Keeping My Sanity While Raising a Four-Year-Old
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No one ever fully prepares you for how difficult Motherhood can be. There are no words sufficient enough to describe it and even if there were, would it even make sense? No one tells you that your sweet newborn would someday turn into a furious four-year-old. Terrible twos and threenagers have nothing on four.
We have one daughter, and she is four years old. She is bright and beautiful with a whole bunch of spunk. She is exactly how I envision that I was at her age. (And of course my Mother says that observation is “spot on”). I started my “at home” career when she was 3-months-old and she was with me the entire way. When I started my own business in Summer of 2015, she went off to Preschool a couple days per week. Trying to run a business at home with her in tow is not easy. It’s true what they say, child raising really does “take a village”.
She has always done really well in the preschool setting, but very recently, she’s developed some difficult behaviors that include tantrums, yelling and frequently disrupting her peers. When I picked her up from preschool today, the last week before summer vacation, her teacher kindly conveyed that today was “the most difficult day with her so far”. In the same conversation, the teacher asked me to “take the summer” and that we’d work more with her in the Fall since she will still be in preschool for one more year. In the same conversation, I let the teacher know that my daughter was accepted into a local school-funded preschool program starting this Fall, to which she said that it would be a good idea to “have her evaluated and go from there”. Which, of course, left me with some unsettling thoughts. Was she simply suggesting that my daughter isn’t ready to be in a more structured school? Or did “evaluated” have a deeper meaning?
My initial reaction was to feel upset- which came with the additional (and turmoil) feelings of anger, frustration and inadequacies (I have always been hard on myself). Is there something I have done to create an unruly child? Is she the “bad” kid? Or, is she just being a four-year-old?
I am pretty sure that every parent has felt like this at some point or other. Probably even more than once. There are so many questions running through my mind. Is she acting out for attention? Are we not enforcing enough discipline and/or consequences for bad behavior? How much do you discipline a four year old?
We will work through this, and maybe we will “take the summer” to figure it out. Parenting takes a lot of skills you hadn’t realized you had, with one of most important being patience. So with tons of patience and determination, I will work hard to make sure that we are not raising a little four-year-old asshole. Until then, I will supply said teachers with a really nice parting gift- though I don’t think wine is appropriate. But probably necessary.