As a father, make sure you track your child’s development and discuss any concerns you may have with their doctor.

Here is what you can expect at the four-year mark.

Remember, there are other developments and activities you can do with your child that are not mentioned here. This is a father-focused list and accounts for time spent and work and active involvement of the mother and other family members.

Developmental Milestones

  • Uses utensils like a fork, spoon and sometimes a table knife.
  • Can use toilet on their own.
  • Can stand on one foot, hop, skip, somersault.
  • Counts 10 or more things.
  • Speaks clearly and tells a simple story using full sentences.
  • Uses future tense.
  • Says name and address.
  • Is aware of gender.
  • Shows independence.
  • Sometimes cooperative and sometimes very demanding.
  • Wants to please friends and sometimes be like them.

How You Can Help with Development

  • Give your child the freedom to choose their own preferred activities with friends and let them work out problems on their own.
  • Use praise to appreciate good behavior.
  • Talk to your child about safe and unsafe touch.
  • Read to your child and encourage them to read.
  • Spend quality time playing outdoors, teaching them new concepts, singing, listening to music and other activities that challenge them physically and mentally.

Developmental Concerns

  • Doesn’t show a wide range of emotions.
  • Shows extreme behavior.
  • Unusually withdrawn and not active.
  • Easily distracted. Can’t focus on an activity for longer than 5 minutes.
  • Doesn’t respond to people or responds only superficially.
  • Can’t tell what is real and what is make belief.
  • Doesn’t play a variety of games or activities.
  • Can’t say first or last name.
  • Doesn’t draw pictures.
  • Doesn’t talk about daily activities or experiences.
  • Doesn’t use plural or past tense properly.
  • Can’t wash or dry hands, brush teeth or get undressed without help.
  • Loses skills they once had.

Remember that all children are different and develop at varying paces. If you do notice any of the listed concerns, we recommend erring on the side of caution and talking to your child’s doctor.

This information has been curated from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC. Always consult with a qualified medical professional or childcare expert when taking important decisions regarding your child and their health.

Impress your partner with key facts, take better co-parenting decisions and be 'in the know'. Visit our Partners & Parents resource center for more.

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