Friday, December 11, 2009

Preschooler Summary: 4.5 Years Old

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Continuing on with my new tradition of doing summaries, here is a summary for Brayden as he is now 4.5! Here are some notable items going on with him right now. I am sure I will leave a lot out. It is hard to cover every pertinent item in one post! But here is a try.

SLEEPING
Sleep is good. A notable recent event is that we officially moved to rest time. He has rest time for one hour each day instead of a nap. He is in bed by 8 PM and up by 7-7:15 AM.

EATING
Brayden has always been a very good eater. He isn't always excited to try new things, but he always does. He is very good about eating fruits and vegetables. Brayden loves to eat.

DISCIPLINE
Brayden has always been a very obedient child. He desires to be good. He just gets easier and easier as he gets older. He is at a point that if he does something he shouldn't, I remove a privilege instantly. He used to be on more of a warning system, but as he has gotten better, I have become more strict with it. I do this for things he knows he shouldn't do. It is interesting as he matures, too. He fully recognizes and accepts that he did something wrong. He doesn't complain about it at all.

SIBLINGS
Brayden loves his siblings. He and Kaitlyn are best friends. The play well together.McKenna is his biggest fan. She just laughs and laughs at him, and he loves to entertain.

SOCIALIZING
Brayden has started socializing more with other children over the past six months. He will come home with new phrases or noises that I don't approve of. I explain to him that we don't do/say that and why. He understands and it isn't a problem. Watching this process has made me more adamant about Kaitlyn not going out and socializing a lot because she doesn't have the moral development as a two year old to be able to not pick up on the habits of other children.

BOSSINESS
Our biggest obstacle with Brayden right now is bossiness. He thinks he is the third parent in the household, which is pretty normal for an oldest child. Let's be honest, I still have a hard time not parenting my little sister! We remind Brayden that he is not the boss, not the Daddy, and that Kaitlyn doesn't need another parent. She needs a brother. He catches himself sometimes and says, "Oh, yeah, I'm not the boss." There has been slow improvement in this area over Kaitlyn's life, but there is still much room for improvement.

SHARING
Sharing is our second biggest obstacle. He used to have a hard time sharing. He has had VAST improvement since Kaitlyn turned one and really started playing with him. He still struggles with the whole concept and sometimes believes that sharing means he gets what he wants when he wants it. As he gets older, he sees how happy it makes Kaitlyn when he shares and he likes to make her happy, so he does it.

PRESCHOOL
Brayden started preschool in September. He goes three times a week, and he loves it! He has a great teacher. He is one of the youngest in his class as a May birthday. Because of that, I have known that I might need to keep him back from kindergarten for one year. A couple of weeks ago, I asked his teacher about this. She told he he was absolutely ready and one of the smartest in the class. Well, I know that academically he would be just fine, but I wondered about socially and behaviorally. She said he was great socially and no problems behaviorally. She said he is always very good in class. She told me she had never even thought about him possibly not being ready for kindergarten next year, so that was good news. I think he would go crazy waiting :).

His primary teacher at church tells me he is a leader among his peers, which isn't surprising as an oldest child. I just hope he leads in the right direction :)

OUR SCHEDULE
His schedule changes a bit from day to day. He has a "preschool" day schedule and a "non-preschool" day schedule.

Preschool Day
7:15 AM--wake, say prayers, come to my room. We then go set the table for breakfast. I get Kaitlyn up and we eat. We have a short music time. We then do a fast bath and get ready for the day.
8:05 AM--Sibling Playtime with Kaitlyn
9:05 AM--finish getting ready for school (hair, shoes on, coat, and back pack)
9:15 AM--picked up for preschool (we carpool)
12:10 PMish--home from school. Eat lunch. Play with Kaitlyn until nap time.
1:00 PM--nap (rest time)
2:00 PM--independent playtime
3:00 PM--Learning time with mom. Do chores.*
3:30 PM--nintendo time/PBSkids computer games time/TV time. When weather is nice, he will go outside instead. Sometimes he plays with neighbors instead.
4:30 PM--Daddy home. Activities vary from that point forward.
7:00/7:30 PM--start getting ready for bed. Do chore charts. Stories.
8:00 PM--in bed

Non-Preschool Day
Non-preschool day is pretty similar. We start similarly. Differences are that we take a long bath after McKenna goes down for her first nap, so sibling playtime is longer. We also start lunch earlier. Our non-preschool day is much more relaxed. It is kind of like we have three Saturdays a week now :)

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9 comments:

Kristy Shreve Powers said...

I love hearing about the older kids, too!

melissa said...

I'm curious about your comment about immediately taking away a privilege. Can you give me an example or two of a situation that occurs and what privilege you take away? With only a 1.5 year old, I'm at a far different stage but have been thinking more and more these days about the different disciplining tools that are out there...I'm not sure what privilege I could possibly take away at his age where he would even notice and put two and two together!

ys said...

Couple of things I'm curious on:
1. Does he actually sleep those night hours? I thought that when they drop their naps they pretty much go right to sleep at bed...just curious.
2. Do you have the same resttime and bedtime for preschool vs nonpreschool days? I would imagine he is more tired on preschool days. Do you ever have earlier or it maybe isn't needed at his age?
3. When you have multiple children, how do you work on preschool schedules with other LO's naps? I'm thinking mainly of the pickup. That could easily fall around lunch time/winddown/or naptime of other kids.
4. I noticed he started preschool "later" than a lot of kids (a lot are age 2,etc). Just curious as if there were reasons. We were maybe moving so I'd been delaying until then. But I now realize I'm really glad I didn't have her in preschool yet as I don't think she is ready yet (her personality. I think she'd get o/s and overwhelmed yet). I was thinking around age 3 but the waiting lists can be 1 year! But again it's up in the air right now if we move but I'm leaning towards later preschool currently and just curious on your thoughts.

