Thursday, August 29, 2013

McKenna Preschooler Summary: 4 Years 3, 4, and 5 months

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So....I was just planning out my posts for next month and realized I needed a McKenna summary in there...and realized I haven't done one for three months! Crazy! This a summary for McKenna age four and months 3-5.

EATING
Eating is normal. 

SLEEPING
Sleeping is good. Night is great. I think she needs some naps some days, though. The older kids were out of school during this period because of summer, and I just didn't do rest time with her consistently. Now that school is back in session, we are doing rest time each day and that is a huge help--she sleeps if she needs it and just rests if she doesn't. 

I have also noticed if she is in bed by 8:15 PM, she is very nice and very well behaved. If she is up past 8:15 PM--she gets very disobedient. We have huge motivation to get her in bed on time!

SWIMMING
Oh swimming! She was doing well, then totally freaked out again. She was convinced her teacher would let her sink, which made no logical sense. Her teacher had never let her sink at all and had never threatened to let her sink...McKenna is usually logical, but when she decides to be illogical, her emotional side takes over and she can't be talked out of it. She had gone months without progressing at all. On one hand, it isn't a worry because we are paying the same amount either way and she is the age Brayden was when he had his first lesson ever, so I am not worried about how fast she is progressing on skills. But I don't want her refusing to do things for her teacher and I of course would prefer some progress during lessons.

Her teacher said it was hard because McKenna is a good swimmer--very natural at it. So from the teacher's end, she is obviously feeling frustrated because she has this student to work with with great potential but she won't cooperate. McKenna's ability to swim also made it challenging because with children who are stubborn in the water, you can do certain things and they will stay put because they don't have a choice. McKenna is good enough that she could move herself into a swimming position she preferred and even swim away. 

She was genuinely scared and I couldn't talk her out of it.

So I did some praying. 

We had given it time and it was time for some action because time was not fixing things. We had even given her a month off with no progress.

I realized I needed something to appeal to her that would be stronger than her fear. I thought about what makes McKenna tick. McKenna is very, very competitive. We are constantly telling her "It's not a competition." She wants to be the tallest, fastest, smartest...whatever. She has a lot of drive and whatever it is, she wants to be the best. Like most characteristics, this can have its virtue and its vice so we work to highlight the virtue side and tame the vice side.

I needed to appeal to McKenna's sense of competition. 

So I found a sticker chart. I was going to make one, but I decided this was a time to realize when to "downsize" and I just found a cute blank sticker chart online. I found one that is a ladybug. I printed one out for each child. Then I wrote down the different swim skills to pass off in the circles. Then we put stickers on the chart for the ones we have passed off. McKenna then started asking questions, "Why does Kaitlyn have more stickers than I do.?" "Well, because Kaitlyn listens to teacher and does what teacher asks her to so she passes off these swim skills." That got her thinking

Ever since we have started this, McKenna has faced her fear and has even passed something off for the first time in months! She feels a great sense of accomplishment. I hope to be able to focus on her competing with herself through the charts--seeing herself do better than she has in the past. 

OUR SCHEDULE
This is what our schedule was like in the summer..and it was a lazy one!

9:00--Wake up and eat breakfast. Get ready. Do chores
10:00-- Playtime with siblings. Learning activity.
12:00--Lunch. Then more playing
3:00--Independent Play
4:00--Play with siblings. Sometimes TV time in here at some point.
5:30--Dinner
6:00--Family Activities
7:30--Get ready for bed
8:30--Bedtime 

2 comments:

Beth and Luke said...

Your sweet McKenna and my son Samuel are only a month or two apart. I've been reading your blog since they were tiny babes. It seems Samuel is always right on target with almost everything McKenna is doing. BUT...since he turned 4 and we gave up the nap (because he was having trouble going to bed at night) he suddenly started waking up EARLIER in the morning. Any thoughts?? I know I've been spoiled with my perfect babywise child for 4 years, but the early wake up is the pits! :)

Valerie Plowman said...

That would indicate he needs more sleep. So I would consider an earlier bedtime. Try that out and see if he starts sleeping later.

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