Parenting Tips / Three to five year-old


Offer choices only after you have made your boundaries clear, “It’s time for bed.” (boundary) “Do you want to hop or skip?” (choice)


• Tell them what they are doing right; “You were so helpful taking your dishes to the sink. Thank you!”
• Describe what you see with enthusiasm; “You used 12 blocks to build that tower! Wow!”

Teach Social and Emotional Intelligence

• Rather than command, demand or belittle in our comments, ask problem solving questions like “Can you think of another way to tell me what you want?” or ”Is that a good idea or not a good idea?” “What else could you do instead of _______?” (Raising a Thinking Child by Myrna Shure)


• Limit “classes” like ballet, gymnastics etc. to one a week.
• Children need time to be in spontaneous free play to get enough practice in their social/ emotional development and imaginations.

Sleeping and Naps

• Sleep should total between 11 and 12 hours including naps. Bedtime can move to between 8:00 and 8:30 pm.
• Some children at this age will begin to outgrow naps. Rest time, without sleep, should still be encouraged every day in the nap window 12:00-2:00 pm. The brain is still developing and needs rest.