Growth and Development, Ages 2 to 5 Years - Common Concerns
Children ages 2 to 5 have many
intense emotions that they do not fully understand. As a result, expect your
young child to not always listen to you. Be patient, and do your best to be
consistent about setting limits to avoid some common
issues. These may include:
- Temper tantrums. These emotional
outbursts are perhaps the biggest behavior challenge for this age group. Many
1- to 4-year-olds have
temper tantrums at least once a week. For more information, including help on how to respond to
tantrums, see the topic
- Thumb-sucking. Thumb-sucking in children
younger than 4 years of age is not usually a problem. Most children stop sucking
their thumbs sometime between ages 3 and 6. But children who suck their thumbs often or with a lot
of force after the age of 3 or 4 may develop emotional, dental, or speech
problems. For more information, see the topic
- Breath-holding spells. These are periods
when young children stop breathing, often causing them to pass out (lose consciousness).
Breath-holding spells typically happen when a young
child is angry, frustrated, in pain, or afraid. The spell is a reflex, not a
deliberate behavior. For more information, see the topic
- Aggression. Some preschool children
become aggressive and may hurt other children.
biting, pushing, and shouting are all common forms of
aggression. Children's aggressive behavior usually is a normal variation of
can encourage self-control by teaching positive
behavior and how to channel feelings into words.
- Do not spank or hit your child. It usually doesn't work and only makes the child afraid.
- Help your child calm down. Then you can talk about better ways
to handle feelings.
- Don't expect changes in behavior right away. It takes time, repetition, and supportive comments for a child to learn.
Each child learns to use the toilet at his or her own pace. Most children are ready for
toilet training when they are between 22 and 30 months
It can be hard to know
when to start toilet training. Your child's physical and emotional readiness is the most important aspect of the timing. You and your child will likely become frustrated if
you try toilet training before your child is ready.
For more information, see the topic