MY FOUR YEAR OLD VISIT
- Dresses with little (buttons and laces) help.
- Brush teeth with little help
- Walks along a low wall or curb.
- Rides a tricycle.
- Hops and jumps on one foot.
- Names 4 colors.
- Builds a tower of 10 blocks.
- Throws a ball overhand.
- Copies a cross or a circle.
- Speaks understandable in 4-5 word sentences and can tell a story about day’s activities.
- Manages daytime toilet needs. May be dry at night.
- Plays cooperatively with others for 15-30 minutes.
- Offer a wide variety of foods, including healthy snacks. Leave cut up fruits or vegetables low in the refrigerator for snacks. Limit high-fat foods and concentrated sweets such as candy, chips, soft drinks, or juice. I can prepare my own cereal if bowls and spoons are kept low and if milk is kept in a small pitcher.
- Talk about healthy choices at the grocery store as you choose your foods. Let me make choices from several acceptable alternatives for snacks and drinks.
- Sit down to family meals when you can. This is a good time to build family closeness, talk about the day, and catch up on feelings and activities. Try to keep meals positive.
- I can set and clear the table with supervision. I like to help. Include me in preparing the meal when possible.
- Brush my teeth twice daily using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste with fluoride on a soft toothbrush. Parents still need to supervise brushing and may need to brush once a day to make sure I brush the back teeth as well. Flossing still requires adult help, too.
- Dental visits are needed every 6 months.
- Regular or frequent thumb or finger sucking should be discussed with my doctor.
- Show affection for other members of the family. Encourage good relationships between my sisters and brothers. Acknowledge conflict, but do not allow hitting, biting, or other violent behavior.
- Handle anger constructively in the family. Model good behavior.
- Try to spend 15 minutes of individual time with me, listening and doing something I enjoy.Parents need adult time without children. Trade baby-sitting with a trusted relative or
- friend. This may make parenting less stressful and more fun.
- Remember to enjoy and treasure the fun things I say and do. It’s easy to become caught up in the daily hassles.
- Read to me at least 20 minutes a day. Keep reading even after I can read for myself. Let me see you read as well.
- Limit TV to an average of 1 hour per day. Watch quality shows. Talk with me about what you see and how it makes you think and feel.
- I usually need 10 hours of sleep a night and a nap in the afternoon, though I may be growing out of that nap.
- Establish a bedtime routine such as bath, brush teeth, story, hugs and kisses, and bedtime. I am comforted by routines. Limit night TV or vigorous play just before bedtime.
- I should be able to stay in my bed at night.
- Establish and enforce exact, firm, consistent rules for safe behavior.
- Never let me stay alone in a car.
- Keep poisons, matches, and alcohol out of reach and out of sight. Keep the poison control number near your phone (1-800-POISON-1).
- Test smoke alarms and change batteries twice a year.
- It is best if guns are kept out of homes with children. If this is not possible, all guns should be stored unloaded and locked, with ammunition kept separately.
- Keep your house and car smoke free.
- Teach first and last name, address, and phone number.
- Chose caregivers carefully. Discuss with them your attitudes about discipline and behavior. Do not allow spanking or hitting for discipline. Make unscheduled and unannounced visits to my daycare.
- Always use a booster seat (until I am 80 pounds or the car seat straps fit appropriately).
- Have me wear a bicycle helmet when I’m riding a tricycle or bike.
- Teach neighborhood, playground, and street safety skills. Always supervise play near streets and driveways.
- Never leave me alone in or around swimming or wading pools or in the bathtub.
- Teach me to swim, but don’t expect me to be "drown-proof." I will still need supervision.
Behavior, discipline, and promoting social competence
- Be positive. Praise me for cooperation and accomplishments. Catch me behaving well and acknowledge it. Positive discipline teaches me to discipline myself. Spend time with me doing something we both enjoy.
- Encourage me to talk about my experiences with friends, daycare, and family relationships.
- Read with me and discuss feelings and reactions with the characters.
- Establish and enforce consistent, clear, firm rules for safety.
- Try to ignore negative behaviors that do not hurt others (such as whining).
- Set developmentally appropriate limits. When setting limits, try to distract me from undesirable behavior. Use gentle restraint or remove an object from me until I can control myself.
- Talk about body parts and sense of naughtiness, but recognize that "sex talk" is private about should be discussed at home.
- Teach me to manage anger and resolve problems without yelling or violence. Be a good role model.
- Encourage assertiveness without excessive aggression.
- Provide some type of structured learning environment for me. Try day care, Head start, preschool, Sunday school, or a playgroup.
- Parenting classes and support groups are available for free or at low cost. These boost skills and confidence.
- I can now appreciate some natural consequences – for example, no dinner means that I am hungry at bedtime, throwing toys means broken toys that will get thrown away.
- All immunizations should be complete for school attendance with this well child visit. I may need booster or new vaccines as the teen years approach.
By five years old I will
- Dress without help.
- Know is or her own address and phone number.
- Count on fingers.