My oldest is so similar in so many ways. I guess it is that firstborn profile:) She thinks she is a "minimommy". It's cute as she is very nurturing but also bossy. Our issue now too is the sharing. She can be so sweet sometimes but more recently not wanting to share at all...I'm actually finding it to be a much bigger problem now as her sister gets older than when younger. Now I think she feels more infringed upon. When they are the same sex it may be exagerated. But sometimes they play real well together. I'm sure it's all normal:)

hollyann3130 said...

I was going through your blog here because I have a 4 year old daughter and I love hearing about other children her age. How great are the 4's?!
I've never heard of the "-wise" series of books. I'd like to check them out now.
I'm kind of wondering your feelings on discipline and obedience?
For example I read in another post: "All children respond best to positive words. If you are constantly reprimanding and punishing and talking about the negative behaviors without thanking, hugging, and encouraging for the positive behaviors, your child will have no motivation to continue positive behaviors."
I totally get that. I've seen positive reinforcement change a child's behavior, for sure.
I'm unsure about the "motives" aspect of all of this, though. Does the "-wise" series of books say that a child's motives of good behavior is parental praise and love? Or does it include other motives for good behavior? Thanks for your time. BTW I love your blog's design scheme.

Plowmanators said...

Melissa,

Let's say he has a ball. He throws it in the house. I tell him not to or he will lose it. He throws it; he loses it.

One thing I use often is television. He enjoys watching TV, and I don't feel bad at all if he doesn't watch it. So if he does something I know he knows not to do, I take the TV away for the day. But he didn't start caring about TV enough until he was probably 2.5.

Plowmanators said...

ys,

1. yes, he sleeps those night hours.

2. Yes, we have the same sleep times for preschool and non-preschool days. He actually isn't really more tired on school days, but I do know that happens with some children.

3. I carpool, so I only drive once a week. I actually have my parents come over and stay with the girls. I then drop off kids, run errands, and pick up. With McKenna's current schedule, it would be fine for drop off. For pick up, I would have to wake her up 30 minutes early (at least). But I can't fit my three plus two others in my vehicle. It works out nicely to I can run errands :)

4. Where I live, it is actually common for children to not start preschool until age four. Very few do before age four.

Kaitlyn really wants to start school now (big brother!). She could next fall. But I really just think it is important to have her home with me. I think it is important for me to teach her morals while she is at this age. She isn't morally ready to go out and learn bad habits from other kids and not have them stick to her. With Brayden, I can tell him that we don't do that, and he listens. He has the moral foundation to be able to start practicing. Kids barely start to understand morals at age three, so I don't think that gives enough time to really get that foundation under them if you start preschool at age three.

Brayden is much better about sharing than he was when Kaitlyn first became mobile. It does improve, but I think the difficulty is always there to a degree. I am an oldest, and I have a hard time sharing with someone if I know they won't take care of my stuff!

Plowmanators said...

hollyann3130,

With the -wise series of books, your ultimate goal in parenting as far as motivation goes for your children is internal. You want them to do what is right because it is the right thing to do. You want them to share because they love their sister, not because they will get in trouble or lose the toy if they don't share.

I believe parental love should be present no matter what the behavior of the child. I think it is good to focus on the positive as much as possible, even when correcting. For example, the -wise series says to focus on the virtue rather than the vice. So instead of saying "that was rude" you would say, "that wasn't nice."

When teaching children, you of course have to build basically precept on precept. You can't start at your child doing things out of love; you have to work toward that. The -wise series talks about creating good habits before they are able to do things for the morally correct reason. So you have your toddler share even though she has no capacity to share for the right reason. For now, it is just a creating a habit.

Also, a book I love is The Five Love Languages of Children.

There are tons of discipline posts on this blog with my thoughts on discipline. It is a never-ending topic :)

ys said...

Thank you for your insight. I was just curious about juggling the schedules when having 3......toying with the idea:) We don't have family around so that makes it much more challenging.

Thanks for your insight about the preschools. Here it seems like everyone starts at age 2 (like when they just turned two, not an "older" 2). I've been doing structured learning and trying to implement more like a curriculum as she is almost 3. We do a weekly playdate plus of course church on Sunday and at least one shopping/outing day. I used to do more when it was just one kid but now it seems like I can't fit it in as they have such different schedules (my almost 17 month is still on 2 naps a day). So sometimes I wonder if I do enough for her. But on the other hand I constantly remind myself that she is still very young and even though she is seeming to mature and become so more "responsible" as she is turning 3, I can see how when we have too much going on, it's not good either. She gets overstimulated easily at this age. So it's kind of nice to hear from other moms as it seems like so many LO's are in organized activities. It is so different as they didn't have these when I was a LO. It will be interesting to see what happens with the next generation......sometimes the pendulum swings from one extreme to the other:)

Plowmanators said...

ys, so true. I do think most kids are overly scheduled. I think it is good to let kids be kids. I also think people underrate the power and importance of all the child can learn at home.

It sounds to me like you are doing enough for her age :)

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