A 2-3 year old may play with other children for a short while but he cannot share. He acts in response to what he wants and may grab and push.
At 2-3 year the child finds it hard to wait or make a choice , but cannot yet understand reason or control his impulses - he may know what you want him to do but he can't yet make himself do it if he wants to do something else.
The child loves to copy what adults do and the way you look, eg making houses out of boxes and rugs, dressing up, digging in the garden.
At 3 the child often enjoys being with other children and they now begin to play together more. They are learning that other people are real and have feelings. This means they can be upset when other people are upset.
Taking turns is a skill that they will learn as they approach four, but if they are upset or worried they will not be able to share their own special things.
They are starting to be able to wait a short time for what they want, such as 'we will go out after you eat your lunch'. 3 year olds are less likely than 2 year olds to have kicking and screaming tantrums.
They are eager to please. With help they might be able to try something else or wait for a few minutes.
The child may still have fears of noises, the dark, animals, monsters etc 3 year olds are developing a sense of humour and like to laugh at and repeat silly words and situations.
They will like to have choices but they usually can cope best if the choice is limited such as "you can wear your red shoes or your blue ones".
They may still need a dummy, blanket or other comforter when tired or away from home.
They can have very stereotyped ideas of what 'boys' and 'girls' are like, eg girls wear pretty dresses and boys are like Superman.
They are starting to take responsibility for their own toileting. They may have accidents (wet pants) during the day and be wet at night.
4 - 7 Years
At 4 the child is learning to understand about the feelings and needs of others, and their behaviour shows that they can feel sympathy for others and can share their toys and take turns, at least some of the time. They may sometimes feel jealous of their parents' relationship.
They often develop favourite games like "mummies and daddies" and "superman". These games allow them to try out various adult roles for a while.
The world can seem like a scary place to four year olds. They need their parents to provide a pattern of daily living that gives them a safe basis from which to explore.
They need to know that their parents will set safe limits to their behaviour.
Even though they may seem confident, it is very scary for young children to feel that their parents cannot manage them.
Four year olds begin to organise games and make friends. Four year olds can be quite bossy with other children and may still have a few tantrums when they don't get what they want.
They can usually separate from parents/carers without distress.
Their sense of humour is developing and they are likely to laugh at funny situations. Some of their behaviour is "over the top" - noisy, boasting, exuberant.
They play quite complicated make believe and pretend games, eg fathers and mothers. Some have imaginary playmates. 4-5 year olds can go to the toilet by themselves, use toilet paper properly and flush the toilet.
They will be beginning to be more responsible.
They will have some understanding of rules at 6 years and at 7 may want to add some rules of their own.
They will be starting to be more careful of their own belongings (at about 9 years). They will like to win at games but will not yet be able to lose cheerfully.
7 - 12 Years
They may tell lies or steal.
They may not yet have fully developed the adult understanding of right and wrong.
They will be starting to like team games (8 years).
They will like going to school unless they have some problem there.
They may have problems with friends;