Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Preschooler Summary: 4 Years Old

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Kaitlyn is now four years old! As I write this, Kaitlyn is going on a few days in a row of seriously perfect obedience--and beyond. She is doing things before I even ask her to. So in my immediate mind right now, she is super fabulous! Read this with that in mind--no complaints from me!

EATING
Kaitlyn's eating is the same as last time. Last time I told you she was a bit more adventurous, but that I wouldn't categorize her as "Adventurous Eater." She is the same as she was then. She will willingly try most things, but she has her list of things she just loves. 

One difference over the last few months is she suddenly LOVES chicken. Up to this point, she has not been much of a meat eater, but she now really likes chicken. We went to Red Robin one day while on vacation and she got the kids meal with the chicken fingers. Their chicken fingers are real chicken that is breaded (good by the way), and she just loved it. 

SLEEPING
As I reported last time, during the last week of her last quarter she started to get out of bed on her own--but out of bed on her own at times that were not okay with me. 

We tried removing privileges. That didn't work very well. We moved to rewarding instead. That worked quite well--but still not perfection. The clock I had in her room didn't have numbers, it just had lines. So I got her a clock with numbers and we taught her how to read what time she could get up, but she still wasn't quite getting it.

So I went to the clock that turns colors when it is time to get up. I searched Amazon for "toddler clocks" and settled on this one: American Innovative Teach Me Time! Talking Alarm Clock and Nightlight (pictured above). Ever since, she has been perfect! I love that thing. The yellow face turns green when it is okay to get out of bed. You can set how long it stays green for.

Nap 
With naps, I must point out (even though I did a post on this last Friday) that she sleeps best for naps if she has some light in her room.

She still has nap time each day, but she does not alway snap every day. Most days of the week, she falls asleep, but she will have 2-3 where she does not nap. 

PLAYING
Playtime is good. She does independent playtime well. She plays with friends well. She plays with siblings well. She and McKenna now play lots of things together. One of their favorites is "Pony Party" with My Little Ponies. They also like to get out the play cupcakes and pretend like it is a birthday party. Kaitlyn has the sweet spot in the family because she has fun playing with both Brayden and McKenna. Plus, she gets to play "boy" games with Brayden and "girl" games with McKenna.

DANCING
Kaitlyn is still enjoying dancing. She is over her drama of pretending she doesn't like to go to dance. She does well in the class. It has had some good teaching moments. One day her teacher told me that she wasn't happy if she was not the first person to go when they were taking turns doing moves. So we sat and had a talk about taking turns and that she couldn't always be first and talked about the right way to be. She wasn't having a meltdown, but apparently she would stand and pout until it was her turn, which isn't the best way to be. Since then, she has been great about taking turns and not being first. 

ICE SKATING
You might wonder how this ended up for her. She did well. My husband skated with her. At the end, she passed the class to move on, but we will put her in the same class again next time. It is the class Brayden was in, and is for 3-5 year olds, so I feel no need to move her forward until she is really comfortable and the teacher thought that was a wise decision.

IMAGINATION
Kaitlyn is still very imaginative and still to the detriment of the truth sometimes. She likes to tell me how certain princesses sing outside her window and all of these adventures she has done. 

DISCIPLINE
Kaitlyn is quite obedient. Not perfect, of course, but good. She isn't the type to really test you hard (unlike my other two). She isn't really a limit tester. She is pretty easy going and quite obedient. 

CLEANING
If there is any area Kaitlyn really needs work in, it is in her desire to help clean. When it is time to clean up, her creativity kicks in and she is off finding her way to excuses for not cleaning. If you give her a specific job, she will do it and will do it well. But if you just say "time to clean up" she will twirl her way to a corner with a book to read.

SCHEDULE
We have variation to this for playgroup and dance class, but for the most part:

7:30: Get up. Read a church children's magazine. Get ready.
8:00ish: Breakfast

9:00: Learning intro. Then some free play with McKenna.
10:00: Independent Playtime
11:00: Learning activity. Then more playing--possible 30 minute of PBSkids.org or TV time.
12:30: Lunch
1:00: Play with Brayden
2:00: nap
4:00: up. Play until dinner
5:00/5:30: Dinner
6:00: Free play
7:00: Start getting ready for bed
8:00: In bed

About once or twice a week, she plays PBSkids.org or watches 30 minutes of TV.  I also have her help with chores.

4 comments:

Kimber said...

We got that same clock to try and help my 3.5 year old know when it was okay to get up in the morning. She ended up staring at it all night, waiting for it to turn green and did not sleep much at all! How did you implement it with your daughter? Any tips or tricks? Thanks!

Michael and Yvonne said...

How are you dealing with her "imagination to the detriment of truth"? I know my 4 YO is asked a question and knows the answer but says something else and she thinks she is being funny (and not lying). I do point out that not telling the truth is lying. How hard should this concept be pressed if it's from their imagination?

Plowmanators said...

Kimber, I worried that might happen, but it didn't.

I would explain that the light won't turn green unless you sleep first, and the faster you fall asleep, the faster it turns green. Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Yvonne, I think that is a hard question and I don't really know the best answer. I think that is something that comes with experience, so in 5 years I will probably have some great advice :)

I do know I think it is a fine balance. Imagination is good and not a problem. But you also don't want it to go so far that they fall out of touch with reality. The ability to tell the truth is important, so perhaps focusing on that aspect--you need to tell the truth when asked. But I don't know what the "line" is for truth in her mind. So perhaps working on teaching what "true" and "imaginary" means. Best of luck to you!

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