This is a summary for Kaitlyn from 10.5-10.75 years old.
Things are going well. I think Kaitlyn’s food story is a great encouragement for anyone with a child who is a picky eater. She eats most things even when she doesn’t like them. Helping your child through being picky is not an overnight process. At all. But it is a process that can be done. You can see my posts :
to help get an idea of what our policies are at our house and how she has worked through this over the years.
Sleeping is fantastic. I honestly have concerns for her teenage years because she is a sleeper. Our middle school and high school start quite early here, and she needs a lot of sleep. There have been weekends she has had to be woken up at 10 AM! So getting up for school might be a struggle. A natural way to help that would be earlier bedtimes, but in the research I have done, the circadian rhythms change drastically in a teenage brain, and they have a hard time even going to sleep at a “normal” bedtime range for a child or even adult. So I have some brainstorming to do to help make sure she gets the sleep she needs.
Sleep is obviously important to to me (hello this blog!). She has always been a child who has high sleep needs, I have recognized that and spoken about it over the years. I just have to figure out how to help her get the sleep she needs when school is early and biology is literally working against her being able to go to sleep early.
I am a low sleep needs person, and my little sister is high. She always had a hard time with getting up for school as we grew up (and having a newborn was so much harder on her with the lack of sleep than it was on me just because of our sleep needs). It is an important thing to acknowledge, accept, and try to work with.
School is great. There is nothing of great interest to report on the academic side of things.
There is some interest on the friendship side of things. I have typically found girls start to get mean in fourth grade, and because of that, I really prepped Kaitlyn for handling situations that might arise. She is not confrontational by nature and I wanted her to be able to stand her ground and also to stick up for other people if she saw they were being “mean-girled.”
A situation recently came up with friend issues, with her not stepping in and standing up for people. I found out about it and we had a talk. You can read about that in my post How to Teach Your Child to Love Others. A lot of good came of our talk. Since I have written that post, she has faced difficult days where people she has stood up to have not appreciated it and have turned against her and tried to get others to turn against her. Fortunately, people have stood behind her. I have always emphasized with my children that if you are always kind to others, then when others say mean things about you, people won’t believe it. That has been true.
And things are so roller-coaster-y. One day, everything is great. The next, she has her friends who can be mean mad at her. That afternoon, everything is fine. She is taking it well, though. Both Nate and I have had to be there for her to talk and talk and talk and talk to about it all. We have offered our insight and encouragement. She needs to be able to talk about it freely and to be encouraged that yes, it is the right thing for you to stand up for other people. You are making the right choice. Continue to be kind. Do not say unkind things about others when they say unkind things about you.
This is only the beginning for us.
I am interested to see what things are like with our other daughters. Brayden, being male, doesn’t have this same level of drama. We all know that is not typically how males operate, and Brayden is very, very logical.
I am interested with the other girls to see how things go since they all have different personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. It is a heavy thing to help guide your child through these difficulties. The responses you encourage and counsel will shape how your child responds and how their character develops.
During this time period, Kaitlyn did soccer, piano, and basketball. She also started the musical.
7:00 AM–Wake up, get ready for school. Practice piano.
9:00 AM–At school
4:00 PM–Home. Homework if needed. Chores. Free play.
5:00 PM–Dinner. Then family time
8:00 PM–In bed. She is allowed to read books for a bit before going to sleep. I am able to trust her to decide how long to read.