On Raising a 4 Year Old: Don’t Test Their Will

Yesterday the weather was pretty good and even though I’m dealing with some sort of flu bug I still walked the kids to school (versus driving them). If we get out the door on time, the 20-minute walk can actually be good for everyone. Even my 4-year old, who seems to have all her energy drained from her as soon as she hits the end of the driveway, is able to keep up and get to school without a single whine. I think it helps to have siblings to walk with; they’re more entertaining than walking with mom I guess.

But after dropping my older two off at school, the 4-year old and I have to walk home. Alone. On our own. As soon as we step off school property it hits: I can’t walk! My legs are broken! This is the worst day ever! Why didn’t we drive? All sung out in that not-s0-wonderful shrill that 4-year olds are so good at.

With my cold still fighting my body for supremacy, I didn’t really feel like taking on this battle. Then my super intelligent mom brain kicked in. My 4-year old decided she didn’t want to walk so I agreed. Instead we stood there in the snow outside a row of houses on our walk home. I would show her. She expects me to fight with her and drag her home unwillingly but not this time. This time she would get what she wants and see that you have to be careful what you wish for. Sort of reverse psychology stuff I guess. My daughter would quickly get bored and reluctantly decide to walk home with me without any fuss and that would be that.

What was I thinking! Trying to play a phycology games with a 4-year old!

So she sat there, on the house’s stone wall, playing in the snow. She drew circles with a stick. She made foot prints. She guessed with each person walking by if they lived in the house we were standing in front of or not. It took every fibre in my body not to cave and just resort to dragging her home. Give it a few more minutes I thought, then she’ll get bored. But of course right at that moment a neighbourhood cat came by and loved hanging out on the step with my daughter.

I was getting cold (and I didn’t have my phone to twitter out my stupidity). I asked my daughter if she was getting cold. Nope. I said we should get home so she could get her snack. Not hungry. Three hours went by. Okay that’s a bit of an exaggeration, maybe 20-minutes since I didn’t have my phone to confirm how much time we were wasting.

Eventually my daughter decided it was time to go home. I suppose I could have used this moment to relax and observe the world through my daughter’s eyes. Perhaps if the weather was warmer an I was feeling better, maybe. One thing I did learn is not to put a 4-year old’s will to the test.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Love love love this blog post! Good for you to give in to the moment and let your child play in the snow.
    Hope you’re feeling better soon.

    Reply

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Carrie Anne, karynclimans. karynclimans said: RT @cbadov: My 4yo proved to me yet again that I'm not as smart as I think I am http://bit.ly/giOmeq […]

    Reply

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