Recently, the American journalist Alicia Bayer published an article in which she recounted how irritated she had felt when reading the answers that some mothers had given to the question: “what should a 4-year-old child know?”.
Some mothers responded proudly by listing their offspring’s knowledge, such as counting to 100 , write their name or mention the names of the planets.Very few mothers explained that each child has their own rate of development and learning, and that there is really no list of things that children should know , necessarily, at a certain age.
The most worrying thing about this story is that it is not an isolated case but the expression of a very dangerous trend that has become fashionable in recent years, hyper-parenting. Basically, parents try to solve all their children’s problems, assuming an excessively overprotective role. In addition, they worry that they are “prepared for life”, which is why they fill their agendas with extracurricular activities.
It is likely that these parents have very good intentions but the truth is that this educational model ends up generating insecure and fearful children, who are not capable of facing problems on their own and who, in the long run, become the perfect victims of bullying. This hyper-paternity limits the possibilities for children to develop their autonomy and independence, so it ends up stunting their self-confidence.
The 4 things a 4-year-old boy or girl should know
One of the most alarming aspects of hyper-parenting is that it tends to focus almost exclusively on the development of children’s intelligence, which leads to over-stimulation. Therefore, it is not surprising that in social networks more and more parents ask what their children should know at a certain age because they are worried that their children will be left behind. However, here’s what a young child should really know:
1. You should know that they love you unconditionally
For the first time, research conducted at the University of Washington revealed that parental love is not only essential for children to grow up happily but also stimulates their brain, specifically, enhances the development of areas such as the hippocampus, essential for learning and stress management. Therefore, it is better for parents to worry a little less about stimulating their children’s cognitive abilities, and to make sure that they love them unconditionally and spend quality time with them.
2. He must know that he will be safe
A four-year-old child must gradually gain independence and autonomy, which means that he must also know how to stay safe in public places and in different situations. Parents should not scare him, but teach him to trust her instincts and explain what to do if he does not feel comfortable or safe in the company of some people.
3. He must know how to use his imagination
A four-year-old child should not behave like an adult, he must be able to laugh, be silly and, of course, let his imagination run wild. At this age, children should know that the world is magical and they should have the illusion that their dreams can come true. You don’t need to give them a reality check, life will take care of it later.
4. You should know that your parents support you
When children are young, it is important that they develop a secure attachment as this is the basis for later good self-esteem and self-confidence. To establish a secure attachment, parents just need to make sure they meet their children’s emotional needs, being physically and emotionally available when they need them.