Updated: Nov 19, 2022
Raising a four-year-old can be tough. In fact, most of the time you find yourself elbow deep in many things you didn’t know were even possible. Naturally children are rambunctious, adventurous, and completely wild. At times it is endearing and other times it is completely difficult. Your hope is to rear them well – to reel in, to comfort, and to work with their stubborn yet warrior-like natures (which you tenderly want to direct). You may be finding yourself entirely upset, distant, and even resentful to your little child.
And mama, that is totally normal.
If you have felt any or all of these feelings, here are some solutions for you. You can have a great relationship with your four-year-old and here are 4 Strategies to Support Your 4-Year-Old to Be Their Best.
These four things, if implemented, will take time yet will yield a great return.
Strategy #1: Create reliability
Reliability comes in many ways throughout the day. The major one is how you respond and are present. Your daily interactions are like drops of water. The more consistent you are the more reliable you are to your four-year-old. He will see that example and seek to emulate it. Keep at it, you won’t see results overnight and you will probably see worst behavior than good at first because change is occurring and your four-year-old will still need to work through the new mommy that is parenting him different than before. Be calm, be consistent, and be firm in your resolve to be reliable.
Ways to be reliable:
In the daily schedule. The bedtime routine, the morning wake-up greeting, etc. The more consistent you can make their routine and the daily “need-to-get-done’s” as part of the schedule the more that your child with thrive.
How you respond to common and emotional situations with consistency. When tantrums are thrown, what do you do? When toys need to be picked up, what way can you prepare yourself for how your child generally reacts? Is there are doctor's appointment you are dreading because you’re worried about how your kid will behave or if others will judge you, prepare yourself and respond in a wise, kind, strong, and compassionate way.
Being their advocate. As a mother, you are your child's advocate. It is important to understand the truth you desire to teach them and then to emulate the truth with all that you share, support, and encourage. The more you can remain consistent in your morals, values, principles, and truth, the more you will be reliable.
Strategy #2: Quiet Time
Four-year-old's generally are relinquishing their nap time. As a mama you are probably feeling a sense of panic because their nap time use to be a break for you. And so, I invite you to implement quiet time.
Quiet time is a great place for your child to spend their time however they would like within certain parameters that you set.
Quiet time teaches your child to:
understand and respect boundaries
Allows your child to recharge and to choose how they will spend their time.
Freely play and explore within quiet time as they read books, build puzzles, color and draw, or just even take a nap every now and again.
To learn more about how to implement an effective quiet time, please see this article Rejuvenate Your Parenthood by Implementing Quiet Time.
Strategy #3: Sleep is essential.
Sometimes four year old's get out of the habit of sleeping. They are so ready for everything and anything, that they naturally fight going to bed. THE WORLD IS OUT THERE, WHY NOT EXPLORE IT? Right? Well, yes. Yet it is important to be well balanced as you enter this wide and incredible world. And being balanced begins with sleep.
We spend a third of our lives sleeping. Every day we can experience renewal and rebirth as sleep fortifies and helps our bodies heal properly. While we sleep we get to process all the experiences and information we receive throughout any given day.
It is essential that your toddler sleeps. Their development depends on it.
Sleep is a habit that can be formed over time and the habits that are formed early in life carry on into the child’s adult years. The sleep habits your child creates now will be the same habits they will carry with them into his college, marriage, and adulthood. Sleep is a huge sign of health. Your body needs the optimal time to rejuvenate, to process, and to heal. This is so crucial to having a less tantrums and shrieking child.
How to effectively get your child to bed:
Prepare your child to rest. Implement cues that help them to know that bedtime is near, and that sleep is inevitable.
Cuse can include teeth brushing, bedtime stories, a bed-time stuffed animal, getting dressed in pajamas, making the room dark, saying prayers, and turning on the white noise machine.
Be consistent. Keep bedtime at a specific time every night. The more consistent you are the better the body will create a habit that will naturally begin to cue your child that it is time for bed.
Be sure in your decision. You need to be firm in your mind that it is time for bed. Your child will try to elude bedtime like a plague. You need to be firm, kind, and redirect your child back to the routine. Make it fun, personalize it, and plan for the specific struggles that your child brings up.
Strategy #4: Water + no sugar.
Sugar makes kids and adults crazy. There is countless articles and research that show just how addictive sugar can be to our brains. An addictive brain is a crazy brain. Be sure to really watch how much sugar and what kinds of sugar is being given to your child.
Water is something that will support and sustain your child’s body. The best advice I have been given is to make sure your children are hydrated. When your child is not properly hydrated their body naturally starts acting odd. It will crave things, respond differently, and experience fatigue. The advice was essential to me having to work through less and less tantrums.
Our ability to communicate and be levelheaded is possible by the way we take care of ourselves. When your child is properly hydrated, tantrums decrease.
Water is essential for life and sugar is meant to be consumed in small doses. These two if managed will change the way your child responds to you and to the challenges that your child faces on a daily basis.
Which Strategy Do You Want to Try First?
You can do this mama, your four-year-old can be their best as you implement these strategies.
Which one of these four do you think you could try and implement today? Choose one and then write down how you will make it possible..
Share which strategy you'd like to try in the comments below!