Learn what behaviours to expect from your toddler and how to foster independence during the preschool years.

What to expect from your pre-schooler
 Preschoolers are different from toddlers in that they are developing the basic life skills, independence, and knowledge that they will need as they enter their school years.

Pre-schoolers are inquisitive, easily distracted, eager for freedom, and still working on self-regulation. Tantrums, habits, lying, and anxiousness are common behaviour difficulties of children aged between four and five years.

Your pre-schooler requires you to positively steer their behaviour. Here’s how you can help better parent your pre-schooler.

  • Be patient: Pre-schoolers are interested in their surroundings, so expect lots of ‘who, what, and why’ questions. Allow additional time when doing things to answer questions your pre-schooler has, no matter how silly the question may be.
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat: Pre-schoolers can become sidetracked while trying to understand the world. Your pre-schooler may appear to be not listening to you, but they may still be trying to figure out something you said five minutes ago. Repetition works well when it comes to pre-schoolers.
  • Help boost their confidence: Pre-schoolers value independence because they want to do things for themselves. However, your child will still require your assistance in developing confidence and self-esteem. Always give your child positive reinforcement, encouragement, and the opportunity to practice new things.
  • Help them deal with their emotions: Pre-schoolers are also improving their self-regulation skills, which is beneficial for getting along with others at preschool or playgroup. However, your child will still require your assistance in expressing strong emotions and managing behaviour, particularly in difficult situations.

Concerns about child behaviour in the preschool years


Pre-schoolers frequently fear being alone or in the dark, which is a typical aspect of their development. Suppose your child worries excessively or exhibits indications of anxiety. In that case, you can help them by acknowledging their fear, gently encouraging them to undertake the things they’re afraid of and rewarding them when they succeed. 


Bullying may have a catastrophic effect on a child’s confidence and self-esteem, particularly during the preschool years. If your child is bullied at preschool, they will require a lot of love and support both at home and at school. Let your child know that you will take steps to stop future bullying, and ensure that your child’s teacher is aware of any bullying incidences.


Children’s disagreements and fights are all too prevalent during the preschool years. Temperament, environment, age, and abilities are all elements that influence fighting. Teach your pre-schooler effective ways to deal with conflict. 

Bad habits

Many pre-schoolers have habits such as chewing their nails or twirling their hair. Your child’s habits may upset you, but they are typically nothing to be concerned about. Most habits fade on their own.


You may have caught your pre-schooler telling a few white lies. Lying is a normal aspect of growth, and it usually begins around the age of three. It is usually preferable to teach young children the value of honesty and telling the truth rather than punish them for minor infractions.


Shyness is common in pre-schoolers. If your child takes a long time to warm up, try to be there for them in social situations. Praise your child for courageous social behaviour, such as responding to others, making eye contact, or playing with other children.


If your pre-schooler suffers tantrums, keep in mind that they are still learning proper methods to express themselves. You should witness fewer tantrums after your child turns four if you work on minimising their stress and identifying their tantrum triggers.

Imaginary friends

Don’t be concerned if your child has an imaginary friend. Make-believe friends emerge from healthy, active imaginations. They provide an excellent opportunity for children to express themselves and practice social skills.

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