Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Brayden Summary: 7 Years Old

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When I look over at Brayden as he is talking to me, I see a child. Not a little child, not a preschooler, not a little one at all. I see a child. A child missing several teeth (we call him toothless these days). A child with mature concerns. As we have come up on his birthday season, I have reflected on his birth and those early weeks with him and just really can't believe he is a seven year old little guy.

These last few months have really been idealic with Brayden. He seemed to get an extra boost of maturity or something. He has become so great with his sisters. He was great before, but he has matured into putting their needs, wants, and desires before his own. One day, he was watching a show on TV. I went into McKenna's room to get her up from her nap, and when I came out with her, he had stopped his show and started her favorite show. It was such a sweet moment. She actually likes the show he was watching just fine and I am sure she would have sat and watched it without complaint, but he decided to stop his own show and turn on her very favorite. He has been doing so many sweet big brother things like this.

I think that something that has influenced this sweet behavior was us finding out the next baby would be a girl. He was very disappointed. He wanted a brother so strongly and he had even picked out a name for his brother. We really pondered and prayed over how to help him to be excited to have a sister. One thing we felt we should stress was that he got to be the big brother and protector of all of these sweet sisters. We pointed out how much his sisters love him and look up to him and that he could be counted on to always be there for them. I think that has made him think more about that role and he has really embraced it.

EATING
Eating is good with no big news to report.

SLEEPING
Sleeping is also good with no big news to report. Oh, I guess something of interest is something we noticed when he was two. Brayden will wake up with night terrors if he is too hot at night. Now that he is older, it is funny because he has zero memory of it happening the next day. This was often an issue in our previous home because his room was really hot. In our current home, his room is not so it has never been an issue here until recently. That is because it has been warm plus he thinks he needs about ten blankets on at night. We have been removing blankets to have as many as he can handle without night terrors. I think we have found it.

GROWTH SPURTS
He has had a couple of times of growing pains in the last few months.

PLAYING
Nothing of significance here. 

SCHOOL LIFE
Things at school have been going very well. He is in the last few days of school now for the year. He was recognized for his citizenship for the month of April and received an award and best of all, got to eat lunch with a deputy. I don't know if all children are like this, but my children love police officers. They are celebrities to my children. One day, we saw some eating lunch at the same place we were eating lunch, and the kids stopped and stared at them in awe. They were nice and smiled and said hi and even Kaitlyn was too starstruck to say more than "hi!" and giggle. So this was a great reward for Brayden.

There have been several times recently that Brayden has had nice notes from school. They have done nice notes for various reasons (one includes birthday). Something I have noticed as a common trend is he always gets comments that he lets everyone play and that he will tell someone who is bullying to stop. Those comments just warm my heart as a mom! I love that he is known for being someone who accepts everyone and even someone who stands up for people. That willingness definitely stems from his "bossy" nature. It just goes to show you that pretty much any quality can be used for good. You don't want to squash innate qualities in your children--you just want to harness them in the right direction. He has been working so hard on not being bossy, but has no problem standing up for people who need it.

He has also been getting far ahead of his class during what is called "self-start" time, so his teacher has had him reading books and testing on them. She let him start out with first grade level books that he could read in about 20 minutes. Then she wanted him to move up to more difficult books. He went up to fourth grade level, took several days to read the book, and still scored 100% on the test. You all know how much I love and value reading, so you know that is something that makes me happy, too.

HOME LIFE
Like I said earlier, he has been so great at home. He is working so hard to do everything right that he should. He does things without being asked (like get ready for bed). He is kind to his sisters. He is helpful around the house. He jumps in and helps where he sees a need. 

He also recently spoke in primary and wrote the talk all by himself. I was worried, but didn't intervene. He did a great job! He even had a thesis statement, supporting information, and ended on a thesis statement again. I couldn't have organized it better myself. He also bore his testimony in church by himself and did a great job (this was another terrifying moment for me--children can be so unpredictable!). 

CONCLUSION
Things are just going well right now. Brayden is trying his very best every day to be the best he can. That isn't to say we never have to correct him, but overall, things are just serene. This has been a period in parenting where you see efforts come to fruition and it gives you strength to carry on and continue efforts into the future. 

A goal to set for Brayden now to work on would be contentment. Some people have a natural propensity for being happy for what they have while others seem to more look at the one negative among the 10 positive things. Brayden often will have moments like this. I am not sure if it is a personality thing at this point or a maturity thing. So we are working with him to learn to see the positive and to be optimistic. Optimism is a great skill and really helps make people happy. There is so much to be grateful for, even when there are hard times. 

FAVORITE TOY
Favorite toy is still, hands down, Legos.

WHAT WE ARE READING
We are still reading the same series. I should add he also reads various picture books as well as science books. 
SCHEDULE
I don't want to post a detailed schedule of his day on the internet, so I will do generalities.

