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    Growth and Development, Ages 2 to 5 Years - Promoting Healthy Growth and Development

    Language development

    Sensory and motor development

    • Provide a variety of experiences and play environments. Schedule time each day for either indoor or outdoor physical activity, such as dancing or going to a playground. These activities improve coordination and other large muscle skills. Fine motor skills develop through things such as art projects (like painting or using scissors) and playing musical instruments.

    Nurturing your relationship with your child

    Your relationship with your child will constantly change as your child gains new skills and develops independence. You can help your child through each stage by looking at your relationship from time to time. Ask yourself:

    • What do I like most about my child?
    • What could be triggering problem behavior? Are any of these new triggers?
    • What new skills has my child learned within the past 3 months? 2 months? 1 month?
    • What tasks can I encourage my child to do for himself or herself? How can I encourage him or her?
    • When am I happy about how I treat my child?
    • What don't I like about some of our interactions? When do these episodes tend to occur?

    If you are the parent or caregiver of children, it is also important for you to:

    • Learn and use effective parenting and discipline techniques and avoid the use of corporal punishment. Parenting classes are offered in most communities. Ask your doctor or call a local hospital for more information.
    • Learn healthy techniques to resolve conflicts and manage stress. For more information, see the topic Stress Management.
    • Ask for help when you need it. Call a family member or friend to give you a break if you feel overwhelmed. Find community resources to help you with child care or other services that you need. Call a doctor or local hospital for a place to start. Some communities have respite care facilities for children. They provide temporary child care during times when you need a break.
    • Get help from school programs if your child has special needs.
    • Seek help if you think you have a problem with alcohol, drugs, anger, depression, stress, or other issues that affect your mental health.
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