Your preschooler: 4 years 6 months

Your budding comic is probably entertaining you with lots of new jokes. But when it comes to four-year-old humour, parents can be a little mystified sometimes.

Knock, knock!
Imagine how dreary life would be without a good joke, a shared laugh or a funny story. But when it comes to four-year-old humour, parents can be a little mystified sometimes.

For one thing, kids this age tend to have a decidedly “bathroomy” sense of humour. One four-year-old we know would fall off her chair laughing at her favourite “joke”: pee pee, poo poo, bum fart. Why are these words so funny to four-year-olds? The key is the context. A four-year-old has learned that these are words we don’t normally bring up at the dinner table. If someone does, it’s funny! Preschoolers can also giggle themselves breathless over a funny-sounding word repeated or a knock-knock joke that makes no sense at all (“Who’s there? Smelly banana!”).

The best way to handle it? Enjoy!

Kids and TV
Sometimes parents need to keep kids occupied while they make dinner, take a phone call or just take a break. Often, they click on the TV. While studies have linked TV watching to obesity, poor brain development, and sleep disturbances, experts say you don’t have to toss the tube.

Time for marriage tune-up?
Did you know that, among couples who get divorced, the average length of a marriage is about 14 years? So if you and your partner have been together half that long, and even if you feel things are OK, it’s probably time for a little relationship maintenance. Here’s what marriage counsellors can teach you about preserving your marriage.

Hurry up, slowpoke
If you’ve got a dawdler on your hands, you’re in good company. Here’s why:

First, kids this age just don’t have the same understanding of time as you do. They have the broad strokes — past and present, yesterday and tomorrow — but “10 minutes” still doesn’t have much meaning. Second, what seems like pokiness to you is really just your child’s total immersion in the moment. If a colourful ball catches her eye on the way to the bathroom, chances are she’ll be drawn into a detour.

Playtime! Down time
It’s tempting to keep your child busy by putting her in lots of activities. Yet, kids crave unstructured time as well. When kids have time to do “nothing,” creativity and imagination can really take hold. Think back to your own childhood — of days spent exploring outside or simply playing in the basement. We want to give our children the chance to develop interests and skills, but they need some time to just be kids as well.

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