Before School (day starts at 7 AM)
Before school he does these activities:
  • Gets ready (shower, dressed, pray, brush teeth, make bed, eat breakfast)
  • Read church magazine (I like to read an article from a church magazine we get to help him have a peaceful frame of mind before going to school)
  • Plays with Kaitlyn
  • He sometimes practices his piano before school--sometimes after school
School Day
  • School stuff
After School
  • Homework
  • Practice piano if didn't do it in the morning
  • Video game time (three days a week)
  • Play with siblings
  • Dinner
  • Chores
  • Family time
  • Get ready for bed (in bed by 8-8:30 PM)
Extra Activities
Right now, he has baseball and swimming lessons. We recently finished up piano lessons for the summer and just finished a season of soccer. 

8 comments:

Devon and AnnDee said...

I just had a lightbulb moment when you posted about your son and sleeping when too hot. My son does the same thing, and it wasn't until you pointed it out that I realized it's only when he gets too hot! I just wanted to thank you for helping me solve our random night terror waking for my son! :)

Plowmanators said...

You are welcome! We quickly knew because my husband was the same way as a child and he remembered that. I don't know how long it would have taken us to figure out if my husband wasn't that way.

Michael and Yvonne said...

wow, this is so great to hear! It sounds like Brayden is growing up into a fine boy and you must be proud! I love hearing about them as they get older and really love these updates.
I'm curious on 1 thing though since he just turned 7 and seems real active. Have you noticed a drop in sleep this past year or not? My friend said the principal at her school said K-5 should have at least 10-11 hours of sleep a night so that's up to age 10ish. I kind of believe it, especially in extra activities but think it's harder to do with the extra activities and staying up later as they get older like friends,etc....ie a more "age approriate bedtime" (which is sujbective, lol) Do you do a short rest time at all on the weekends or not? Do you just have him do something like video for your downtime while the girls nap?
Anyways sounds like he's doing great!

Plowmanators said...

He easily gets ten hours at night. He gets up at 7, so to get 10 hours he only has to be in bed by 9 PM. We aim for 8-8:30. That isn't too hard except for with the new baseball. Some games are from 7:15-8:15. We have only had one game so far though :)

He is also paranoid about getting his ten hours, so if he goes to bed late, we can now tell him what time to sleep in to and he will do it. Thank you first grade teachers who made a huge deal about the need for ten hours of sleep :)

Right now, during school, we only have a rest time on Sunday. He never falls asleep (unless he is sick--and in that case we do it daily). I do plan to have him do a rest time most days during the summer.

Kaitlyn also is just a rest-timer these days, but she does have it almost every day. On weekends, Brayden and Kaitlyn either play together during McKnena's nap or they help with whatever my husband and I are doing. You definitely get less down time as a mom as your kids get older :)

Michael and Yvonne said...

That's hilarious that he is paranoid about it! And kudos to the teachers stressing that for the kids and to make such an impact. I think in part the start times vary (some schools are 9:15, some 7:45 AM) so that's a wide range of when kids have to wakeup to get ready. With those schools starting earlier I still think a lot of kids go to bed those later hours so they are a bit short. And I think it's easy for parents to put their kids to bed later as they get older too...but supposedly even grade 5 needs 10 hours! I have friends who did baseball and they had games til 10 PM some schoolnights (if they were winning and had to play more games,etc).
That's too funny that he will sleep in til when you tell him. Does he get up on his own/natural wakeup? Does he have a clock in there with digits so he reads the time and knows when to wake/get up? I am thinking I may do that when we start school.
You always said Brayden was obedient!:)

Plowmanators said...

Let me tell you, a child who is a rule-follower is the easiest child to parent because they basically parent themselves. Teachers at school only help the process :)

He has a traditional face clock. He has been reading it since he was four (maybe 3.5?). He just naturally wakes up (I am the same way).

I think the 10 hours extends even beyond the fifth graders if I remember right. I will have to read up on that--but it is important forever.

It does only get harder to have a reasonable bedtime as your child gets older. Most definitely. It takes a respect for the importance of sleep as well as conscious effort to have bedtime right. An interesting read I recently read is "Nurture Shock." Each chapter is on a different topic. One of the first is on the profound importance of sleep. You would be interested in it. LOVE the book.

Our school starts at 9 AM--so even a late sleeper can get the 10 hours pretty easy. But I think 6-7 grade starts at 7 AM--that will be a challenge!

Plowmanators said...

Another catch-22 with the sports and sleep is that they often need more sleep due to the physical exertion. Instead they get less because games go late. Our soccer games were all early though. And basketball was all Saturday mornings. It is just baseball, and they had only two games during the school year.

Michael and Yvonne said...

yes, DD1 is similar to Brayden it sounds....probably like most firstborns. She may not like things but it obedient without too much resistance. DD2 is another story. Sounds like your DD2:)

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