The Preschooler and Family : Cognitive Development

    • Cognitive Development
      • Piaget’s stage of preoperational thought continues throughout the preschool period to age 7. 
        • Magical thinking
          • Thoughts are all powerful and can cause events to occur
          • Preschoolers believe whatever they think is real and will happen
        • Animism
          • Preschoolers believe that inanimate object are sentient and are able to think and act
          • Ascribing lifelike qualities to inanimate objects
        • Centration
          • Preschoolers understand terms very literally 
          • Preschoolers’ fears are often unrelated to reality
        • Time
          • Preschoolers begin to understand the sequence of daily events
          • Time is best explained to them in relation to an event
          • By the end of the preschool years, children have a better comprehension of time-oriented words
  • Cognitive parent education
    • Parents of preschoolers should continue to reinforce learning and language 
    • Preschoolers begin to learn about reality by pretending to perform behaviors that they see their parents perform. To assist with that learning, parents can provide children with imaginary play material 
    • Parents of preschoolers should be advised that their children may make some unusual requests or may act in unusual ways
    • The vocabulary of preschoolers increases to more than 2,100 words by the end of the fifth year
    • Preschoolers speak in sentences of three to four words at the age of 4 to 5 years
    • This age group enjoys talking, and language becomes their primary method of communication
  • Coping with concerns
    • Preschool and kindergarten 
      • Assess readiness for school 
    • Sex education 
      • Start asking why and where babies are from 
      • Answer their questions honestly 
    • Fears 
      • Preschoolers have a lot of fear- actively involve them in practical methods to deal with the frightening experience 
    • Stress 
      • Be aware of signs of stress of the preschooler 
      • Identify sources of stress- birth of siblings, marital separation, illness etc. 
    • Aggression 
      • Frustration: disapproval, humiliation, or insults can lead children to act out against others 
      • Modeling: children may be modeling the behavior of their parents at home 
      • Reinforcement: needing attention and knowing attention will be given if they hit or need punishment