Children this age are spending more time with other kids--in day care,at preschool, or on the playground. Through these interactions, theylearn how actions affect others--for example, that sharing can makeothers happy, while refusing to take turns can make them angry or sad.They also start to recognize individual differences in the need forcomfort. Whereas a toddler might have pulled his mother over to comforta crying child in the playground, a preschooler realizes that the boywants his own mommy. Kids often use an egocentric version of theGolden Rule ("He hit me first!") to justify aggression.
Help your child think of others: "Look at Tanya's face. See how sadshe is? Can you think of anything that would help her feel better?"
Expand your child's "feelings" vocabulary to include more subtlewords like "disappointed," "hurt," "excited," and "proud."
Encourage imaginary play about feelings. "Let's kiss the doll'sboo-boo."
What's the Goal? To increase a child's consciousness of different kinds of feelings and of herself as an active helper.