This has been adapted from the Phase Series 

Parenting is hard. Just when you think you understand your kid, everything changes. And then you have to get re-acquainted with them and figure out a new way to parent. It might be helpful to know that every kid at every phase is asking a unique and fundamental question. How you answer that question for your child will communicate the one thing they need most: LOVE.

The Question Your Preschooler (AGE 3-4) is Asking

Life for your preschooler can be confusing. It’s okay to throw
a ball, but not a rock. You can hug your friend, but not squeeze
his neck. Your preschooler is learning the rules for life and encountering some necessary discipline.

Your preschooler is asking one major question:


Your preschooler needs to know you love them—even when they
make bad choices. As the parent of a kid who may test
your limits on a daily (or hourly) basis, you may feel overwhelmed
at times. But remember this, in order to give your preschooler
the love and discipline they need, you need to do one thing:

EMBRACE their physical needs.

When you embrace your preschooler’s needs, you . . .

communicate that they are safe,
establish that the world can be trusted,
and demonstrate that they are worth loving.

You are probably doing more than you realize to show your preschooler how much you love them. Make a list of the ways you already show up consistently to meet their physical needs.