At three to four years of age, a child is considered to be in a very critical period of his life. This is the time when a kid’s brain is likened to a sponge, because it has the capacity to absorb almost anything. The sponge stage is the best time for parents to teach their kids. I think this is also the time for us to be aware of everything we say and do in front of our children — I try to avoid discussing certain topics I don’t want my kids to learn yet!
Since these are also the preschool years, kids tend to ask lots of questions about a lot of subjects. As much as possible, I think you should answer them as truthfully as you can. If you feel uneasy about a certain topic that your child is curious about, don’t shout and tell them that the subject is taboo; kids don’t understand that. Just say that you’re not sure about the answer and that they may raise the question again some other time. If you don’t really know the answer, I think you should just say so. No need to go beating around the bush pretending that you know the answer when you really don’t. You’ll only confuse them.
During this period, television plays a big part in children’s learning process. Watching TV with them is highly recommended; to monitor the shows they will watch, and at the same time you’re there beside them as they experience their new discoveries.
The sponge stage is also the time when children will show some independence, when they begin to explore their little world. Small responsibilities – like cleaning their rooms, taking care of their toys and preparing their school things – will make them a little more independent and they will also know that we adults trust them.
But please…. don’t give your kids too many responsibilities just because they’re able to do some simple chores. Remember, they are just kids…. and kids just wanna have fun most of the time.