As this article has shown, children continue to grow and to change in amazing ways as they move from toddlerhood to school-age. During the Preoperational stage, between ages 2 to 7 years, young children continue to grow taller as their bodies take on more adult proportions. They gain the ability to run and to climb stairs independently, as well as to cut with scissors and to grip a writing tool. Cognitively, young children learn how to think symbolically, which leads to make-believe play, and their language explodes and matures. Emotionally, children learn how to express their own feelings and to feel reflective empathy. Socially, they begin to cultivate relationships with peers as well as deepen family relationships. Morally, they begin to understand "right" versus "wrong," and to understand they have the choice about which way to go. Sexually, young children continue to form their gender identity and begin to understand what it means to be male or female.
Beyond just understanding how young children are growing and developing during these early years, parents also need practical, everyday knowledge on how to care for their children and how to meet their needs. More information on Parenting can be found in our corresponding article on Parenting Skills for the Preoperational Level.
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