Our 4 year olds can be very difficult to parent but a joy to be with at the same time.
They can come up with astounding ideas, ask you insightful questions and leave you open mouthed with the love they extend to all. Yet they can be very irritating with their silly words and potty mouth. They can also suddenly seem like the child you knew disappeared and instead another child came that push all your buttons!
Four years though is still very young and they have tons of energy that need to be let off! Most children are attending school by now, so remember to take them out to run and scream and be wild for as long as possible afterwards. It takes a lot of effort from them to be as still as possible, hold themselves together (they still find it very stressful to leave the family home) and keep up with the directions and rules of a school setting.
If your child is acting out more than usual first check your rhythm and next make sure to give them more time outside. Children this age do not need adult led activities; in fact after school activities like sports etc should not be encouraged at this stage but rather let them have lots of free movement. Because they live a lot in their body, the four year old needs to jump, crawl, run, climb – all things that we can easily arrange for them through playing together whether at home or outside. Giving them meaningful work that works the senses also helps a lot like kneading, scrubbing, pushing, pulling, weeding and more. Also they enjoy helping out so that is a 2 for 1 offer we should not miss!
Discipline with the four year old is still the same as the younger ones. Work on yourself, the less choices given the better, rhythm, rhythm and did I mention rhythm? and of course when rhythm is mentioned we need to remember outside time. We must not forget that they have so much energy at this stage that they truly need lots of time outside to move and run.