Preschooler’s Relationships and Development

Warm, stable and responsive relationships are essential for children’s development and well-being.

When you have this type of relationship with your child, you feel safe and secure. A sense of security gives your child the confidence to explore the world and learn. And as your child explores the world, he learns to think, understand, communicate, behave, show emotions, and develop social skills.

Relationship with Preschoolers: What to Expect

At this age, your child develops the confidence and  self-esteem  he has developed from infancy and childhood for many years. Your child is developing language, problem-solving, and social skills. As a result, your relationship may change.

As your child’s ability to use and understand language develops, you will begin to have longer conversations. These conversations give you a chance to really listen to your child’s thoughts and feelings. When you do this, it sends the message that what your child thinks and says is important to you. This is great for your relationship with your child.

Your child may have many questions about the world about “what,” “why,” “where,” “who,” and “how.” Your child may also understand more complex explanations. When you take your child’s questions seriously and  take the time to give real answers, you help your child learn about the world as he grows and develops  . It also increases your child’s confidence and security in you. Your child may ask the same question many times as he develops his understanding, so it’s important to be patient.

Preschoolers are getting better at understanding and using words to express emotions like “happy,” “sad,” “angry,” or “surprised.” And they can begin to understand that others also have this feeling. So, your child might say “I’m sorry” if they accidentally bump into you or get excited when it’s their birthday.  These developed emotional skills  are good for your child’s relationship with you and others, now and in the future.

As your relationship develops and changes, you and your child will form your relationship. For example, your child’s temperament will affect the type of activities you enjoy together, or how you resolve differences of opinion. All relationships have their ups and downs. But if you try to maintain your relationship over time, your child will feel loved and safe.

A strong parent-child relationship is more than just having fun together. By adjusting your child’s feelings, congratulating him, and helping him find words for strong emotions, you can help him learn and develop.

Building Strong Relationships with Preschoolers: Tips

Children of all ages need warm, responsive parents and caregivers who care for them and make them feel safe. Here are ideas to help you continue to build this type of relationship with your child.


  • Give your child lots of positive attention. This may mean taking the time to do your child’s favorite activity with them, for example, a puzzle or Lego. Even joining briefly lets your child know that they are interested in what they do and that they love spending time with them.
  • Listen to your child. If you notice your child feeling frustrated or upset, help him understand his emotions. For example, ‘I can see you’re frustrated with the riddle. How about I help you?’ Understanding emotions is an important part of self-regulation, which is important for all of your child’s relationships.


  • Show that you are listening while your child talks. Stop what you’re doing, make eye contact, pay attention to your child’s body language, and use phrases like “Really?,” “Continue,” or “Then what happened?”
  • Be patient with your child’s questions and encourage their interest. If your child asks a question he doesn’t know the answer to, you can search for it online together. Or you can visit the library to pick up some books on your child’s favorite topic.
  • If your child asks you about a difficult topic, answer it in plain language and short sentences that your child can understand. For example, ‘Grandma has passed away and we won’t see her again. I’m so sad.’ If you encourage open communication about difficult topics, your child learns that he or she can always talk to you.


  • Play games together like ‘I Spy’ or  simple board or card games. Turn-based games like these help your child learn to play cooperatively and get along with others. These skills are good for your child’s relationship with you and others.
  • Reading regularly with your child creates a special time to bond. It also stimulates your child’s imagination and helps your child learn about the world.

Family life

  • Distribute family meals regularly. Family meals can strengthen your family relationships and your child’s sense of belonging.
  • Encourage your child to help you around the house, such as setting up a table or doing laundry. This gives you the opportunity to spend time together and show your child that you trust him responsibly. And homework helps your child feel “big” and good about himself.