Emotional viewers were left in tears as they watched a little boy help a girl with Down's syndrome overcome her fear of rabbits in a heart-warming episode of The Secret Life Of 4-Year-Olds.
Fans tweeted that they were 'bawling their eyes out' after Tomas helped his 'best friend' Ada find the courage to stroke a pet rabbit, after she initially ran away scared.
Clutching a soft toy, he told her 'rabbits don't eat humans...
only carrots' before standing by her side as she gingerly touched the pet.
Child development experts, who are on hand to watch the children as they get to know each other at the school in Epping, Essex, commented that Tomas displayed huge amounts of empathy when he went to comfort the little girl.
Each year on the Channel 4 show, ten four-year-olds gather at a school — this time in Epping, Essex — during the summer holidays, supervised by a couple of firm but kindly teachers and 30 multi-directional cameras dotted throughout the classroom and the playground.Also among this year's cast are cheeky scamp Vinnie, self-proclaimed 'top geezer' Harper, adorable redhead Patsy and dinosaur fanatic Noah.All of the children featured in the Channel 4 show are stars in their own right but Ada quickly won over viewers with her big personality.Asked whether she's a good girl or a naughty girl she replied 'naughty girl' with the cheekiest of grins and a twinkle in her eye.Parents Matt Dixon, 37, and Laura, 38, who live with Ada and six-year-old daughter Sophie, previously told how they decided to apply for the show as a way of raising awareness of what it means to be a young child with Down's syndrome - but also because they thought it would suit their daughter's big personality.Ada initially struggled to find someone to play with at the nursery but by the end of the week had made firm friends with Tomas, who firmly declared she was his 'best friend'.In a bid to help his friend, Tomas brought a soft toy bunny to Ada and explained: 'Rabbits don't eat humans, they only eat carrots and carrot cake,' before asking her encouragingly: 'Are we going to stroke the bunny? ' The episode also saw best friends Vinnie and Harper, gobbling up nine delicious chocolate-covered strawberry snacks, just moments after their teacher Katie had explained that they were for the entire class to enjoy together.Within minutes of Katie leaving the room, Vinnie convinced Harper that they should split the sprinkle-covered lollies between them and tucked into the snacks together.But while it might at first appear to be a sign of naughty behaviour, a child psychologist explained that there was a scientific reason behind it as the boys hadn't yet developed the executive functioning skills which control good decision making.Dr Shona Goodall, a clinical psychologist at Sheffield Children's NHS Trust, said: 'Executive functioning is the ability to make decisions, it's the control center of the brain.'It takes on board information from our bodies and from the environment outside to make a decision about what to do.