After the Preschooler and Nursery stage comes the Early Childhood or Kindergarten stage. My 4th child, Janel, is presently at this stage. She is now 5 years old and in Kindergarten 1. So, how do we describe a child who is undergoing this stage?
Early Childhood | Kindergarten (4-5 Years Old)
|Janel enjoys biking at age 4.|
Physically. A kindergartener keeps growing her arms and legs. She likes to do a lot of running and playing. She also learn best by imitative play. She uses her imagination to play pretend. Sometimes, she is a princess, on other occasions, she is a doctor.
Mentally. When the child starts learning to say more words, you just can't stop hearing her talk and ask never-ending questions. My kids usually ask the why questions when they were at this stage. That's how they learn best - by getting answers to their many questions. Kindergarteners have an outstanding curiosity and keen imagination. Usually, when the child's think cap is on, she sees pictures in her brain and see them as if they are the real thing.
Socially and Emotionally. At this stage, the kindergartener begins to enjoy playing with other children who are of the same age. She still displays some tinge of selfishness, though she's beginning to understand that tantrums and tears don't always work to get what she wants. Now, she also understands more that she should not do bad behaviors such as biting, hitting, pinching and shoving just to get some attention. Slowly, she is learning to overcome her self-centeredness. She is learning to work as a team with her peers and friends.
Janel likes being with her friends and usually asks "Am I your friend?" seemingly to get her friend's approval. She still cries a lot when she doesn't get her way especially when she is with her friends. She still needs to learn more that she can't always get what she wants that way.
Spiritually. It is very easy for the child to believe everything she is told. When asked, she usually answers truthfully. She loves to listen to stories. She believes them as something real that she unconsciously act it out when retelling it. This stage is the best time to help her learn important Christian values. She should be given me a lot of opportunities to exercise sharing and doing things with others, telling the truth, praying, worshiping through songs or poems, dealing with anger and developing self-discipline. Telling Bible stories about Jesus will introduce Jesus to the child as a loving friend and a helper who loves her.
Janel usually identifies with the Bible stories she hears and points it out when she finds a certain situation related to the story. By letting Janel hear me when I pray, taught her to pray, too. Now, she is able to say simple prayers especially that of praying for someone sick. This is indeed a great opportunity to mold a child in godliness and Christlikeness.
Would you like to share anything about your Kindergartener?
The next post on this series of Child Development will be about the Middle Childhood (6-8 years old).