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Raising a 4-Year-Old: Are You Overreacting as Parent? Or Can You Give Yourself a Pat in the Back?

raising a 4-year-old, parent

Are you, or someone you know, the parent of a 4-year-old? It is that stage when the kid is leaving toddlerhood and is on the cusp of the preschool years. Raising a 4-year-old child can be a breeze. Or it can be a daunting experience. Before instilling in 4-year-olds what they need to know, parents must be mindful of what they must know.

It is a fact that parenting is not an easy task. Not only must responsible parents or kin ensure the physical safety of their children, but they must also strive to nurture those tykes emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Hence, it requires energy, patience, and resources. Oftentimes, modern-day parents focus too much on the mental aspect, and therein lies the problem.

A rural Minnesota-based mother of five children, ranging in ages from two to 15, noted that while it may be normal for most parents to do what they can for their children and to desire that they excel, many of them focus too much on the wrong things. Before they can be adept and see good results from raising a 4-year-old, parents must know that children must learn basic things like reading, math, talking, reciting nursery rhymes or verses — at their own pace.

At the same time, smartphones, tablets, flash cards and toys will never take the place of parents reading traditional books — not YouTube or video-aided learning materials — to kids.

At the age of four, kids are learning about and discovering their place in the world, while also relying on the guidance of their parents/elders. One of the biggest fears many parents all over the world have is that they may be setting up their kids for failure, if they do not push them to learn, and learn, and learn. They overlook the fact that “a simple, carefree childhood,” without the undue stresses of memorizing so many things and engaging in so many “enrichment” after-school activities, is the biggest advantage they can offer their kid(s).

When raising a 4-year-old, what parents need to keep in mind is that their child deserves to be surrounded by books, nature, art supplies and the freedom to explore them. Most importantly, the kids need the human presence of a parent – to play with them, read them stories, encourage them without forcing them to learn, and listen to them. Letting children feel that they are worth spending time with, and that they are unconditionally loved, can have huge payoffs.

Photo Source: Stephan Hochhaus/Flickr

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