negative peer interaction in 3- and 4-year-olds in relation to regulation and dysregulation. The Journal of Genetic Psychology: Research and Theory on Human Development, 171(3), 218-250 Center for Disease Control (n.d). Know the signs, act early. Cdc.gov/actearly References