Your 4-5 Year Old Has a Short Memory

Parenting September 14, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

Parenting Tips for Your 57-58 Month Old Child

Much of 4-5 year-old children’s behavior troubles are due to poor memory. Although memory is steadily improving, children may repeat the same mistakes because they have forgotten past experiences or consequences. They remember only a few words or ideas when someone is talking to them and have difficulty remembering what happened this morning or yesterday.

Their short memory makes children unable to follow too many instructions given at the same time. Don’t be surprised if your child does not follow all your instructions when you say, “Take those toys upstairs to your room, put on your pajamas, brush your teeth and hurry up!” Your child will probably brush her teeth thinking she has done what she was told. When you tell too much, too fast, it upsets and confuses your child.

Learn more about Your Child: 57-58 Months from Just In Time Parenting. You can also go to our Resource Links for additional information on child care and development.

Note to Parents: When reading this newsletter, remember: Every baby is different. Children may do things earlier or later than described here. This newsletter gives equal space and time to both sexes. If he or she is used, we are talking about all babies.
References: These materials were adapted by authors from Extension Just in Time Parenting Newsletters in California, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Tennessee, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.