Spotlight on preschool and early primary: Some of our most popular and most enlightening videos on 4-8 year-olds and their development

By ParentTV on 29 Sep 2020
Categories: General Parenting, Developmental Milestones, Developmental Conditions

The time between 4 and 8 years is a hugely busy stage in the development of your kiddo. It’s also when you feel less like a parent and more like a PA to a tiny celebrity as your child becomes more independent and you see more of their personality, temperament and unreasonable demands emerge. The mildly frustrating thing about parenting kids of this age is that you’re thrust into a cycle of school, sports, activities, playdates and birthday parties that can leave you feeling like a chauffeur, head chef and secretary rolled into one, without the remuneration. But, it’s excellent watching your kiddos come into their own, and sometimes they even let you eat the lollies they don’t like from their lolly bags after those parties.

Big things happen in every area at this age, with social and emotional growth skyrocketing and cognitive development progressing rapidly for neurotypical children. If you find yourself in the company of a beautifully unique neurodivergent little person, this will be a prime time for your learning about them, their needs and the resources that will help them to thrive. With greater awareness and more understanding of the world around them, you might also see a sharp increase in the curly questions coming your way from 4-8 year-old kiddos, but fear not, we’ve got you covered! And by ‘we’, we mean our ParentTV experts, not the staff. Why do you think we started this business?

WATCH: How can I help my child transition smoothly into school? With Andrew Oberthur

We’ve got a whole lot of content on ParentTV from Andrew Oberthur, who has been a teacher for over thirty years and a principal for more than twenty of them. It’s safe to say he knows his stuff. With a good mix of diplomacy and reality, Andrew talks us through the milestone of your child starting school and what you can do to help make it a smooth passage. Plus, he’s got a bunch of other videos on dealing with the things you’ll run into when you get there, like homework, slack teachers and NAPLAN. Yuck. Not covered: Spelling rude words on calculators…

WATCH: How to know when child anxiety is becoming a problem, with Dr Jodie Lowinger

For a lot of parents, the 4-8 year-old age period is when they notice an increase in anxiety and anxiety-related behaviours in their kiddo. Given all the changes happening in their worlds (especially starting school), this seems pretty natural, but sometimes it goes beyond a natural, proportionate response, and that’s when your little person might need some help. Dr Jodie Lowinger has such a sweet voice, we reckon she’d do a cracking side biz making those relaxation tracks, but there’s also a lot of gold in what she says. Parents of little worried heads, start here.

WATCH: Common childhood mental health problems and developmental conditions explained, with Dr Kaylene Henderson

Are you baffled by the huge variety of acronyms that start getting thrown around at this age? ADHD, ASD, SPD… Not to mention the LOL variety that have nothing to do with development and everything to do with tech jargon. Dr Kaylene Henderson is a child psychiatrist and mum to three children of her own, so she probably knows equal amounts about both types of acronyms, but we’re more interested in her thoughts on the first bunch. Her insights are helpful, her advice is smart and her empathy is evident. Want to decode both the acronyms and the conditions? DKH is your gal.

WATCH: Why do I need to talk to my six-year-old about pornography? WIth Holly-ann Martin

Did you think you had a little longer to wait before you had to have conversations about tricky things with your child? We’re terribly sorry, but twelve years old in 1990 equates to about six years old in 2020, so the time for these chats is actually NOW. The hard truth we all need to get our heads around is that seven-year-olds right here in Australia are seeing pornography, and we need to get ahead of that to help them deal with it when it happens. Holly-ann Martin is the Director of Safe 4 Kids, a company that specialises in child abuse prevention education, so she knows her data around this stuff and she knows what parents can do about it. Essential viewing.

WATCH: What you need to know about 7&8 year-old girls – When the social nastiness gets going, with Claire Orange

If you’ve got a 7 or 8-year-old kiddo, you might be dismayed to hear some of the stuff that comes out of their mouths. It can be real junior mean girls territory, and you might despair of who your little princess is becoming. There’s hormones, social hierarchies, experiments in empathy and boundary-testing all in the mix for them at this age, and the result is a whole lot of SASS. Luckily, we’ve got Claire Orange, who’s a speaker, author, mum, speechy, parent coach AND lovely human to tell us how to thwart the course of pre-tween terror. PHEW.

WATCH: Why children don’t tell anyone they’re being bullied, with Rachel Downie

We’ve got a lot of videos on the topic of bullying on the ParentTV site. Why? Because bullying is a HUGE problem in our society, and childhood is often where it starts. As school environments have become more techy, kids have gotten their own devices and the world of social media has ballooned, bullying has too. It’s like some shapeshifting monster that expands to fill any space available to it (apologies for the gross imagery). Rachel Downie’s a former teacher, so she’s seen this for herself, and she’s an ideal source for info on understanding, identifying, preventing and responding to bullying. Again – essential viewing.


More in this series..

Previously: Baby-love and their development, Toddlers and their development

Coming up next: Tweens!