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Your parenting plan can account for your preschooler's developmental needs

Florida parents know that raising a child is at once rewarding and challenging. You may not always be sure of the best approach to take, but you can count on your love for your child to help you make the right decisions.

Of course, parenting becomes more complicated when two parents divorce or separate. If a child is between 3 and 5 years old at the time, there are some specific developmental concerns that parents should be aware of when deciding on a workable parenting plan.

Some Basic Needs of Preschoolers

Most of us don't remember much from when were small children, and most of us likely wouldn't approach raising a child in exactly the same way that our parents did. Fortunately, there is a lot of literature from child psychologists and experts to help clarify what young children need to develop healthily. Here are some basic needs that psychologists and experts agree upon with regard to children between 3 and 5 years of age:

  • They need between 11 and 13 hours of sleep each night.
  • They need to have the opportunity to run, jump, throw a ball, pedal a bike and engage in a variety of new physical activities.
  • They can start learning to use child-safe scissors, draw pictures with crayons and markers, get dressed by themselves, and use utensils to eat with.
  • They need to practice counting, identifying colors and responding to questions.
  • They need to practice talking and listening to their parents read books.
  • They need to be social with other children their age without their parents directly involved in the activities.
  • They can start learning to play games that have rules, learn how to take turns, and learn how to be the leader in games.
  • Children are curious and may try to push the limits of parents emotionally and physically, so they need to learn what is safe and acceptable behavior.
  • They may throw temper tantrums, and parents have to learn to stay calm so that the tantrums don't become worse.

Remember these basic points when developing your parenting plan.

A parenting plan that takes into account the above points will be beneficial to your child. Above all else, you'll want to be sure that your parenting plan supports the best interests of your child in that the plan and schedule allow room for your child to learn, grow and play in a structured, safe, disciplined and creative environment.

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