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Your child is more coordinated and has better balance. She can usually get dressed alone (except for tying shoelaces).
Your child can brush her teeth alone. Make sure to check her molars. Your child should spit out the toothpaste.
Your child will push limits you set, but will feel secure within these limits.
Your child should have had preschool screening with your school district. Your health care provider can help you assess school readiness. Signs your child may be ready for kindergarten include:
— plays well with other children
— follows simple directions and rules and waits for her turn
— can be away from home for half a day
Read to your child every day at least 15 minutes. Bedtime is a nice time for reading.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend limiting the TV, video or computer screen time your child gets to one to two hours or fewer each day. Supervise the TV shows/videos your child watches.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend putting a TV or computer in children's bedrooms.
Encourage writing and drawing. Children at this age can often write their own name and recognize most letters of the alphabet. Provide opportunities for your child to tell simple stories and sing children's songs.
Your child should get 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
Encourage good eating habits. Lead by example. Do not make "special" separate meals for her.
Offer your child healthful snacks such as fruits, vegetables, healthy cereals, yogurt, pudding, turkey, peanut butter sandwich, fruit smoothies, cheese. Avoid foods high in sugar or fat. Cut up any food that could cause choking.
Let your child help plan and make simple meals. She can set and clean up the table, pour cereal or make sandwiches. Always supervise any kitchen activity.
Make mealtime a pleasant time.
Restrict pop to rare occasions.
Limit 100 percent fruit juice to four to six ounces a day.
Have your child brush her teeth every day, preferably before bedtime.
Make regular dental appointments for cleanings and checkups. (Your child may need fluoride treatments if you have well water.)
Children thrive on routine. Continue a routine which includes bathing, teeth brushing and reading. Avoid active play 30 minutes before settling down.
Make sure you have enough light for your child to find her way to the bathroom at night.
Your child needs at least 60 minutes of active play time most days of the week.
Physical activity helps build strong bones and muscles, lowers your child's risk of certain diseases (such as diabetes), increases flexibility, and increases self-esteem.
Choose activities your child enjoys: dance, running, walking, swimming, skating, etc.
Be sure to watch your child during any activity. Or better yet, join in!
Your child needs to be in a car seat or booster seat. Most children will need to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they are 4 feet, 9 inches tall (usually between 8 and 12 years old).
All children ages 13 and younger should ride in the back seat of a vehicle. (Be sure all other adults and children are buckled as well.)
Make sure your child wears a bicycle helmet any time she rides a bike.
Make sure your child wears a helmet and pads any time he uses in-line skates or roller skates.
Practice bus and street safety.
Practice home fire drills and fire safety.
Supervise your child at playgrounds. Do not let her play outside alone. Teach her what to do if a stranger comes up to her. Warn your child never to go with a stranger or accept anything from a stranger. Teach your child to say "NO" and tell an adult whom she trusts.
Enroll your child in swimming lessons, if appropriate. Teach your child water safety. Make sure she is always supervised and wears a life jacket whenever around a lake, river or pool.
Teach your child animal safety.
Have your child practice her name, address and phone number. Teach her how to dial 911.
Keep all guns out of your child's reach. Lock guns and ammunition in different parts of the house.
Provide support, attention and enthusiasm for your child's abilities and achievements.
Create a schedule of simple chores for your child (such as cleaning her room, helping to set the table or helping to care for a pet). Have a reward system and flexible but consistent expectations. Do not use food as a reward.
"Time outs" are still effective discipline. A time out is usually one minute for each year of age. If your child needs a time out, set a kitchen timer for five minutes. Place your child in a dull place (such as a hallway or corner of a room). Make sure the room is free of any potential dangers. Be sure to look for and praise good behavior shortly after the time out is over.
Always address the behavior. Do not praise or reprimand with general statements like "You are a good boy" or "You are a naughty girl." Be specific in your description of the behavior.
Use logical consequences, whenever possible. Try to discuss which behaviors have consequences and talk to your child.