Friday, April 29, 2011

Life is Good


As many of you know who have 4 year olds, they go through such different stages. There are sides of them that begin to appear that we often wonder, who has stole our child. They demand more of your attention, are less willing to play by themselves like they did before, and at times they are just defiant. They seem to discover that whiny voice, you know the voice that just cuts through you inner core, while they chant “PLEASE” which never seems to have an end, or “I WANT”, yes that voice.

Just know you are not alone, I have heard from many mom’s that this is just where they are at. We are too! Yes, our sweet little Selena knows how to whine with the best of them. She runs through the house not giving any thought at all to her safety, in fact yesterday when I got a telephone call, I no more answered the phone but to turn and find Selena standing, yes, you are reading that word right, standing on my dining room table, when I told her to get down, she got down alright, she jumped off it. The phone call was ended and one little girl was put in time out, well, I admit there was quite a long talk that followed that time out.

You are probably about now wondering why I titled this post as Life is Good…well truly it is. I know that this phase will soon move onto a new phase. Another one with its challenges, but just like every phase before it, there will be fun times, laughs, and lots of play. I understand that with each of these phases Selena is exploring her own personality, and though she might do things that we see as very unacceptable, and at times just plain wearing, she is growing, healthy, safe, and happy.

For those of you that are pulling your hair out, watching these changes take over your child, look deep into who they are becoming. I know for us we see a very independent, caring, loving, child developing before our eyes. Sometimes watching our children grow up is one of the hardest things a parent has to do. At the end of a hectic day as you tuck your little on in bed, take time to reflect on the personality, the character, and the qualities that you are instilling in her. They are there, even when at times you wonder what has happened to all those little traits you have tried to instill, they truly are still there.

You have two choices, you can spend your day in a power struggle with this new little person who is presenting themselves, or you can correct, and reinforce the good behaviors, and continue to enjoy fun activities, laughs, giggles, and a little cuddle time. Get it all in now, because it won’t be long and they won’t want the cuddles, they won’t desire so much from you, and at that point you will look back and really miss it, or ask yourself, “When did they grow up?”

We took a morning here that was starting out all on the wrong foot, and ended up turning it into one of the best days. Selena woke up at 5:00 a.m. and refused to go back to bed, hence the standing and jumping from the dining room table. I knew we had two choices argue, have a day full of power struggle, and while we had snow coming down, hail, and rain, we dressed and had fun shopping. One thing I do know about my granddaughter is when she is out in public she will never act the same as she does at home. We got home in time for lunch, a nap, and then went to the church. She was happy, laughing, giggling, and even went to the Pastor’s house while I worked on the bulletin board. Just changing our scenery for a while was enough to take her mind off all the things she could test, try, and more then likely get in trouble for doing.

For them it doesn’t always mean load them up in the car and do like we did, it can be merely a game at the table, a good book read as an extra story time, a craft, or something you know they would truly enjoy. It can be a off the cuff tea party, time to chat with a favorite treat, or a little time to just cuddle and be close for a while. Just the little things can truly mean the world to them at this age.

For all of you raising 4 year olds right now, just remember to truly take the time and enjoy them. Mostly though take peace in knowing that you are not alone going through this stage. Even those with multiple children, are struggling with all the same things, it is inevitable, they will all go through some mind altering phase, not that it alters their mind, but it might yours!

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  1. Great post! I try to remind myself every day how grateful I am to have a healthy and loving child. I think a lot of recent clinginess is a reaction to Lars being sick so much and pretty short-tempered with her. He and I had a long talk about it yesterday, and I hope that things will improve over time.

  2. Good advice! You're right too, so many bad days can be turned into good, just by turning the focus a little - sitting down and playing with the child (or children), and making them a real part of the day, instead of an obstacle to get around.

  3. My husband is so great at turning a grumpy, uncooperative child into a laughing, happy, cooperative child. I have been trying to take lessons from him!

  4. What a wonderful post. I just spent the night watching all sorts of princess movies with my girl. And now she's happily sleeping in my bed, having fallen asleep curled up on me.

  5. I agree that this is a great post. Kids certainly do come with their challenges, don't they? I always have made it a point to NEVER wish away any time with my girls, though (in other words, wishing they'd hurry up and get through whatever stage they are in)...I know how quickly time passes and want to remember to enjoy it all!