Understanding 4-5-Year-Olds
Release Date:01 May 2007

Understanding 4-5-Year-Olds

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Understanding 4-5-year-olds gives a thoughtful overview of the challenges that children face as they gradually move away from a strong attachment to their families and turn towards the wider world of school and life outside the family.

Lesley Maroni discusses the critical social and emotional developments at this age, including identity, independence and sibling rivalry, the transition to school and friendships with peers, coping with illness and loss, and gender differences. The author also shows how 4-5-year-olds explore real issues using the protective safety of pretend play and their imagination.

This accessible book provides valuable insights and a wealth of case examples that will help parents, educators and carers better understand and relate to children at this demanding, yet exciting, stage of development.

Review for all of the series

'They are a rich resource of balanced, sensitive and non-judgemental advice to help parents and professionals looking after children…The central subject is the mental and emotional development of children and their parents. And the style is intelligent and friendly… The books form a cohesive and continuous guide to almost everything I have ever wondered about bringing up my children.'

– 0-19 Magazine

It is refreshing to read a book that focuses on this age group as young individuals, not as children who have to be fitted into adult-determined framework. Lesley Maroni explores sensitively how they try to make sense of daily life. She offers valuable descriptions of the ways children's perspective and confusion, emerge through their play and conversation. Like others in the Understanding Your Child series from the Tavistock Clinic, the book is written both for parents and practitioners.

– Nursery World

Written in a simple, engaging style, citing plenty of familiar examples from home and school, Lesley Maroni brings the world into focus from a child's perspective, revealing the enormity of the challenges they face at this age as they make significant transitions from the more contained environment of home and preschool to the larger world of primary school... The book provides a clear background to the social and emotional development of children this age. It guides adults through this demanding, transitory period, revealing the coping mechanisms behind many behaviours and showing what support can be given at home and school. Having previously felt overwhelmed by the emotional neediness and demands of 4-5 year old, this book has left me with more appreciation of the daily pressures they face. I have a heightened awareness of the distress these struggles can cause, and greater confidence to work with this age group in a firm, supportive manner. I am keen to read more of the series to find out how the story of development unfolds.

– Primary First, Clare Fernandes Norris

Lesley Maroni, MA, MPsychPsych, MACP is a child and adolescent psychotherapist. She is currently in the process of setting up and running a child psychotherapy service in primary schools in Fulham. She is a visiting lecturer and seminar leader at the Tavistock Clinic.
Acknowledgements. Foreword, Jonathan Bradley. Introduction. Chapter 1: Family Life. Chapter 2: School and the Wider World. Chapter 3: Social Development. Chapter 4: Books and Reading to your Child. Chapter 5: Anxieties and Worries. Chapter 6: Moving On. Conclusion. References and Further Reading. Helpful Organizations. Index.
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