How to support your child’s development at the age of three

Sponsored by Hawaii State Department of Health

HONOLULU (HI Now) - The first three years of life are a critical period for children’s brain development. At this age, children’s brains are developing rapidly and they’re trying to connect the dots in their new and fascinating world. They sometimes like to push boundaries and see what they can get away with.

At three, there are several things you can to support their development. You can encourage your child to solve his or her own problems with your support. Ask questions to help him or her understand the problem. Help your child think about solutions, try one out, and try more if needed. You can also talk about your child’s emotions and give him or her words to help them explain how they’re feeling. Help your child manage stressful feelings by teaching them to take deep breaths, hug a favorite toy, or go to a quiet, safe place when upset. Set a few simple and clear rules that your child can follow, such as using gentle hands when playing. If he breaks a rule, show him what to do instead. Later, if your child follows the rule, recognize and congratulate them.

The CDC has developed family friendly books, tip sheets, and apps for families to help better understand the development of a three year olds. For more information, visit