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Your 3-year-old now
If your child can't do some physical things that her peers can, should you worry? Probably not. Coordination not only takes time, it's also very individual. Some kids are more coordinated than others from an early age and remain that way all their life. Others seem destined to earn the nickname Butterfingers, although of course they'll never hear it cross your lips. Temperament plays a role here, too. Some children are risk takers from the start, while others prefer to watch until they're comfortable trying physical feats.
The basic physical milestones a child should reach by age 4 include:
- Holding a crayon between thumb and fingers (rather than clutched in the fist)
- Pouring from a pitcher to a glass or cup
- Using utensils to eat
- Throwing overhand (not accurately — simply being able to coordinate this motion)
- Hopping in place on one foot
- Stacking eight or more blocks in a tower
Always mention your concerns about development to your child's doctor. Your hunches about your child are important because you see her more and know her better than anyone.
Your life now
Looking for useful advice on parenting as your child marches toward the school years? It can be hard to sort through the zillions of childrearing books out there. A parenting-book club is a great way to learn about and discuss new ideas with people who are in the same lifeboat as you. It's also a fine excuse to spend time with other parents away from your kids. If you hook up with people whose kids are close to yours in age, you'll be more likely to be interested in the same books.
Yes, there's something to be said for devoting your time away from your kids to topics other than parenting. But making this theme the focus of your club can be the inspiration to get some fresh ideas in a stress-free way. Alternatively, you could start a parenting-book club in addition to your "regular" book club.
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