Your preschooler faces many changes in how she sees herself as her independence grows and her personality matures. Sudden upheavals can cause your child to exhibit quite violent changes of mood as she tries to relate her changing identity to her family life and the guidelines she has learned for social behavior, both of which are relatively constant. Be patient and allow her to mature in her own time. The difficult stages are easily outweighed by the thrilling ones, and your child must experience both in order to become a socially adept member of her community.
3 years If your child has been brought up to relate to new friends, she will separate from you easily from the stage of three and a half onward, and at about the same time is learning to play interactive games such as tag. She is generous and usually quickly sympathetic when someone else is distressed.
4 years During the fourth years your child has an expanding sense of self, indicated by bragging, boasting, and misbehavior. She begins to realize that other children are separate entities. Your four-year-old wants to be grown up. She becomes argumentative, and may be selfish, rough, or impatient, especially with younger friends or brothers and sisters. She will express affection at bedtimes, but might be jealous of you and your partner together. Four-year-old boys, in particular, exhibit silly, boisterous humor.
5 years During the fifth year, your child may be serious, businesslike, and realistic, and become excited in anticipation of the future. At this age, little girls are sympathetic, affectionate, and helpful. They have a strong feeling for the family, and appearance is very important. They are not afraid to call people by name. For little boys, mother is the center of the universe. They take others and themselves for granted and are interested in immediate experiences, but they show no interest in their own names or the name of others.
A role model: When your little girl starts to realize that she will grow up like her mother, she will take a special interest in your activities.