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Expert Advice

You're officially the parent of a four year old! Here's what to expect ...

There are big things happening in this last year before school.

By Now to Love Staff
Your fabulous four-year-old is turning into a very sociable little person, with a growing awareness of the complexities of the 'big world' around them.
Relationships, friendships, differences between people, etc are all being explored through play - it will be a time of extremes as they navigate their place in the world. Get ready for endless Why, When and How questions about everything from death to where babies come from.
As social awareness begins to develop, your preschooler will become more adept at fitting in, forming friendships (often short-term) and group games. Not all kids are as boisterous and confident as others but don't presume shyness is a lack of social skills.
Physically, your four year old is throwing, catching and using a bat, riding a trike (maybe even a bike with training wheels) and climbing trees and ladders. However, they're still prone to miscalculating their physical abilities.
By four, your little one is really becoming their own person. Getty Images
As for developmental differences between boys and girls at four, in general girls tend to have better fine motor skills and more advanced social skills.
Preschool social skills depend on the ability to have empathy, self-control and communicate verbally, and research has found that developing these abilities requires quality socialisation, rather than just lots of socialising.
WATCH: Jenna Dewan Tatum and James Corden take a dance lesson from toddlers and it's freaking adorable. Continues after video ...
So rather than bombard them with play dates in the hope they'll learn how to be kind or to share, actively take on the role of their 'social tutor' yourself. Unlike their preschool peers, you have the ability to draw on extensive emotional resources when you interact - and after all, this the last year before they really do head off into the 'big world'.

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